Addressing envelopes seems like a fairly simple task, right? Well, it is, but whether you’re sending out birthday cards, holiday cards or thank you cards, there’s certain etiquette that must be adhered to when addressing your envelopes. Go through this checklist to ensure that your letters and cards are properly written:
- Before you put pen to paper, think about how much you have to write in this small space. You don’t want names trailing off the side of the envelope or certain words looking cramped. Consider the length of the names you’re addressing and how that will fit onto one line. For instance, if you’re addressing the card to a married couple, you’ll need to leave enough space to fit both names on the same top line. If you’d like, you can very lightly write down the names in pencil first to see how much room you have to work with.
- If the cards you’re sending out are invitations to an event like a wedding or a dinner party, you should be sure to write the names of all invited on the envelope. This makes it clear exactly who is invited to the event. Here are a few wording examples:
For a married couple:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
For a couple in a long-term relationship:
Allison Margaret (names are on separate lines for non-married couples)
For a married couple and their kids:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Katie, Samantha and John
- Keep in mind that any guest you’re inviting who is over the age of 18 should get their own invitation, even if they live in the same household as their parents.
- Professional title such as “Doctor” should be spelled out, never abbreviated.
- Refrain from using ampersand and instead just spell out the word.
- Apartment numbers, house numbers and suite numbers should always be written in numeral form. However, if the number one stands alone, it should be spelled out (ex: One Cherokee Boulevard).
- Spell out the state name, along with common words like “street,” “boulevard” or “avenue.” If the state doesn’t fit on the same line as the city, it’s OK to write it on the line below.
- When you’re mailing out formal stationery, the return address should be printed on the back flap of the envelope. Save yourself some time and design your own custom embosser, which will add a stylish and professional look to each and every invitation you send out.
- If the event is a formal one, the writing on the front of the envelope should reflect that. Take your time writing out each word so the envelope comes across as clean and professional as possible. You can even learn how to fake calligraphy with just a few easy steps (and I do mean easy).
- Names and addresses should be written out in black or dark blue ink, as it’s the easiest to read and offers a professional look.