One of the most common questions people ask us when planning a baby shower is how to address baby shower invitations. Now, we know many people embrace modern technology and send out invitations via email, text and even apps. But the art of printed invitations is far from being extinct.
And for that reason, you need to pay attention to what we’re about to say about addressing baby shower invitations.
But first, here’s a little insight about why printed invitations are still the way to go for special events like baby showers.
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A case for sending a printed invitation for a special occasion
First, if you’re looking for reasons to send a printed baby shower invitation instead of an electronic invite, let me tell you this: people want to feel special.
Think of it this way…when you get an email invitation or a Facebook invite to something, along with 57 other of your closest friends, does that make you feel special?
Now, picture this: you walk to your neighbourhood mailbox. You put the key into your mail slot and turn. Inside, a gleaming, smooth white envelop with your name awaits.
Are you intrigued? I bet you are.
Does it make you want to run home and open it up to see what’s inside the envelope? I bet it does.
In addition, printed invitations are very affordable. Gone are the days when you needed to hire an expensive designer to make something for you. In fact, we have extremely affordable baby shower invitations available in our Etsy shop. We do all the customization for you; all you have to do is print and send the invitation.
Also, while it seems like most things are done online, not everyone checks email regularly or uses Facebook. Your best friend’s 92-year-old Grandma will likely want to receive an invitation to her great-grandchild’s baby shower in the mail.
Even if people do use their email and Facebook regularly, we’re inundated with so many messages that many go ignored or we simply forget to reply, thinking we’ll do it later and then forgetting to respond. You don’t want to be chasing down three-quarters of the guest list to see if they got the invite and plan to attend, do you?
And finally, printed invitations are much more formal. They’re the first impression of your event and set the tone.
Think of it this way: if you were invited to two parties on the same day at the same time, which would you choose? The party that took the time to send a hand-addressed, beautifully designed, custom-printed invitation, or the one that simply emailed you and hoped you’d respond? We know which one we’d choose.
Things to keep in mind when addressing and sending baby shower invitations
Once you print your customized invitations, there’s a couple of other things to consider:
Make sure you have high-quality envelopes to send the invitations in, like these envelopes.
Decide whether you will be printing the address information directly on the envelope, handwriting the address information, printing information on labels to adhere to the front (we recommend printing on these clear labels for a nice, clean look) or hiring a professional calligrapher to address them for you, if you’re looking to splurge.
Stamps – do you want to go with a regular stamp or have a custom one ordered through the post office? If choosing the custom option, be sure to order well in advance of when you’ll be sending out the invitations.
Envelope or wax seals. Do you want to add some elegance (and save yourself from licking the gross envelope tape) by using envelope seals or a wax seal? You can get some great custom envelope seals on Etsy or use a wax seal with the couple’s last name letter to add some simple sophistication to the envelope.
Timing – make sure you’re sending out your invitations with lots of time to spare. We recommend 4-6 weeks prior to the shower date. That seems to be the sweet spot between giving people enough time to put their date it in their calendar, but not too much time that they forget and don’t respond.
If you choose to handwrite the address information, be sure to use a high-quality pen or fine tip marker that won’t smear.
How to address baby shower invitations
There are several different scenarios you will likely find as you begin to gather your guest list and start sending invitations. Here’s some advice on how to address baby shower invitations for different scenarios:
Invitations for multiple guests in the same household
You would likely come across this scenario when inviting a mother-daughter or two siblings living in the same household. Proper etiquette states that each guest should receive their own invitation addressed to them, even if there is more than one guest from the same household invited (unless the guests are married or part of a common-law couple). However, modern-day etiquette would say that it’s becoming more common to send one invitation per household – just ensure that each guest’s name is listed on the envelope so they know all of the guests who are invited.
Names and titles: how to make sure you get them right
The correct etiquette should be followed when addressing envelopes. Below is the proper etiquette for names and titles when addressing baby shower invitations:
For a married woman:
- Mrs. Jane Smith – for a married woman who has taken her partner’s last name
- Ms. Jane Lock – for a married woman who has chosen to keep her maiden name
For a woman who is separated but not divorced*
- Mrs. Jane Smith (retains partner’s last name if she took it)
- Ms. Jane Lock
*we recommend checking with the guest-of-honor to see what the guest would prefer to go by if you know they are separated.
For a woman who is divorced*:
- Mrs. Jane Smith
- Ms. Jane Smith
- Miss Jane Lock
*we recommend checking with the guest-of-honor to see what the guest would prefer to go by if you know they are divorced.
For a woman who has been widowed:
- Mrs. Jane Smith (unless the guest has explicitly gone back to being addressed by their maiden name).
For anyone not married:
- Miss Jane Lock (if under 18)
- Ms. Jane Lock (if over 18)
There are a couple of things to follow the proper etiquette when it comes to addressing baby shower invitations:
- All lines should be left-justified
- Do not use abbreviations. Words like, “street” and “crescent” should be spelt out.
- Numbers are written in numeric for (i.e. 14 Elm Street, not “Fourteen Elm Street.”)
- The ZIP/postal code can either be placed on the same line as the city and state/province with two spaces in between, or it can go on a line below the city/state/province.
Example of a correctly addressed invitation:
Mrs. Jane Smith and Miss Elizabeth Smith
14 Elm Street
White Oak, California 90325
Return address information
In order to keep the front of the envelope nice and clean looking, we recommend including the return address information on the back flap of the envelope. Again, this can either be printed using a clear label or handwritten. Be sure again to use a high-quality pen or fine tip marker that won’t smear. The ink colour for the address information on the front and the return address information on the back should match (i.e. don’t use black ink on the front of the envelope and blue ink on the back).
Use the hostess’s name and address information as the return address. If multiple hostesses are hosting the event, choose one point of contact for return address.
The return address information should follow the same etiquette as the address information for guests.
Inserting the invitation and sealing the envelope
The blank side or back of the invitation should face the front of the envelope, and the design/front of the invitation should face the back flap of the invitation. This way, when guests open the invitation and take out the invite, they see the design first.
We hope you enjoyed our post about how to address baby shower invitations and found it useful!
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