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What do I need? Outer or Inner and Outer Envelopes? (My Mom says I need both.)

Posted on May 12, 2020 at 9:25 AM

The inner and outer envelope is a tradition.

Years ago mailmen traveled around on horseback, not in trucks, and chances are that your wedding invitation would arrive at their destination dusty, wet, or damaged was highly likely. To ensure it looked presentable, the outer envelope was removed by a butler, maid, or someone else in the household before being presented to the potential guest.

Difference between inner and outer envelopes.

If you get just outer envelopes it is addressed to the guest and mailing address. And if you get inner and outer envelopes it is addressed exactly to who is invited to the wedding. (Inner envelopes do not get sealed.)

If you decide to do inner and outer envelopes:

-You can be very clear on who is being invited to your wedding if you use an inner and outer envelope. Inner envelopes help eliminate the potential for any awkward questions about who is invited.

-Having both envelopes are more traditional. If you are having a black tie, classic or formal wedding you may want to have both envelopes to abide by wedding etiquette.

Samples of how they’d be addressed:

Outer Envelope – Mr. and Mrs. Mark Osiecki, Inner Envelope – Mr. and Mrs. Osiecki

Outer Envelope – Osiecki Family, Inner Envelope – Mr. and Mrs. Osiecki, second line - Matthew

The names of children under 18 years old should appear on the inner envelope on the line beneath Mom and Dad's. Start with the oldest child, followed by his or her siblings in order of diminishing age; for anyone 18 or older in a household, send a separate invitation.

Outer Envelope – Matthew Cattie, Inner Envelope – Mr. Cattie and Guest

If you decide to do just outer envelopes:

Put the outer envelope to work by listing the names of every person invited to the wedding. Avoid writing "and Family," which is too vague and could mean extra guests showing up at the wedding whom you weren't expecting or can't afford.

There's no right or wrong way.

If you like the tradition, go for both, but if you worry that an extra envelope is a strike against the environment or an added expense, just use the outer one. It is truly up to you. There's no rule that says you need both inner and outer envelopes, and most guests won't realize you are or are not following tradition.

Either way we will guide you on how to address each envelope with the correct etiquette. And we are always here for any questions!


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