Envelope Addressing Etiquette

You've picked out your wedding invitations, you've finalized your guest list, and now it's time to think about addressing your envelopes. I provide calligraphy and envelope printing for my invitation clients, but before they send me their lists, I ask them to double-check every name and address to make sure they are correctly formatted.

There are all kinds of rules when it comes to the proper way to address an envelope for a formal invitation, and they vary based a guest's marital status, title, or living situation. There are also rules about how to format the addresses themselves to give your envelope the formality deserving of a wedding invitation. To avoid offending your guests, and to help clarify who is being invited to your wedding, make sure you adhere to the guidelines below. I've included two parts for your reference: first, a list of address formatting tips, and second, a list of proper etiquette for addressing your guests.

Note: these rules apply mainly to formal invitations, but you can apply them to your Save the Dates if you prefer to convey a more formal tone from the start.

address formatting envelope etiquette emily rose ink

IF YOU KNOW THE FULL NAME OF THE GUEST, YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IT ON THE LINE BELOW YOUR INVITEE'S NAME

*THE MORE TRADITIONAL OPTION WOULD BE TO OMIT THE "AND," LISTING THEM ON SEPARATE LINES (WOMAN ON 1ST LINE & MAN ON 2ND). FOR GAY & LESBIAN COUPLES LIVING TOGETHER, THE SAME OPTON APPLIES, BUT THEY COULD BE LISTED ALPHABETICALLY OR IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE

IF YOU KNOW THE NAME OF YOUR INVITEE'S GUEST, YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IT ON THE LINE BELOW YOUR INVITEE'S NAME

*THIS OPTION SHOULD BE USED IF THE WOMAN WILL BE TAKING HER HUSBAND'S LAST NAME. IF SHE WILL BE KEEPING HER MAIDEN NAME, THE COUPLE CAN BE LISTED AS "THE FUTURE MR. JOHN LEE AND MRS. EMILY POST"

*KIDS OVER 18 GET THEIR OWN INVITATIONS, EVEN IF THEY ARE LIVING AT HOME.

*LIST NAMES ALPHABETICALLY

                        *LIST NAMES ALPHABETICALLY

*KIDS OVER 18 GET THEIR OWN INVITATIONS, EVEN IF THEY ARE LIVING AT HOME.

 *LIST NAMES ALPHABETICALLY

                        *LIST NAMES ALPHABETICALLY

* ALTERNATIVELY, YOU COULD WRITE "DOCTOR SEAN HYLAND AND DOCTOR RACHEL HYLAND" (MAN FIRST)

* NOTE THAT THE WOMAN'S NAME COMES FIRST

ANOTHER ACCEPTABLE OPTION IS TO ADDRESS THE WIDOW BY HER FORMAL MARRIED TITLE - "MRS. JOHN ABRAHAM, FOR EXAMPLE. HOWEVER, IT IS BEST TO ASK THE GUEST'S PREFERECE,  AND I WOULD DEFAULT TO THE EXAMPLE ABOVE.

IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO USE EITHER "MRS." OR "MS" TO ADDRESS A DIVORCED WOMAN.

A Mediterranean Garden Wedding: Jeana + Mitchell

I'm so excited to finally share photos from Jeana and Mitchell's stunning Mediterranean Garden-themed Wedding in Indian Hills, California. This was one of the first full custom weddings I did with Emily Rose Ink, so it was really fun to play with the possibilities and see what I could do with watercolor.

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THEIR STORY:

Jeana and Mitchell met when they were studying abroad together in Cyprus, and it's been true love for these two blonde lovebirds ever since.

They live in Denver, but they wanted to have an intimate destination wedding in a warm climate where they could emphasize the Mediterranean origins of their relationship. The ceremony and reception were held at the Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Hills, California, just outside Palm Springs. The venue, with its gold stucco and vine-covered walls, has a rustic Mediterranean feel, so it was the perfect compliment to their theme and story. 

WEDDING DECOR:

The color palette of the wedding was gold, yellow, blush, and coral, a warm palette that beautifully complemented the natural yellows and pinks of the venue. Lemons and olive branches were incorporated throughout, both in the form of lemon trees and in the flower arrangements and table accents.

Here are some of the other vendors who helped create this gorgeous celebration for Jeana and Mitch:
Wedding Planner: Wendy Dahl at Chic Productions // Photographer: Christopher Todd Studios // Floral Design: Artisan Events

THEIR PAPER GOODS:

I really love this invitation suite; it was a joy to create, and it has been by far one of my most popular wedding invitations to date. The soft colors and florals, the hints of metallics, and the pops of color just work so well together. 

It was important to me that the beautiful color palette of their wedding was reflected in the paper goods, and Jeana and I talked about incorporating lush florals and a rustic Mediterranean feel into the invitation suite. I painted the flowers around a brown vine-like border so that it felt like a window into a secret garden, with flowers dripping from the top and growing around the edges. I also incorporated lemons and olive branches throughout the invitation suite to reference the Mediterranean theme. 

