How to address inner envelopes for relatives?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What should we do for family inner envelopes? (can choose multiple)
    first names only like all the rest : (3 votes)
    43 %
    use typical family title (i.e., Aunt _____) for elder relatives, and leave others as first name : (2 votes)
    29 %
    use whatever term/nickname I call them (i.e., Poppy) : (0 votes)
    doesn't matter, nobody's going to read it anyway. nbd : (2 votes)
    29 %
    other described below : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1649 posts
    Bumble bee

    @Shkragoldfish:  Well … inner envelopes are used because the fully-engraved formal invitation card has no place to list the names of who is invited. Informal invitations are written in such a way that they can begin with “Dear Aunty Aspasia” so inner envelopes are not needed. So the proper form and general assumption is, that when you are using inner envelopes you are being formal. The same is true of escort cards.

    In formal social correspondence, people are addressed by their title and surname; unless they are a younger sister, or son or younger brother of someone who has the same title and surname. In that case, they are properly addressed by their title and firstname. With very few exceptions, first names and surnames are not used together socially. That is the main thing that distinguishes social correspondence from business correspondence. For example in my childhood home, my mother was “Mrs Phipps”, my sister was “Miss Phipps”, and I was “Miss Aspasia”. Now that Medea is married, I am “Miss Phipps”. It is these formal names that are properly used on your inner envelopes and escort cards.

    But it sounds like you are following the modern somewhere-in-the-middle social style: third-person wording on your invitations but an informal friendly feel in other aspects. In which case I would word your inner envelopes with whatever friendly name you call people as long as it’s a name they like (do NOT, for example, follow my elder brother’s habit of calling me “Spazzy” — your relatives may have similar detested nicknames which you would want to avoid). On your escort cards, write their given name lightly in the upper left corner of the envelope, and write their pet-name in the middle as you have written everyone else’s name. Alphabetize them by their actual given name.

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