There are no absolutes with etiquette, it is more of a consensus of opinions. I’m not the etiquette police. However, I want my clients to be informed of what is and is not socially acceptable. If you choose to not use proper etiquette then that is your choice.
no abbreviations except, Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., or Jr.
not be used. For example, write out and rather than use an ampersand.
not acceptable, Write "William," not "W". Omit the initial
if you do not know it.
East, and West should not be abbreviated.
Avenue, Boulevard, and Lane should always
be written out, not abbreviated.
and numbered streets are written out in full (with the exception of D.C.).
In regard to addresses, the only optional abbreviations are for Saint (St.) or Mount (Mt.), which can be written either way.
used in zip codes and housed numbers. Numbered streets are written out.
For example: Fourteenth Street, not 14th Street, or One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street, not 125th Street.
family" if possible. All children over age eighteen should receive
a separate invitation.
should be mailed from four to six weeks before the wedding.
first-class mail, never metered mail.
|-Be sure to
include a return address on the invitations.
are addressed the same as invitations, and should be mailed immediately
after the wedding.
|-Zip Codes- Please be sure to double check your addresses and zip codes. To check zip codes go on the Internet to http://www.usps.com/zip4.|
Title Terms you may need to know
The Honorable (judge, governor, mayor , U.S. senators, members of congress, cabinet members, ambassadors);
The Reverend or the Rabbi (clergy);
Doctor (for medical doctor, dentist, veterinarian, and the academically degreed who use that title.)
|According to rank: & enlisted personnel and noncommissioned officers:|
---United States Air Force
|Senior officers (above captain in the army and lieutenant senior grade in the navy):|
Colonel James William Stack
---United States Air Force
|Junior officers (title appears on second line):|
---Second Lieutenant, United States Air Force.
|Names on the Outer & Inner Envelopes:|
|Outer Envelope||Inner Envelope|
|Unmarried female||Miss (or Ms.) Julie Walker||Miss (or Ms.) Walker (and Guest)|
|Divorced female, uses married name||Mrs. Emily Frank||Mrs. Frank (and Guest)|
|Divorced female, uses maiden name||Miss (or Ms.) Shelly Jones||Miss (or Ms.) Jones (and Guest)|
|Unmarried male||Mr. Christopher Smith||Mr. Smith (and Guest)|
|Married Couples||Mr. and Mrs. Steven Freeman||Mr. and Mrs. Freeman|
|Married Couple - woman kept maiden name||Mrs. (or Ms.) Kayla Morris||Mrs. (or Ms.) Morris|
|Mr. Joel Morgan||Mr. Morgan|
|Unmarried couples who do not live together - send to the closest friend||Miss (or Ms.) Shannon Wright||Miss (or Ms.) Wright|
|Unmarried couples who live together - alphabetical by last name||Miss (or Ms.) Sally Abbott||Miss (or Ms.) Abbott|
|Mr. Peter Cochran||Mr. Cochran|
|Same gender couples - alphabetical by last name||Mr. Kurtis Davidson||Mr. Davidson|
|Mr. Scott McDonald||Mr. McDonald|
|Child under age 18||Nothing on outer envelope||David, Alexis, and Sarah (first names only, oldest to youngest)|
|Children over 18 - should receive their own invitation, even if still at home||Miss Arlene Bishop||Miss Bishop (and Guest) or|
|or||Mr. Smith (and Guest)|
|Mr. Derek Smith|
|Judge||The Honorable and Mrs. Albert Root||Judge and Mrs. Root|
|Clergy||The Reverend Tom Pinker||The Reverend Pinker|
|Doctor (medical)||Doctor Mitchell Fry||Doctor Fry (and Guest)|
|Doctor (PhD)||Dr. David Fry||Dr. Fry (and Guest)|
|Married Woman Doctor||Doctor Nancy Goodman||Doctor Goodman|
|Mr. Brian Goodman||Mr. Goodman|
|Married Couple, Both Doctors||Doctors Robert and||The Doctors Stephens|
|Officer - Man (active or retired)||Colonel and Mrs. Wayne Scott||Colonel and Mrs. Scott|
|Officer - Woman||Lieutenant Holly Adams, U.S. Navy||Lieutenant Adams|
|Mr. Mark Adams||Mr. Adams|
|Seating Card Guidelines|
Arranged on a special table near the entrance to the reception, seating cards display guests’ names along with their table numbers.
|Size and Style|
Traditionally, seating cards were presented in diminutive envelopes. Now, most stationers favor tented cards, which are often embossed or edged in silver or gold for a more formal look.
When addressing married couples, it is traditional to use the husband’s first name, but a simple “Mr. and Mrs.” preceding the surname is equally correct; if more than one couple share the same last name, include the first names of the men to avoid confusion. Using each person’s full name without a title is another option; it is customary to start with the wife’s name.
Unmarried couples are typically listed with the woman’s name first in the United States and the man’s name first in Europe. If you leave off titles, this format will work for either an unmarried couple or a married couple with different last names. Single women may be addressed with or without titles, depending on your preference, but be consistent. Don’t address male guests as “Mr.” if female guests won’t have titles.
Single women of any age can be called “Miss,” although it is also common to use that title for girls under 13. Addressing boys as “Master” until their thirteenth birthday is appropriate for a formal reception. It is always acceptable, however, to use children’s names without titles.
common question is how to address friends who bring guests you don’t know.
It is surely easier to write “John Smith and Guest,” and while some argue
that it is more proper, because it avoids implying a relationship that
may not exist, others disagree. “ If you can find out what the guest’s
name is, it’s nicer to do it that way,” says Joy Lewis, owner of Mrs.
John L. Strong Fine Stationery in New York City. “It just makes people
feel more welcome to see their names on the cards.”
|Displaying the Cards|
Arrange your seating cards - either tented cards or flat cards with envelopes—on the table in alphabetical order, in rows that are short enough for guests to scan.
|Examples of my Work||Client Comments & References|
|Rates & Suggestions||Traditional Address Guidelines & Etiquette|
|Printable PDF of rates & samples||Contact|
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