Many people are surprised to learn there is an etiquette to stuffing envelopes for invitations and announcements. There is a certain order in which items should be placed in the envelope. While you may be tempted to just just stuff the items in, tradition dictates how things are done.
- First, hold the envelope you will be stuffing with the back opening facing you. Place the invitation or announcement in the envelope with the bottom side down and the words facing forward. When the recipient opens the envelope, she see will immediately see and be able to read part of the invitation or announcement. As she pulls it out, she will not have to flip or turn it to read it.
When more than one item is being placed into the envelope, the larger pieces go in front. Again, hold the envelope with the back facing you. The invitation or announcement should be the largest and will go in first. The rest are then inserted according to size, from largest to smallest. If there are similar-size items, the more important items go in front. A common order of importance is the invitation, the reply envelope facing forward with the reply card tucked backward under the flap and the reception card.
Inner and Outer Envelopes
- If you are stuffing wedding invitations, you may have two large envelopes (plus the small reply envelope). The larger of the two is the outer envelope and the slightly smaller one is the inner envelope. Stuff the inner envelope as described in Section 1. The inner envelope is usually not sealed and is flipped over to the front where you should write the individual names of the people who are invited. Then, place it into the outer envelope so that when the recipient opens it, she will immediately see the front of the inner envelope with the invited guests' names.
- Tissues were originally used in invitations so the ink would not bleed onto one of the items in the envelope. Since everything is now computer generated and bleeding ink is no longer a concern, neither is using tissues. However, if you still wish to be traditional, place one layer of tissue in front of each printed item. Larger pieces will go in front of the actual invitation while the smaller pieces should go in front of the smaller items like the reception card.
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