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?