Do I Need Inner and Outer Envelopes for My Invitations?

Q:

Why do wedding invitations typically have an inner and outer envelope -- and do I really need both?

A:

Good question! The reason there were ever two envelopes dates back to the days of horse and carriage, when snail mail would really take a beating en route to its destination. The outer envelope served the purpose of keeping the invitation suite clean and undamaged. And while our mail system has obviously modernized, even today envelopes tend to get a little crumpled, torn or bent. In other words, it can't hurt to have an extra layer of protection for your invites.

Beyond practicality purposes, a lot of couples choose to include two envelopes out of tradition. But there's actually a real benefit to going the two-envelope route: The inner envelope typically addresses the invited in a more informal way, and includes the names of every person invited to the wedding (for example the kids' names or additional family members), while the outer envelope is usually addressed only to the heads of the household. In other words, two envelopes should clear up any confusion about who is (or isn't) invited. For example, for an adults-only wedding, the older teenagers in the family would be listed on the invitation, but any small children would not. Bottom line, they're your invitations. You don't have to follow the tradition of the double envelope if you don't want to, but it can make it more clear who is invited and mean that your invitations arrive without rips or smudges.

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