Addressing inner envelopes – formal vs. informal wedding invitations

In searching for an answer to my question, I found a partial explanation in a response by Rebecca Black dated 8/22/07. In that posting, a MOB asked about addressing the inner envelopes for her daughter and Ms. Black said that since the invitations are for the bride’s wedding, the inner envelopes should be addressed using the bride’s “voice,” but I’d like a little further clarification.

I, too, am the MOB and am addressing the invitations for my daughter. I understand that I can write the names that my daughter uses for people when addressing the inner envelopes (i.e., Aunt Jean and Uncle Frank, Grandma Phyllis). What about cousins that she calls by their first names? Should their inner envelopes be addressed to “Mike and Sue” or should I revert to “Mr. and Mrs. Jones” whenever there isn’t a family “title” like Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, etc.?

Also, what do I do about addressing the inner envelopes for the groom’s family? Should they all say “Mr. and Mrs. Johnson”, since she knows very few of his relatives who live on the other end of the US? Should the inner envelopes for the people my daughter does know be addressed using first names? For example, if she calls her future in-laws John and Mary, is that how the inner envelope should be addressed? Her fiance has an Uncle who she calls Uncle Bob, so should his inner envelope be addressed that way, or should it say “Mr. Smith”?

I’ve found conflicting information on various websites, so anything you can do to help clear this up for me would be much appreciated.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Ajh,

Nicknames and relationship based references/titles are used on inner envelopes exactly as you have stated. But, typically we use the formal form when addressing to those invited. So, for the cousins it would be: Mr. and Mrs… .

The conflicting advice about the groom’s side of the invitations is understandable. In the past, the bride and her family did most of the planning–the heavy lifting. But, today it should be the couple doing most of the work, which includes the groom pitching in for all wedding related correspondences. So, in this case, we would use “his” voice for his family’s invitations. This would mean that he will have to give a bit of his time to help you decode the list. [;)]

I’m not sure we have ever mentioned this before, so it is great you asked!

Best wishes,