@sara_tiara: LOL. Don’t worry. It’s definitely not you. You probably have not heard of inner envelopes, because so many people these days seem to think they’re wasteful or expendable. However, most etiquette experts continue to extoll the virtues of inner envelopes, and I totally agree with them. I will readily admit to being in the minority on this issue in the hive, however. 🙂
The inner envelope encloses the invitation suite and is then inserted into the outer envelope, with the front of the inner envelope facing the recipient when he or she opens the outer envelope. Its primary purpose is to make very clear to the recipient of the invitation exactly WHO is being invited.
Example 1: You are inviting Mr. John Smith by himself, with no guest. (Note: if you were allowing Mr. Smith to bring a guest, the best approach is to contact him in advance and ask him the name and address of the guest he would like to bring. You would then send that person her own invitation, in her own name, to her own address. In this example, however, you are only inviting Mr. Smith. His outer envelope would read: Mr. John Smith (use his middle name — but not initial — if you want to be formal.) His inner envelope would read: Mr. Smith.
Example 2: You decide you are allowing Mr. Smith to bring a guest. If you decide to use the less formal method for inviting her, it is acceptable on his inner envelope to write: Mr. Smith and Guest. (However, the method described in Example 1 is preferred.) By the way, in Example 2, Mr. Smith’s outer envelope remains the same as in Example 1. Only the inner envelope changes.
Example 3: You are inviting John and Jane Doe, but you are not inviting their three children. (Let’s assume for this example that Jane changed her name when she married John. The link I am providing for you, below, will describe what to do if she did not.) Their outer envelope would read: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. Their inner envelope would read: Mr. and Mrs. Doe.
Example 4: Let’s say you decide to invite John and Jane’s 15-year-old daughter, Jillian, but not their two younger children. Their outer envelope would read the same as noted in Example 3 (since the names of chlidren should not be shown on the outer envelope). However, the inner envelope would read: Mr. and Mrs. Doe, on the first line, and then Miss Jillian Doe on the second line. (Note: In all of these cases, you would not repeat the first names of the adults on the inner envelopes — just their honorifics and last names. However, you do list the first and last names of any children being invited. My wedding was very formal, so I used the children’s full names, including their middle names.)
I know all of this must seem VERY stuffy and as if it is a lot of work (and it IS a lot of work tracking down all of the names.) However, it really helps to prevent people from thinking that they can somehow bring two extra children or a date to your wedding when you have not invited them to do so. I invited over 200 guests, 150 of which accepted, and no one tried to sneak in an uninvited guest.
You may find the link below to be helpful.