Today on the Huffington Post’s wedding blog, we spied one of those “Wow, that’s a great question” questions: Why do wedding invitations come in two envelopes?
You know – you open the first and then there you are again, faced with yet another envelope, looking very much like the one you just opened, sans stamp. What’s the deal?
Anna Post (great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post) answered the question, because, naturally, she would know.
So, here’s the explanation:
“Inner envelopes were used for wedding invitations many years ago because mail quite often got dirty and marked en route. The outer envelope could be discarded and the clean, inner envelope remained pristine for this most special kind of invitation. Although this isn’t much of a problem today, the inner envelope continues to serve a purpose: It tells guests exactly who is or — by omission, is not — invited to the wedding. While the outer envelope might say “Mr. and Mrs. David R. Hale,” the inner envelope (which uses a more abbreviated form of address) might read, “Mr. and Mrs. Hale/Sara and Ross [or Sara Hale/Ross Hale],” indicating that the kids are also invited.”
Well there you have it. And in case you were wondering if it’s okay to flout the tradition and save the trees, even Post is cool with that: “For some, the thick, cream inner envelope with elegantly written names makes the invitation feel special and important. But because inner envelopes don’t resonate with you, save the postage and the trees and skip them. You’ll still have plenty of options, from traditional invitation suites sans inner envelope to modern invitation suites that skip them altogether for design purposes.”
And we here at Philly Wedding are all for flouting tradition if you’d like. (See: 11 More Wedding Traditions It’s Totally Okay to Skip) “Today it’s about picking and choosing which wedding traditions mean something to you — and which do not,” writes Post.