12.17.2008

Wording Wednesday: Addressing Envelopes

Here at FineStationery.com, we receive a lot of questions regarding envelopes. Many of our customers will say readying invitations for the postal office is the hardest part of hosting a party, simply because they feel uncertain about the proper way to stuff and address the envelopes.

With that in mind, today's Wording Wednesday post will focus on the most frequently asked envelope questions. I hope that this brief review will serve to demystify the process and help you to feel more confident when sending out your Holiday cards and invitations. If you do not see the answer to your question below, please feel free to leave it within the comments section. I'd be happy to respond with an answer.

What is the proper way to insert a card or invitation into an envelope?

To stuff a greeting card or invitation into an envelope, insert so that the front of the card is facing the back of the envelope (where it seals). This is so that when the flap is opened, the recipient will first see the design or message. It is much like greeting some one in person. You would certainly not keep your back to them, and so is the same with a card—the front of the card should “greet” its recipient.

How do I address an envelope to a couple in which both husband and wife are doctors?

If both husband and wife are doctors, you can address the invitation envelope as “The Doctors Miller.” If the wife is a doctor, but the husband is not, the wife’s name would actually come prior to her husband's on the envelope. For example, “Dr. Anne and Mr. Oliver Miller.”

Should the return address on my Holiday card envelopes be printed or handwritten?

Either way works. An embossed printed return address adds an elegant touch to any Holiday card or invitation.

Is it appropriate to use printed labels for the recipient’s address?

A handwritten address is usually best. If your handwriting tends to be messy, labels printed with the recipient’s address may seem like an easy fix, but better alternatives would be to hire a professional to hand-address the envelopes, ask a friend for assistance or print the address directly onto the envelope.

What is the proper way to fold a letter?

To fold a letter sheet, fold the bottom of the sheet up until there is about a third of the letter remaining at the top and crease. Then, fold the top of the letter down to meet the first fold and crease.

Why do my wedding invitations come with two envelopes? Should I use both?

The tradition of double envelopes started in the Victorian era. The outer envelope was used as protection against the elements in days when messages were delivered by horse or hand. However, many brides continue to adhere to double envelope use, even in present day, as a way to specify who in each household is invited to the event. For example, if you send an invitation to Mr. Matthew Miller and you want to encourage him to also bring a guest, you would address the outer envelope to Mr. Matthew Miller and address the inner envelope to Mr. Matthew Miller and Guest.