(Closed) How to address the inner envelope?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 4
1696 posts
Bumble bee

You address them as a formal and dignified mature woman — I assume that applies to both you and your mama — formally addresses other adults: as “Mr and Mrs Smith”. You know Uncle Tim’s and Cousin Carol’s surnames, so that is easy.

If it’s an informal wedding, then you address them informally — which means you don’t use inner envelopes but rather open your hand-written naturally worded note of invitation with the informal phrase, “Dear Uncle Tim” or, if your mother is writing the note, as “Dear Tim”. If your mother is hosting and you are writing the note, you go on in the body of the note to say “My mother has asked me to invite you to …..” and sign it with your own name.

Post # 6
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@blueabz:  Yes, that is a common modern misconception, so you see it a lot. Think of it this way:

The OUTER envelope is a business document between the sender and the post office. It does not so much use formal names as business names (correct social form does not use the surname and forename together — correctly in social circumstances it is either/or).

Whatever is INSIDE the outer envelope is between you and your guests. That is where you send the signal whether the party itself is to be formal or informal. Either one is perfectly proper, but you must be consistent as it is unkind to send your guests mixed messages.

FORMAL wording is the stiff set wording where you speak about yourself and your guests in third-person: “Miss So-and-so / requests the pleasure of the company of / “. The most traditional formal invitations have the guests’ names written write onto the invitation in that lovely old-fashioned script that some grandmas are still able to produce. People who prefer the look of an all-engraved card substitute the write-in line with the words “your company”, and then add an inner envelope to designate who is invited. So inherently, inner envelopes go with formal invitations and demand formal terms of address.

INFORMAL wording is the natural phrasing that uses “we” and “you”. A hostess doesn’t use engraved cards for informal invitations, so inner envelopes are inconsistent with informal invitations, and hence with informal terms of address.

But if all of your friends and family — and all of your fiance’s friends and family, who may move in different circles from you — are used to mixing formal and informal details together, you can certainly get away with doing the same as they.


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