How to Address a Formal Envelope

Written by si kingston
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You don't want to look unprofessional or insult your recipients or guests by addressing them incorrectly on a formal envelope. A formal envelope addresses the recipients by title. It also follows rules of gender and age. If you are creating an invitation, you must have two separate envelopes -- one outer and one inner. Depending upon the recipient, the outer and inner envelope may follow different addressing rules. The inner envelope includes only the recipient name. A formal envelope is also used by itself to send regular mail documents. In this case, it is not necessary to include an inner envelope.

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  1. 1

    Address the formal outer envelope to a married couple as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe." If the male recipient holds a title such as "Dr.," address the envelope as "Dr. and Mrs. John Doe." If the couple has children under the age of 12, centre the name on the inner envelope as "Mr. and Mrs. Doe." Underneath, address the male child as "Master Doe" and the female child as "Miss Doe." For children over the age of 12, address the child on the inner envelope using her first name -- "Miss June Doe."

  2. 2

    Send a formal letter to an unmarried, or married couple that uses separate surnames. Address the outer envelope as "Mr. John Doe," and place the woman's name directly below the males name -- "Ms. Jane Smith." Use the same address strategy on the inner envelope.

  3. 3

    Enter the name of a single man or woman with a guest. Enter the name of the recipient only on the outer envelope -- "Mr. John Doe." Enter the name plus the generic term "Escort" on the inner envelope -- "Mr. John Doe and Escort."

  4. 4

    Address the outer and inner envelopes to a recipient or couple which hold titles. If the husband is a judge, address the outer envelope as "The Honorable and Mrs. John Doe." The inner envelope address is slightly different -- "Judge and Mrs. John Doe." If the wife is a judge, enter her name first and use the husband's first name -- "The Honorable Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe." Address the inner envelope as "Judge Doe and Mr. Doe." To address a married couple that are both doctors, enter "Dr. Jane Doe and Dr. John Doe" or "The Doctors Doe" on the outer envelope. Enter the same address -- "The Doctors Doe" -- on the inner envelope.

  1. 1

    Enter the street number and name under the recipient's name on the outer envelope. When entering the street address, spell out single street numbers, directions -- such as East or West -- and any other words such as Post Office Box, Street, Avenue or Drive.

  2. 2

    Write out the full city and state name under the street address on the outer envelope.

  3. 3

    Enter the zip code after the full-state name or centre it on the line underneath.

  4. 4

    Type the special mailing notation in upper case under the postage area on the outer envelope. This optional notation -- such as SPECIAL DELIVERY, CERTIFIED MAIL or AIRMAIL -- informs the recipient that the letter was sent using a service other than the standard mail.

  5. 5

    Enter the on-arrival notation. This option indicates private or confidential mail. Enter the notation in all upper case -- PERSONAL or CONFIDENTIAL -- so the right edge of the notation lines up with the left edge of the recipient's address.

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