Whether you’re sending baby shower invitations, birthday invitations or thank you cards, chances are you’ll need to address a few envelopes in the process. If you haven’t brushed up on your envelope etiquette in a while, don’t worry—we’ve created this mini-crash course on addressing envelopes with formal etiquette to help you make sure everything looks perfectly flawless!

Ink: Address envelopes with black or dark blue ink.


  • Do not use abbreviations in your social stationery with the exception of non-professional titles such as Mr., Mrs., Jr., etc.
  • Professional titles such as “Doctor” should be spelled out.
  • Refrain from using symbols for “and.”


  • Write all house numbers in numeral form (1, 2, 3…). The number “one,” is the only exception—spell it out when it stands alone (e.g. One Panther Way).
  • Write apartment numbers, suite numbers and zip codes in numeral form.
  • Avoid state abbreviations.
  • Do not abbreviate common address words like “Street,” “Boulevard” or “Avenue.”

Return Addresses:

  • For formal stationery, print your return address on the closed back flap of the envelope (Tiny Prints offers this service to save you time, or you can use our adorable matching return address labels!)
  • Center the recipient’s address on the front of the envelope.
  • Use the same color of ink and font style on the envelope that you used for the invitation or announcement inside.
  • Exclude your name from the return address.

Stuffing the Envelopes: The printed side of the announcement or invitation should be the side facing the recipient when he or she opens the stationery, so be sure to stuff your envelopes with the printed side of your invitations and announcements facing the flap of the envelope.

Category: Etiquette
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One Response to

  1. michelle says:

    You say to avoid state abbreviations, but as I understand it, the post office wants us all to use them to make sorting easier. While the spelled out name looks nice, I’m not sure that it is really the correct way to go. Any thoughts?

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