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Wedding Traditions: Should I Mail My Wedding Invitations in Two Envelopes?

Is it overkill to mail your wedding invite in a double envelope?

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The Wedding Guru answers: The tradition of mailing wedding invitations in two envelopes dates back to the days when footmen made deliveries by horse. To ensure that the invitation didn’t get dirty in transit, it was placed in a second envelope. When they reached their destination, the footmen would hand the mail to the recipient's servant, who would remove the (clean) invitation from the outer envelope and present it to the woman or man of the house.

So, why is it that we still use a double envelope now that we have mail service? The inner envelope serves a new purpose — to show who’s invited (and who’s not). For instance, this is where the mailer excludes a plus-one or children. The inner envelope can also express the attire for the event (formal, etc.).

Unfortunately, double envelopes are an expense often eliminated in a budget-crunch or for eco-friendly reasons. (Not to fear: you can still express the attire or if the wedding is for adults only, etc., by including the notation at the bottom of your invitation.) Eco-friendly and budget-conscious couples may also eliminate paper invitations altogether and opt for E-invites, which allow them greater freedom when adding notes to their invitations. Just keep in mind that E-mail invitations are only acceptable for casual affairs; if your wedding is formal, stick to printed ones.

For more information, check out’s Wedding Guide article, “Different Options for Printing Your Invitations.”

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About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.

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