Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Invitation Etiquette???

In preparation for sending out my STDs, I’ve been collecting addresses, filling out spreadsheets, trying to decide how to address my guests, and reading Miss Woodley Park’s post on calligraphy.  And I’m wondering just how much traditional etiquette really matters.

For example – since I don’t intend to pay for calligraphy (there goes etiquette right there!), do I need to hand-write the addresses, or can I print them? Do I need inner envelopes? If I do use inner envelopes, do I have to refer to my married doctor friends as “The Doctors Doe,” or can I use “John and Jane”? The latter feels more personal to me, while the former feels pretentious. I don’t think I want people at my wedding who are offended that I addressed them by first name on a formal envelope. But then, maybe my friends will be touched by a bit of formality in an otherwise casual, abbreviated written world. (Idk what 2 do!)

For the last few weeks, I’ve had this plan in my head (I haven’t shared it with anyone, even Mr. CC – it’s been fairly abstract): use formal etiquette on the outer envelope. Instead of an inner envelope, use a label on a belly band or pocket fold (invitations are not yet designed) and address my guests casually, by first name or nickname.  That way, I can make clear who is invited (+/- guest) without wasting paper/$/postage on an inner envelope. But then yesterday, a recently-married friend directed me to this guide (a very helpful resource!), published by a calligrapher, which suggests that guests always appreciate the formal touch:

“A RECENT TREND:  Using just first names on inner envelopes: “Sally and Tom.”  What’s up with this?  This is the equivalent of wearing your running shoes with your elegant wedding gown.  An inner envelope, in and of itself, indicates a formal event and calls for traditional wording.  I’ve worked with brides who claim that addressing the inner envelopes with “Ms. Johnson” instead of “Sarah” sounds stuffy.  Let me reassure you: when your recipients open a traditionally addressed invitation, they will not think of you as stuffy at all!  They will feel special and value your good taste. VERY IMPORTANT:  Traditional addressing reflects the formality of the EVENT – not the level of formality of a friendship.”

Hmm … that comment was basically directed right at me … I know that I can forgo the etiquette and ignore this woman’s experience and advice, but do I want to?

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Blogger Diana said...

I did just what you were planning - formal on the outside, and informal on the pocket envelope (no inner envelope). I have a future mother-in-law that is very concerned with etiquette, so all of Mr. OBXs family, and some of mine, got more formal inner pocket names (Mr. and Mrs.), but I liked writing "Grandma OBX", just seemed more personal to me. I say do what feels right for you guys, its your wedding.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 7:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

The whole etiquette thing irritates me a bit. I did formal on the outside, DID have an inner envelope, and on that I printed first names. In my dads case, I had printed Daddy and Vicki (my stepmom) and it nearly brought him to tears. Certain etiquettes are on teh cusp of being extinct - I say do what you want! And PS-I did faux-ligraphy (printed in a light ink and traced with a liquid ink pen) and people have been RAVING

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 8:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it's whatever you want it to be. that being said if you're having an extrememly traditional and very formal affair, sticking closer to traditional will go best with what you're trying to convey.
our wedding is traditional, but way less formal. we didn't even do inner envelopes, that eliminates the need for even having to figure out how to address them.
for addressing on the outside we used basic mailing formality "Smith Family" Mr. & Mrs. Tom Smith" etc.
but we also printed them on our home printer as we have with all of our paper products for the wedding. we just used a nice pretty font that we used on other elements... i think it all depends on what you're comfortable with.
heck, my friend got an invitation the other day with a white address label on it... i think a handwritten/printed address is always nice too... it doesn't need to be professional calligraphy to make people happy.
for the most part the envelopes will go in teh garbage after they're opened anyway, so don't stress too much about it

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I relied pretty heavily on Meg's guide over at A Practical Wedding: http://www.apracticalwedding.com/2009/02/addressing-wedding-invitations-and.html.

I didn't go with inner envelopes, mostly b/c i think they're kind of pointless, and i tried to honor what i thought each individual guest would prefer. Thus, my traditional family members got Mr. and Mrs. John Jones; my friends and everyone else got Mr. and Mrs. Ed and Sue Smith.

I think the advice that you should consider the formality of the event itself is well-taken. I am having a not-so-traditional and not-so-formal wedding, so no inner envelopes for me. I do, however, think that when in doubt, skew formal. I've already had a couple family members tell me they appreciated my hand-writing (myself, not a calligrapher) their addresses on the envelopes!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Formal names go on the outside envelope, the names that you actually call the people go on the inside envelope.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Lucifer Garfield said...

This comment was wrong, wrong, WRONG! I have been planning weddings for over 10 years and to say you have to have formal/traditional wording on the inner envelope (or anywhere) is just not true.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 10:06:00 PM  

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