Post # 1
In the absence of an inner envelope, is it OK to address an envelope in the following manner with five name lines?
Jane & John Doe
123 Main St.
New York, NY 12345
Is this too many lines? How else can I handle addressing to a family in which the kids have different names and can’t conveniently be listed on one line as “Anna, Ben, Chris, and Dana Doe?”
Post # 3
@philodendron: You could address the envelope to the parents only, and name everyone on the invitation. (I’m a big believer in putting names on the actual invitation, though I realise not everyone does that).
If you’re not putting names on the invitation, I’d address the envelope to:
John and Jane Doe, Anna, Ben, Chris and Dana
Post # 4
I would make an exception and just use an inner envelope for this one (or similar) invitations. If you do it that way, it’s not likely to make it through the mail very well. All names must be on one line. However, I think you could address it something like, “Mr and Mrs John Doe, Anna, Ben, Chris and Dana” and just omit the kids last names.
Post # 5
I would just do “The Doe/Smith Family” and then address the invitation on the inside (just scrawl the names across the top with a pen if you’re not addressing all your invitations individually)
Post # 6
That’s why we’re just using first names on the actual invites, and first and last names of parents on the address. So the address reads John and Jane Smith 123 Home street, Hometown, State, 1234.
For the actual invite, we just said either “John, Jane, and James.” If there’s more than one child, we put “John, Jane and Family.” Of course, our invites aren’t overly formal, so we just did what felt comfortable and got the message across to people 🙂
Post # 7
@starbuckslover: I agree with this as well. Just address it to them as a family. You can even use the parents’ last name since they’re the heads of the family.
Post # 8
Family works best, especially because it saves space.
If you really want to use names, alternatively you could send the kids separate invites (depending on age, possibly). My cousin will be 15 or 16, and I might just send him a separate invite regardless.
Post # 9
@philodendron: No, it isn’t really alright. For one thing, your outer envelope is a business document between you and your postal services provider. The names listed on the outside are the persons to whom the service may deliver the envelope, who then have the right to open it. Do you really want little Master Ben opening the family invitation? And, since the postal service provider is unlikely to be on a first name basis with Jane and John, their business names — which include their titles — are properly used.
For another thing, many families receive their mail in unsecured postal recepticals. Parents are routinely warned not to publicize their children’s names because it makes the children more vulnerable to potential abusers or abductors. Jane and John may feel rather uncomfortable to have your oversized invitation envelope propped up on the shelf next to the tiny apartment mail slots, advertising to the neighbourhood pervert that the curly-haired five-year-old in apartment 17 is named “Dana”.
The details and names regarding whom you are inviting really go on the inside, somewhere. paula1248 is quite right that the most proper place for the names is on the invitation itself, where it most properly follows the names of the hosts:
“Mr and Mrs Jonathan Goodhost
request the pleasure of the company of
Mr and Mrs Doe
Miss Smith, Master Ben, Miss Doe, Master Chris
But all that being said, why can’t the children conveniently be listed on one line as “Anna, Ben, Chris, and Dana?” I am sure the fact that their names follow Jane’s and John’s will make it quite adequately clear which Anna, Ben, Chris and Dana you mean, without any last names’ being necessary.
Post # 10
I ended up just putting them all on a line in a series: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, Ms. Liza Gordon,” etc., etc., etc. There are SO many people with different last names living in one of the houses that it was seriously about two lines of that.
Of course, I just put every single name down on the outer envelope for who was invited, just to clear up any ambiguity. I’m sure I’ll still be getting reply cards back with “7 people are coming even though the outer envelope only mentioned me, my wife and our kid.”
In retrospect, I should have been new-agey and filled in how many people were invited, including guests, on the reply card to clear up the ambiguity even more. But I also hear people think that’s rude. *shrug*