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Proper Way to Address Envelopes

Proper Way to Address Envelopes

If you are thinking of sending some greeting via the good old means and are perplexed about what is the proper way to address envelopes, read further for tips to write the same.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Aug 7, 2018
When you have a festive season, there is no better way to wish your family and friends prosperity and happiness, than the good old mail. Unlike emails where there is no 'code of conduct' per se, one has to keep in mind certain etiquette while writing the greetings. You need to learn the proper way to address envelopes, which is not difficult but tricky.
Writing Etiquette
Vintage invitation envelop
  • Always remember to write the invitations and addresses by hand.
  • Use good quality stationery.
  • Avoid spelling mistakes, and make sure that your handwriting is legible.
  • Keep the greeting, invitation, and the envelope neat.
  • Remember to send the invitation and the greetings well in time.
  • Don't miss out on any member of the family.
  • All the addresses should ideally be in capital letters, according to US postal services.
Formal Manner
The correct way to address envelopes is very easy. If you are sending a greeting/invitation to a boss, colleague, or someone with whom you have a formal acquaintance, remember to follow the same conduct here. The address should come in this format.

Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith
(Name of the Business/Company)
(Street Address)
(City) (State) (Zip)
Remember that if the receiver has a middle name, don't use the initial for it, either write it in full or leave it out. If the husband and wife have different surnames, then the right way to address them is - Mrs. Samantha Murphy and Mr. Jack Woods. Remember to always use the complete titles, like Reverend, Rabbi, Lieutenant, General, Mayor, or Senator.
In case of a married couple, if the wife is a doctor or holds a title, her name will come first, for example Dr. Jane Austin and Mr. Peter Austin. If one is to address the aforementioned title as Mr. Adam Smith and Mrs. Adam Smith instead of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith, the former one will be incorrect.
It is not incorrect to leave name of the children from the outer envelope, but one should mention the names inside, either exclusively or write Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith and family.
The proper way to direct an envelope is to make sure that you spell the city and state name completely. Don't abbreviate it. Always remember to mention the zip. This also holds true for the envelopes for wedding invitations.
Informal Manner
The correct way to address envelopes for greetings to people with whom you are well acquainted is much easier. It is not mandatory to use the formal title. You can just address it to 'The Smith Family'.

Ms. Jessica Rich
C/o (Mr and Mrs Adam Smith)/(Name of the Business/Company)
(Street Address)
(City) (State) (Zip)
In the case of informal greetings, it is best to not abbreviate the city, state, or the country name. Also, don't forget to write your address on the left lower corner on the reverse side of the envelope.
For season greetings, it is best to hand write the addresses, but in case, one is sending a formal letter or something, a printed address will suffice. The address should be in all capital with no punctuations, this holds true for formal addressing also. Remember to use simple fonts if you are planning to print out the addresses.
These were some tips about addressing envelopes in the correct fashion. Remember, if you are sending seasons greetings, it is best to personalize the greetings, so spend some time handwriting the envelopes. Small gestures go a long way in making the receiver feel warm.