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Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing.  Calligraphy can be any style of lettering.  Envelopes addressed with beautiful hand calligraphy can be elegant and unique. An experienced calligrapher can custom match script styles and colors to coordinate with your invitation. Calligraphic art can be customized using unique decoration, color and style to make your words visually appealing.
Hand Calligraphy by Catharine Hoffmaster
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Addressing Your Wedding Envelopes
Your addressed envelope is the first impression of your wedding.  It sets the tone for one of the most formal days of your life.  By using formal etiquette your guests know this is not an everyday event.  It is time to get dressed up and celebrate with you.  Some mistakenly think this approach is not friendly or too stuffy--not so!  Your wedding guests are familiar with this tradition.  
*As an experienced calligrapher, I accept typed guest lists with abbreviations and automatically spell out address lines using formal etiquette.  See Preparing your guest list.
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
317 North Oak Lane
Cleveland, Ohio  12345 

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
 
OUTSIDE
INSIDE
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
317 North Oak Lane
Cleveland, Ohio  12345 
OUTSIDE only
Wedding invitations have an . . .

Outside Envelope - list full name with title and
&      complete address
Inside Envelope - list exactly who is invited using
    surname with title
           
           OR

Outside Envelope only - list full name with title for all guests                                        and complete address
TYPE OF GUEST                OUTSIDE          &           INSIDE                      OUTSIDE ONLY

MARRIED COUPLES


   Woman uses maiden name

   Woman has title


   Both are doctors with
   same surname


   Both are doctors-different
   surnames
------------------------------------------

CHILDREN - under 18


   Over 18 years old

------------------------------------------

UNMARRIED COUPLES
   residing together
​   list closest friend first or         alphabetically 

   residing separately
       send to closest friend
------------------------------------------

UNMARRIED MALE

   Male with guest  

------------------------------------------

UNMARRIED FEMALE

   Female with guest


   Divorced Female-
   uses maiden name


   Divorced  Female-
   uses married name

------------------------------------------

TITLES


   Clergy


  Judge

------------------------------------------
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith


Mr. John Smith and
Ms. Jessica Jones

Dr. Sara Smith and
Mr. John Smith

Drs. Sara and John Smith


Dr. John Smith and
Dr. Jessica Jones
----------------------------------------
(listed on inside only 
by first name in birth order)

(separate invitation even
when residing at home)

----------------------------------------

Mr. John Smith and
Ms. Jessica Jones
​       "and" is optional 

Ms. Jessica Jones
​           
----------------------------------------

Mr. John Smith

Mr. John Smith

----------------------------------------

Ms./Miss Jessica Jones


Ms./Miss Jessica Jones


Ms. Mary Jones


Ms./Mrs. Mary Smith

----------------------------------------


The Reverend and 
Mrs. Mark Scott


The Honorable and
Mrs. John Smith
----------------------------------------
Mr. and Mrs. Smith


Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones


Dr. Smith and Mr. Smith


The Drs. Smith



Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones

------------------------------------
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
Jeremy and Amy


(see unmarried )

------------------------------------

Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones



Ms. Jones and Mr. Smith


------------------------------------

Mr. Smith

Mr. Smith and guest

------------------------------------

Ms./Miss Jones


Ms./Miss Jones and guest



Ms. Jones


Ms./Mrs. Smith

------------------------------------


The Reverend and 
Mrs. Scott


Judge and Mrs. Smith

------------------------------------
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Mr. John Smith and
Ms. Jessica Jones

Dr. Sara Smith and 
Mr. John Smith


Drs. Sara and John Smith 


Dr. John Smith and
Dr. Jessica Jones

----------------------------------------
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
Jeremy and Amy


(see unmarried)

----------------------------------------

Mr. John Smith
Ms. Jessica Jones


Ms. Jessica Jones
Mr. John Smith

----------------------------------------

Mr. John Smith

Mr. John Smith and Guest

----------------------------------------

Ms./Miss Jessica Jones


Ms./Miss Jessica Jones
and Guest


Ms. Mary Jones


Ms./Mrs. Smith

----------------------------------------


The Reverend and
Mrs. Mark Scott


The Honorable and 
Mrs. John Smith

----------------------------------------
Etiquette is all about showing consideration and respect for others.  Below are some suggestions for addressing your envelopes.

