Etiquette is the science of Living: it embraces everything, it is ethics, it is Honor ~Emily Post.
Kindly note that my services do not include editing or proofing. All projects must be proofed thoroughly before delivering to me.
Calligrapher follows formal rules for addressing envelopes, unless the client has a different preference. For more information on wedding etiquette, Crane’s Wedding Blue Book is recommended. Emily Post also has some helpful guides here and here.
Your Guest List – Client should provide a typed, proofed, printed, and readable list using upper and lowercase letters with at least a 12 point font. All caps is not acceptable. Ampersands are not acceptable. EXCEL spreadsheets are not acceptable. Include the correct 5-digit ZIP code. Please do not use “spread-sheet” format. Mailing label format is requested. For clarification, the street name must not be on the same line as the city and state.
Again, it must be proofed very thoroughly before delivering a copy to me. Note that I shred lists upon completion of jobs, and delete all email correspondence. Please keep a copy of your own list.
example of requested format for the guest list addresses
Mr. and Mrs. Buck Wilson
19 North Hunters Lodge
San Antonio, Texas 78230
example for an inner envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson
Zachary, Sophie and Julia
Little details – The rule is to never separate a man’s first name from his last name. Please spell out titles and forms of address exactly as you would like them written. Abbreviations are not permitted except for “Mrs.” “Mr.” “Ms.” “Messrs.” “Dr.” Jr.” and “Lt” when combined with “Colonel” “General” or “Commander.” The use of middles initials is not considered proper. Please spell out street names. I will spell out “Street” and “Boulevard” etc. You can abbreviate some streets to “SW” or “NE” etc.
Indicate whether you prefer “Apartment” or “Number” spelled out. Bullets can also be used with the number following. The apartment line may be placed after the street address, directly above the city and state.
Family Members: Close relatives may be addressed as “Grandmother”, “Aunt Sue and Uncle George” etc. on the inner envelope.
Different last names: Married couples with different last names should appear on separate lines with “and” connecting them on the second line. Where a man and woman living together have different last names, the woman’s name should appear on the line above the man’s. If the couple is married and she is a doctor, her name would go first.
Honorary Titles: for longer titles such as “The Honorable John Smith and Mrs. Smith” it is acceptable to space it out as: First line: “The Honorable John Smith” Second line: “and Mrs. Smith.”
Children and family info: Children over the age of eighteen should receive separate invitations. Invited children under the age of eighteen should appear on the inner envelope, in birth order beneath their parent’s names. (“And Family” can be written if desired on the inner envelope, although this is not considered as formal). “Jr” does not need to appear on the inner envelope.
Widows: there are varying rules on this, but it acceptable to write “Mrs. John Smith” (traditional) or “Mrs. Marie Smith.” A woman that is divorced can be addressed as “Mrs. Marie Smith” or “Ms. Marie Smith.” If she has resumed using her maiden name, it is appropriate to write “Ms.” as well.
Check and double check your spelling!
Order some Extras! – Please order at least 15% more envelopes than invitations (for add-ons and mistakes). If the client anticipates adding more guests to the list, the client needs to figure that in as well (15% is not expected to cover those instances).
Turn around time estimate for envelope jobs: 1-2 weeks per 100 unlined envelopes.
Mailing – If mailing to/from me, please allow adequate time for shipping. Wedding invitations should be mailed 6 weeks before the wedding; 8 weeks is recommended for out of town guests. Be sure to have your handwritten envelopes hand cancelled at the post office.
Note to Wedding Planners – kindly be aware of several requests for my business:
~that I be notified and asked about jobs before any materials are mailed to me
~to understand that I do book out several weeks in advance, and my schedule needs to be checked before I can commit to a job
~that extra fees are incurred when I am required to search for materials or unique writing supplies to complete jobs (I specialize in paper and ink)