Single Envelopes vs. Double Envelopes

Jun 3 2011

*{Updated 5/1/14} MagnetStreet offers white and cream mailing wedding envelopes in four different papers. We no longer offer a double envelope option. 

So, why DID they use double envelopes WAY BACK WHEN?

The town crier, while effective for some time, eventually became the least favorite option for announcing a wedding event. Anyone in ear shot was invited- which I’m sure got rather expensive.

Fast forward to the stamping of a family crest or emblem during the middle ages to the 17th century and Ludwig Von Siegen’s invention of metal plate engraving … Those that could afford it, would have a courier hand deliver their wedding invitation or rely on the postal service to deliver it. Either way, the invitation was sure to arrive either dirty or damaged. And, however spotty, the postal service had regulations on addressing items. Aha- if they used two envelopes, it would serve a two-fold purpose: the outer envelope would protect the invitation from grubby hands and travel as well as display the address- so it could get where it was supposed to go. The inner envelope would ensure a pristine arrival.

So, why do they still use double envelopes TODAY?
Is it necessary? Not necessarily. But, there are good reasons for using them.

Double envelopes are still used with more formal weddings. But, the main reason to use two envelopes, is so you can be absolutely clear about who you are inviting to your wedding. This is especially pertinent if you are keeping a strict guest list for budgeting reasons or you’re hosting an “adults only” event. It’s entirely up to you and how traditional you want to be, but read this post if you want more help with wedding invitation etiquette and addressing envelopes.

In a traditional double envelope set: the inner envelope is embellished with the liner, holds the invitation suite, and is specifically addressed with first names. The outer envelope has the stamp and is simply addressed.

for example:
{outer envelope} Mr. and Mrs. Brady and family {if children are invited}
{inner envelope} Mike and Carol {with kids listed on line below} Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy

At MagnetStreet Weddings, we call the envelope that is included with each invitation- a Mailing Envelope. And, you can choose a mailing envelope liner to coordinate with your mailing envelope. Potentially, you can have up to three envelopes with your invitation suite. The outer {Double Envelope}, the inner {Mailing Envelope} and the RSVP Envelope. {Sometimes the RSVP envelope gets confused as an inner envelope- but it isn’t}

While you can choose an envelope for your RSVPs, did you know that they will mail by themselves? Read on how you can save postage costs by sending RSVP Postcards– without envelopes.

Decoded in a nutshell. Whether you choose 1-2-3 envelopes, be sure to take a fully assembled invitation to your post office for weighing and the postage cost for every invite you send out.

Fun Fact:

Sheer vellum overlays are still used with invitations today. Initially, it was to protect the invitation from getting smudged from the ink used in the printing. Even though there is no more smudging, we like it simply because it’s pretty.




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One thought on “Single Envelopes vs. Double Envelopes

  1. Pingback: Wedding Invitation Etiquette | Truly Engaging Wedding Blog

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