Friday, February 4, 2011

Addressing Etiquette

I'm at the point of wedding planning where we're tightening up our guest list. We're making all of our final additions and subtractions and going over the list with each family (future MIL, I know you're reading expecting a call) to make sure there's no one missing. Once the list is 100% complete I get to start the daunting task of collecting addresses. Thanks to Christmas cards I have pretty much all of our immediate family in my book, but some of my friends are constantly moving so I need to track them all

Anyways, (my obsession) has an awesome "Guest" tool that is super helpful for entering and keeping track of guests, their addresses, phone numbers and e-mails (if you need them). On top of that it has a "Invitation" feature where you can write how you choose to address the guests envelope and it automatically adds the address below the names. So, when it comes time to do the invitations I will have all the information right there and I can easily move from guest to guest. I have been starting to use this "Invitation" feature (because why not?) and it's already bringing up a lot of questions in regard to addressing etiquette. I figured all you wonderful blog friends could help me out with this.

Here's what I know:

Married couple:
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hanks
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Married couple with children:
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hanks and Family
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Unmarried couple who lives together:
Miss (or Ms.) Rita Wilson
Mr. Thomas Hanks
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Single man:
Mr. Thomas Hanks
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Single woman:
Miss Rita Wilson
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Professional Title:
Doctor, The Honorable, Reverend, Professor and Mrs. (or Mr. if the woman has the title)
Thomas Hanks
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Married couple who both have professional titles:
Doctor Thomas Hanks and
and The Honorable Rita Wilson
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Same sex couple:
Mr. Brad Pitt
Mr. George Clooney
11 Oceans Drive
Hollywood, CA 90210

Single woman with children:
Ms. Rita Wilson and Family
123 Green Mile Road
Hollywood, CA 90210

Couple not living together:
*Same format as "living together" but address and send it to who you are closer with or add "and guest"

*Children over 18 receive their own individual invitation
*DO NOT abbreviate addresses or titles (this is a mega pet peeve of mine)
*Invitations should be handwritten

OK, so here are my questions:

*How would you address an envelope to a single woman with just one child? Is it still "Ms. Rita Wilson and Family"???

*Do you address "Save the Dates" formally?

*I don't have to put "and Guest" on the STDs to my single friends, right? I want to wait until the invites go out because not everyone is getting a guest and I want to make the final call as late as possible.

*Should you hand stamp the envelopes?

*Can the return address be printed instead of handwritten?


Katie said...

I absolutely hated this part, haha. Ok so here's what I learned.. don't put "and guest" on the STD's - save that for the invitation. I don't think hand stamping the envelopes is necessary - we used the cute wedding rings stamp. The return address label on the invitations should be handwritten to match the front but on the STD's you could use a cute printed return address label. I ordered cute lovebird one's to go with our theme. I think you could get away with addressing the STD's not formal but that's just me! :)

Ashley said...

I did the STDs informally and didn't put "and guest"
We used the wedding ring stamps also not hand stamps
I know a LOT of people who used labels for both to and from addresses. I think at this point it becomes a preference. I used an ink stamper for our return addresses.
good luck!
the guest list was my least favorite thing to talk about with the in-laws!

MIL said...

O.K. I will get those other names and addresses you requested during the Bock N Roll, yup, I forgot, sorry. I Love you alot and have a gooood weekend!

steph c said...

I think there's nothing wrong with preprinted return address labels (or address labels in general, but that's just me). I think part of it is determined by how formal you intend to be - all handwritten conveys more formality, in my mind.

I can't be much help on the addressing though - still so far from my mind! Good idea using's Guest tool.. I'll have to check it out!

love jenny xoxo said...

oops I definitely didn't follow the rules of etiquette. I always listed both people's names instead of the Mr. and Mrs. (male name), that seems kinda weird to me and I don't really care for it. But I wouldn't care how the invite was addressed, just happy to be invited!


love jenny xoxo said...

oh and do you like Water for Elephants? I'm thinking about that book for my book club....


Jessica said...

I think you're right on track with your addresses and guest list!

For the STD's, you can totally get away with being more casual. For instance, single woman with child would be Ms. Rita Wilson and Little Jimmie Wilson. I would address the formal invitation Ms. Rita Wilson and then on the inside envelope put Rita and Little Jimmie.

Whew, that was a mouthfull!! In my opinion, printed return addresses are no biggie, I hand addressed everything but if you don't want to, I don't think your guests will mind at all. :)

Katie Strawbridge said...

Ok, so first of all...I think you are spot on with all etiquette. If you have a single mother with a child, I would put the child's first name instead of "and family." Save the dates can definitely be informal. I put "and guest" on the save the dates for guests who I knew would be getting a plus one...might as well let them start planning who to ask for a date. Your other 2 questions are completely a matter or personal preference. I used regular stamps and had the return addresses letter-pressed onto envelopes. Happy planning!!

Miss K said...

invitations are the WORST!

if it's family and one child i put the child's name and i know that the invites i sent out where i did that the child really loved having their name included.

for the STDs it does not need to be formal or include "& guest"

if you do pre-printed return labels, i would put them on the back of the envelope.