The wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire wedding. Casual or formal, elaborate or simple, they vary widely in design -- just as weddings do. One thing that is similar to almost all wedding invitations, however, is the use of two envelopes. The larger, outer envelope is the one that is formally addressed. The smaller, inner envelope contains the actual invitation and the names of the invited guests.
Names written on the inner envelope are less formal and more specific than those written on the outer envelope. For example, although you might write "Doctor and Mrs. John Smith" on the outer envelope, you can write "Uncle John and Aunt Martha" on the inner envelope. In general, use familiar names -- first and last -- if you are very close to the guests or if they are close family members. If children are invited, this is the place to list their names. List the full names of the children. Finally, if you are inviting a single friend, the inner envelope is the place to list "and Guest" so that your friend knows she is invited to bring a date. In general, women over 18 are usually addressed as "Ms." while those under 18 are addressed as "Miss."
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images