Do I Need Inner + Outer Wedding Envelopes?

Planning Tips


Today I am going to talk all about wedding invitation envelopes, specifically the inner + outer envelope situation.

Truthfully, before this season I didn’t do them much. But as the elements of my suites have become more complex (and more precious!) I’ve been recommending to some couples to go this route. I’ll explain why below, along with other reason that doing the inner envelope will benefit your beautiful suite. Let’s dive in!


Let’s start with a little history and some basic definitions!

What are wedding invitation inner envelopes?

Inner envelopes are an additional envelope that holds the invitation suite. Imagine the days of Bridgerton, These were used many years ago when mail would be delivered via horse + carriage. Because the outer envelope could get dirty via the pony express, it would be discarded upon delivery and just the inner envelope would be handed to the recipient.

palm springs wedding envelope calligraphy

Do inner envelopes need to be addressed?

Traditionally they do, listing out each person invited to the event. However, if your main objective in having an inner envelope is simply to protect the contents, then not addressing them is a way to save a little money!

vintage postage stamp envelope

Do I need inner envelopes for my wedding invitations?

The important question! That’s probably why you’ve come to this blog post in the first place. The answer is, it depends. Let’s break down the benefits of having an inner envelope.

Clarifying Who Is Invited

With inner envelopes, you can make clear who is, and is not, invited to the wedding. Traditionally the outer envelope had the full mailing address plus the addresses “heads of household” (e.g.. “Mr. and Mrs. John Shannon), while the inner envelope lists out each guest invited, and no address (e.g. “John Shannon / Sarah Shannon / John Shannon Jr. / Emma Shannon).  If you are having a wedding where only older kids are allowed, or no kids are allowed, this is a way to make it very clear who is invited and who isn’t.

Tip: if this is important, there are other ways to communicate this without the inner envelope. For example, you could put an area on the rsvp card where you write how many seats are reserved for the family. You can also write on the invitation “adult reception to follow”.  However, the inner envelope is the clearest way to clarify who is on the list and who isn’t!

gold envelope with white calligraphy

Getting Personal with Guests

Being able to address the inner envelopes is an opportunity to be a little more personal with guests. For example, you can have the formal addressing on the outside, but put “Aunt Sadie and Uncle Mikey” on the inside. It’s a little detail that connect with your guests in a loving + intimate way!

Showing Formality

Even though double envelopes were the norm back in the day, they are not as common. For that reason, they communicate a sense of formality to your guests. If you’re having an ultra-formal black-tie or white tie affair, this may be a good option for you. The experience of opening two envelopes gives off a sense of luxury!

blush calligraphy envelope

Protecting Your Precious Contents

With the unpredictability of mail service, unfortunately mail can sometimes arrive in bad shape. Rips, tears and scuffs can happen to even the prettiest mail, so if you have an envelope liner or wax seal you want to arrive in pristine condition, an outer envelope is a great solution! Inner envelopes aren’t typically sealed, so you don’t have to worry about guests opening an envelope like a wild animal and destroying a beautiful liner . 

dusty rose invitation envelope

Photo Credit: Peterson Design Photo

It is often said that it’s what’s inside that counts, but when it comes to invitation suites, I say the whole package is important! I think when deciding if you want to do inner envelopes, you need to review your budget, your wedding style, and the details that you’ve carefully curated for your suite. Those factors will help you decide if double envelopes are the right fit for your wedding!

Looking for more tips for planning your wedding? Head to the tips section of the blog here! For more envelope inspiration, follow my weekly posts on Instagram.


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