(Product photos by Roots of Life Photography)

 We pulled out all the stops for this amazing fete, printing on luxe cotton double-thick paper with gold foil stamping. The envelope liners and belly bands were crafted out of a textured gold handmade paper. I addressed the envelopes in gold calligraphy, and finished them with vintage floral stamps.

For Jeana and Mitchell's day-of paper goods, I re-used the border from the main invitation for escort cards, which had guests' names written in metallic gold. Jeana had the idea of creating a menu that doubled as a table number, so we came up with a really beautiful design that used blush watercolor table numbers in the background of the menus at each table.

I always cry when I get sweet notes from my clients (I'm just a hopeless sap), but I was legitimately sad when Jeana and Mitch's wedding was over; working with Jeana was a dream, and I just loved what I was able to create for her. 

I'm thrilled to announce that this invitation suite will be part of my upcoming collection of pre-designed invitations, which will be launching in January of 2016! If you're a bride-to-be and you're interested in using these designs for your own wedding, contact me for more information.

Invitation Etiquette for the Nontraditional Wedding

I'm right in the middle of wedding season right now, and I find myself sending the same emails to couples over and over when we're working on the details of their wedding invitations. So I decided to put together a series of blog posts to address some of the most common tips I give regarding invitations. For this post, I created an easily printable and pinterest-friendly infographic.

Because my invitations tend to be more whimsical and illustrative, I find that I attract clients who are having slightly less traditional weddings. They want their weddings to be unforgettable, beautiful events that are reflective of their unique personalities, and this extends to their wedding invitations, as well. In general, weddings are full of conventions and century-old traditions, some of which seem stuffy or outdated to the modern couple. With that being said, there are certain conventions regarding invitation etiquette that serve an important function. So here it is: five rules you should break and five rules you should keep when it comes to invitation etiquette for the nontraditional wedding.

Invitation Etiquette Infographic for the Nontraditional Wedding
 

I'd love to hear what other resources regarding wedding invitations you'd like to see from me. If you have any requests, let me know in the comments!

 

Motivation Monday: Walt Whitman Quote

 I've always loved and collected words that touch or inspire me -- even as a young, avid reader, I remember copying down lyrics and poems into a little journal so that I could re-read them and listen to the words ring around my head, turning them over like a geologist studying precious rocks. When I started making cards, I began with my favorite quotes because I was always looking for cards with the beautiful and wise words of my favorite authors (rather than the kitschy Hallmark cards full of trite cliches). This was one of the first ones I painted:

Emily Rose Ink Whitman quotation

Walt Whitman has been one of my favorite poets for a long time. This quote, excerpted from "Song of Myself," has been in my files since the first time I read the poem, but it's one that keeps coming back to me even after all these years. The idea of self-improvement is part of the American ethos, and I grew up believing that in order to succeed, I needed to strive for betterment. Yes, I told myself, I needed to be more organized, more healthy, more outgoing, more motivated, and I think we all do this constantly, thinking that if we don't, we're lazy or lacking drive. But in the process of all that desire to be something more, we end up wanting to be someone else. All my efforts to "improve" were really just destroying my sense of self and my sense of self-worth. Whitman's poem is a celebration of the self in all its imperfect glory - "I celebrate myself, and sing myself," he begins the poem. But he also urges us to be brave in our beliefs and our actions:

YOU MUST HABIT YOURSELF TO THE DAZZLE OF THE LIGHT AND OF EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE. LONG HAVE YOU TIMIDLY WADED HOLDING A PLANK BY THE SHORE, 
NOW I WILL YOU TO BE A BOLD SWIMMER, 
TO JUMP OFF IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA, RISE AGAIN, NOD TO ME, SHOUT, AND LAUGHINGLY DASH WITH YOUR HAIR.

He wants us to be "bold swimmers," to "jump" bravely into the unknown...but in order to do that, we have to become comfortable with the "dazzle" of our lives. In the last few years, I've tried to focus my energy on self-acceptance rather than self-improvement, and it hasn't been easy. But I've found that when I'm happy with just being myself, I'm more likely to swim boldly through my life, to do the things that affirm and excite me and give me confidence. Like picking up painting again, and starting my own business. This whole journey into the stationery business has been a turn I never thought I'd make in my life, and it was a little scary at first. But letting go of that plank has brought me so much joy.

Originally, all my literary cards were painted in black and white for a very simple, clean look. Lately, though, I've been seeing black and white brush lettering everywhere on the internet, so I wanted to spruce my designs up a little bit with borders inspired by beautiful textiles. I'm really liking this new colorful look. It's not clean or perfect, but it's bold and it makes me smile. 

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