Do You Need Double Envelopes for Wedding Invitations?

 
 
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Who else wants their fancy wedding invitations to be delivered to guests in tiptop shape? Welp, this one’s for you, friend, because today, I’m answering that age-old question, Do you need double envelopes for wedding invitations?

First, what are double envelopes? It means you have an outer envelope over your wedding suite. So, essentially, you end up with two large envelopes, the inner envelope being just a smidge smaller than the outer envelope.

Why would you ever add a second envelope? Back in the ol’ horse-and-buggy days, mail used to get really dirty in transit. An outer envelope was added to protect the wedding invitation suite from getting soiled, torn, mangled, etc.

Today, it’s not necessary to have double envelopes for wedding invitations. However, it is still common for mail to arrive torn, bent, scuffed or damaged.

And if I’m being totally honest, there’s nothing quite as anxiety-inducing as getting an email from a client whose had a bad experience with the post office and needs extra invitations to replace the damaged ones.

So if you want to play it safe with your wedding paper, mark double envelopes for wedding invitations as a “do”.

There’s also another plus to double envelopes–you can indicate clearly who’s invited to the wedding by addressing your inner envelope with each guest’s name. (But we’ll get to that later!)

In today’s post, I cover all the basics of double envelopes for wedding invitations. You’ll learn:

  • Do you really need double envelopes for wedding invitations?

  • How to address outer wedding envelopes

  • Is extra postage required?

  • And, what to do if you forego double envelopes.

Let’s get right down to it, friend!

Here’s When You Need Double Envelopes for Wedding Invitations…

black-tie or white-tie weddings

If your wedding is black-tie or white-tie, using double envelopes for your wedding invitations are essential in setting the tone for the big day. Not only does it add a bit of formality, but it also protects your invitation suite from getting damaged in the mail. (And if your wedding is black-tie or white-tie, I’m assuming you went with luxurious wedding invitations, right?)

mailing invitations overseas

Since these wedding invitations have a loooong way to go, an outer envelope is going to be your best bet to protecting your invitations.

adults-only weddings

An outer envelope is incredibly useful if you’re having an adults-only affair since traditionally you aren’t supposed to say “adults-only” on wedding invitations. Double envelopes for wedding invitations offer a clever workaround for adults-only events.

You can be very specific about who invited guests are with your inner envelope.

Use the outer envelope to address invitations to the parents, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. Use the inner envelope to be a little more specific about who the invited guests are, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (formal) or John and Mary.

to protect invitations from damage

You absolutely adore your wedding invitations (I hope!).

You spent hours gathering inspiration for your suite or trying to find the right design to set the tone for your big day.

You splurged on envelope liners or gold foil printing.

Even your envelopes were professionally calligraphed.

And then a decent amount of envelopes get torn and scuffed as they are delivered to your guests. They look like they’ve been through the ringer, and they certainly aren’t as pristine as when they were dropped off at the post office.

Not a huge deal, but you paid good money for your stationery and were hoping the post office would handle them with a little more care.

Double envelopes can help protect against a lot of wear and tear, even if the outside envelope rips. So if this situation is something you would like to avoid, an outer envelope is the way to go.

 
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    How to Address Wedding Invitations with Double Envelopes

    The outer envelope should be addressed in a more formal style, but you can opt for first names on the inner envelope. However, if your wedding is black-tie or white-tie, go with formal for both envelopes to set the tone for the evening.

    For full details on how to address wedding invitations, I’ve included a handy how-to guide on how to address double envelopes, so pop in your details above to grab your guide.

    For now, here are a few basic examples.

    Married Couple

    Outer Envelope

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

    Inner Envelope

    Mr. and Mrs. Smith

    or (less formal)

    Mary and John




    Married Couple with Children Under 18 Invited*

    Outer Envelope

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

    Inner Envelope

    Mr. and Mrs. Smith
    Sarah, Thomas and Peter

    or (less formal)

    Mary and John
    Sarah, Thomas and Peter

    *Children over 18 (even if they are still living at home) should receive their own invitation.

    married couple with different last names

    Outer Envelope

    Mrs. Mary Jones and Mr. John Smith

    Inner Envelope

    Mrs. Jones and Mr. Smith

    or (less formal)

    Mary and John




    unmarried couple living together*

    Outer Envelope

    Ms. Mary Jones
    Mr. John Smith

    Inner Envelope

    Ms. Jones
    Mr. Smith

    or (less formal)

    Mary
    John

    *The “and” signifies marriage (i.e. as in a married couple with different last names), so you omit the “and” for unmarried couples and write their names on separate lines.

    Do I Need Extra Postage for Double Envelopes?

    Not necessarily. As long as your wedding suite is under 1 oz. when assembled, you’ll be fine to use one stamp.

    However, if your envelopes are square or over 1 oz. when assembled, you’ll need to get a second stamp.

    Can I Skip Double Envelopes for Wedding Invitations?

    Absolutely! So many brides today go this route. If you skip double envelopes but still want to protect your invitations, have them hand-canceled at the post office instead. It still may not protect your invitations from usual wear and tear during transit, but as least it will prevent the sorting machine from mangling your envelopes.

    Make sure to write out names of all invited guests on the invitation envelope, too, and not just the parents’ names. For example, write the parent’s names on the first line, i.e. “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith”, and on the next line down write the children’s names, i.e. “Sarah, Thomas and Peter”.

    And there you have it, friend! Whether or not you decide to add double envelopes is up to you, but either way, you may want to check out my handy-dandy envelope addressing guide. (It’s a good one, promise!) Pop your details in below to grab your guide and get one step closer to mailing out those invites!

     
    My Foolproof Wedding Envelope Cheat Sheet

     
    Sign up to get my free, etiquette-approved addressing guide. (With over 25 examples to make your own!)

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      Valerie Freeman