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It’s a common statement from customers after they received their order. “Michaela, my wedding invitations arrived and they are beautiful, but my envelopes aren’t lined”. I then ask the customer to double-check the packaging for the second set of envelopes. It’s a common misunderstanding that the outer envelopes, with the printed return address, should be lined.

Well, in many cases the envelopes that are printed with the return address on the back flap, will be lined. If the wedding invitation you are considering is offered with “single envelopes” then the same envelope will be lined and printed with your return address.

But if you are ordering invitations that include “double envelopes”, then the inner envelopes will be lined. The next question is, “why would the inner envelopes be lined and not the outer envelopes?”. Well, there is a quick history lesson that answers that question.

I’ll start by explaining the history of the inner and outer envelope concept. It dates back to the time when a bride had a footman and her guests’ had servants. A footman or courier on horseback would deliver the invitation. The distance and means of travel were subject to tough, harsh weather conditions and miles of travel. The envelope many times would arrive weathered and worn. The outer envelope was addressed for delivery purposes only and many times, only the servant would see that part of the ensemble. After the servant opened the outer envelope, the inner envelope would indicate the name of the guest. It was then hand delivered to the person in the home to which the invitation was intended. The guest would then have a nice clean, lined envelope to look at, not an outer envelope that had traveled the distance with a footman. So now you have the history of inner and outer envelopes.

Nowadays, liners are ordered to enhance the appearance of the invitation set. It’s an option that is offered with most invitations. They can be ordered in colors to match the design of the invitation and/or printed text. The outer envelope should have the full address of the wedding guest written on the front of the envelope and the host’s return address printed on the back flap. The inner envelope includes the name of the guests in the household that are invited to the wedding.

There is one last envelope to consider. If you are including a response card with your wedding invitation, then you will have another envelope for that card. That envelope is printed with the wedding host’s name and return address. That envelope should also include a first-class stamp.

Finally, the pricing for most wedding invitation includes the cost of the envelopes. The liners and printed return address are typically upgrades to the invitation set. If you have any questions on those options, you will want to check with the customer service representative assisting you.

By Michaela
Michaela has been with since 2003, showing off her customer service skills to a variety of stationery consumers.
Michaela is mom to two active pre-teens and spends her free time bike riding, boating, hiking and enjoying family time.


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