Ms. or Miss - Miss is used for unattached females and girls under 18 years old.  Ms. is commonly used by most unmarried women today over 18 years old.  Always take in consideration someone's preference.

Master - This title is used for young boys under 7 years old.  No title is used for boys between 7 and 13.

Middle Initials & Names - Normally, middle initials and middle names are not included.  It becomes a space problem, also.  An exception is when a person always uses their middle initial or middle name (even for social correspondence).

and Family - avoid this since it can be misinterpreted.  Family members should be specified. (see below)

Guest or Escort - Guest is mostly used because it provides flexibility to the invitee.  Escort is less common and is used for females only.

Dr. or Doctor - Dr. is acceptable for addressing envelopes.  "Doctor" spelled out becomes a spacing problem.
  
Titles - Doctor, Judge, Clergy, Military - The person with the special title (whether married or unmarried) is                                                                   listed first.
Foreign Addresses - Use the proper addressing for that country.  Special postage will be needed for your invitation envelope and response envelope.

Find Zip Codes - www.usps.com - Use only 5 digits - Good source to check street address spellings, etc.
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Wedding invitation envelopes are traditionally*handwritten with address lines spelled out.
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Catharine Hoffmaster compiled the above information
as a courtesy to her customers.

Contact Catharine to receive an estimate to have your envelopes beautifully addressed
by clicking on . . .  Get A Quote
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See
Envelope Samples
for different styles
E N V E L O P E   E T I Q U E T T E
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W E D D I N G   T I P S
For Your Special Day


Book Your Event Early 
with your calligrapher         
Schedules can fill quickly 

Order Extra Envelopes
At least 25 extra is recommended.
This is the least costly way to ensure that only the
best envelopes are mailed.  There are always
changes and casualties.

Ornate Scripts
may be difficult to letter on small or narrow 
envelopes.  An experienced calligrapher will have some clever solutions.

Consider Size & Shape of Envelopes
Extra large, heavy or unusually-shaped envelopes
require extra postage.

Envelope Etiquette 
Find answers to those questions about using the proper form for addressing your outside and inside (or outside only) wedding envelopes above.

Group Foreign Addresses
Keeping all your foreign addresses together on your guest list will facilitate the special postage needed when you are ready to mail your invitations.  Special postage may also be needed for their response cards.

Find Zip Codes 
at www.usps.com

Proofread Your Guest List 
b a c k w a r d s
You will catch misspellings, etc. easier.

Before Buying Stamps 
Assemble a complete wedding invitation with all the 
enclosures to be weighed at the post office for the
correct postage and to select the stamp that best
coordinates with your invitation.



Choosing a Calligrapher
Experience is important. It takes years to develop the skills to match scripts and colors plus create attractive designs.
Compare samples & pricing.  Not all calligraphy is created equal.  Elegant lettering can be affordable with the right calligrapher.

Number Your Response Cards
Record a number for each addressee on your guest
list and use these corresponding numbers on the 
reverse side of your response cards in case 
someone forgets to record their name and to
expedite "checking off" confirmations.

Stuffing Your Envelopes
Gather together all the inserts with your invitations.
Count out exactly 25 of each insert into a separate pile. Now as you stuff each envelope, you will have a double check with every 25 envelopes that you have enclosed all the inserts.   

Have Your Invitations Hand Canceled
Consider having your invitations hand canceled
at the post office to avoid machine marks.  Smaller
post offices may better accommodate your request.

Ask your Caterer 
Where they prefer to have your entree listed on your table place cards for each guest.  This will facilitate the servers.


Wow--the envelopes are beautiful!  Our wedding guests are going to be blown away by your beautiful calligraphy.  Thank you, thank you :)
           Amy T.
            REBOBOTH BEACH, DELAWARE

I wanted to let you know that my family and I were thrilled with the envelopes.  Just gorgeous!
Many thanks.      
           Ashley B.
            NEW YORK, NEW YORK

We love the envelopes!  Once again, thank you for doing a beautiful job for us.  I will highly recommend your TALENT to everyone!      
           Sandy M.
            SINKING SPRING, PENNSYLVANIA

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