Post # 1
I received my wedding invitations today and am unsure of the inner and outer envelope rule(s). The company I ordered from gave me one envelope with my return address printed on the back flap, is that all I need??
Also our response cards have the return address printed on the back of it, does that mean just add a stamp and the guests can return their respone cards, or I am supposed to put that in an envelope? Thanks in advance!!
Post # 3
The outer envelope is a business document between you and the post office, whereby you contract with the post office to deliver the letter to a certain person at a certain place. As with any business document, use business-like formats (that is, numbers for numbered streets and addresses, business name for the addressee with title, given name and surname, and the stamp and return address located where the post office requires that you locate them, and seal the envelope. Outer envelopes usually have a gummed flap so that they can be sealed. Outer envelopes are meant to be discarded once they have done their job and delivered the invitation to its destination, so they don’t have to actually match the invitation — but it’s elegant if it does, as long as matching the invitation doesn’t require a violation of the post office’s envelope-colour guidelines.
The inner envelope takes the place of the “write-in line” that lists all the people who are actually invited. You don’t need inner envelope if you are using the traditional write-in line. On the inner envelope or write-in line, guests are addressed by their social name (not business name): Title and surname for senior family members, title and given name for junior family members — or, on an informal invitation, just by given names. Inner envelopes if you use them are part of the invitation proper and should match the invitation.
Response cards are not traditional etiquette: guests are supposed to own their own letter paper and stamps and know how to write a response for themselves. If you do choose to use them, you should stamp them. It is more private (and hence, closer to traditional formality) to provide an addressed stamped envelope for them; but modern etiquette allows you to use postcard-style response cards, and though your great-aunts may shudder inwardly, your own peer group won’t even bat an eye.