Monday, July 20, 2015

Addressing the Situation 1,2,3... How to Compile the Perfect Guest List, and Address Perfect Envelopes!

~Perfect Envelopes Part One~
So you've decided to plan an event... YOU NEED GUESTS! Whether it's a Wedding, Bar Mitzvah, Sweet Sixteen, 60th Surprise Party, Anniversary Party or Oscar Night Soiree, what's a party without the peeps, right?

Once you've created the guest list for your event, or even while you're in the process, you're going to want to start compiling the guest's addresses (so that you can send them some amazing invitations created by Sparkle and Ink ;)

Here are our guidelines for successful addressing:

1) Download our MS Excel address template available for download from our website under RESOURCES
(if we are doing your addressing, this is all that you'll need to send us once it's complete)!
*** This is a basic template, feel free to add any columns that will help you,
such as RSVP info, gifts, etc,...
Our Address Template with samples is available on our website (just click here)
2) Begin to list the names of your guests in the Title and Name columns of the spreadsheet. If you know the addresses now, then go ahead and fill those in as well, but you can always fill in missing info later. 

Notice in the sample above that the first names (when used) go into the TITLE column. This is so that if you'd like to alphabetize your list at any point, you will be able to alphabetize the NAME column by last name. Alphabetizing is important for escort cards and sorting your list. So, just remember that the first thing that should go into the name column should be a last name, then it can also have a guest name if needed as shown in row 4 above. 
3) Once you have the names and maybe some addresses filled in, it's time to get to the nitty gritty of addressing issues... Thanks to our Facebook Friends who volunteered some suggestions of what gave them trouble so that we could "address these for you". Let's start with the Names:

General Titles - Ok, first of all. The following all customarily get a period after their ABBREVIATIONS:
**But Miss does not require a period, because it is not an abbreviation

And, and, or &? - Ok, so there's only 1 wrong answer here... no capital A in "and". You can choose to say Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Both are acceptable, both are beautiful, totally up to you. (Not Mr. And Mrs. Smith)

Putting Together the Name
*** These rules are basically the same for same sex and heterosexual couples as described

Married Couple - Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, Mr. and Mr. Bill Smith, Mrs. and Mrs. Sally Smith
*One person took the other person's last name. The one whose last name it was originally has their name listed. 
Other variations: Dr. and Mrs., Mr. and Dr., The Doctors (if both are doctors). 

Informal Version  - John and Sally Smith, Bob and John Smith, Sally and Sue Smith
 Listing both first names and the last name that they both use. 
(Hetero couples, the male's name goes first, SS couples you can list the names alphabetically)

Married Couple with Different Names - Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Sally Brown, 
Mr. Bob Brown and Mr. John Smith, Mrs. Sally Smith and Mrs. Tanya Tollon
(Hetero couples, the male's name goes first, SS couples you can list the names alphabetically)
Inviting parents and children - The Smith Family or Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, Katie, Sue and Jim
John and Cindy are the parents, Katie Sue and Jim are the kids. 

Informal Family -  John and Cindy Smith, Katie, Sue and Jim
John and Cindy are the parents, Katie Sue and Jim are the kids. 

Parents are invited with one child - "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Sue Smith". 
Sue is the kid. Maybe 2 younger children are not invited. 
This format also works for a couple with any additional straggler.
*** If children are invited that do not live at home, then you should send them their own invitation at their own address. Everyone loves to get mail!

Non-married couples who are living together (hetero or SS) - Mr. John Smith and Ms. Sally Brown, 
Mr. Bob Brown and Mr. John Smith, Mrs. Sally Smith and Mrs. Tanya Tollon
The person that you are friends with or related to goes first, then the "guest" and if you are equally friends with both, then alphabetize. If informal, then leave off the Mr./Ms.
** If they do not live together, then address it to the person that you are primarily friends with.

Single People with Guests - Mr. Bill Black and Guest, Ms. Gertrude Smith and Guest
Bill and Gertrude are your friends and they are each invited with a guest. 

There are a zillion varieties of family situations that require thought when addressing invitations, if you have one that you'd like me to address (ha ha, like that pun?), leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you right away, and even update the blog to include that case if it's a common one.
4) Once you've figured out how to list the guest's names, it's time to input their addresses. Here are some rules of thumb:
SPELL OUT EVERYTHING!!! "Road" looks so much nicer than "Rd."

1) Write out the word "Apartment" and yes, the "A" gets capitalized.
2) You can choose to use a # or not. Your call.
3) Be specific, if there are dashes like 65-78, then include that. Don't take shortcuts, because the post office will be confused, and confusion leads to delayed mail, and no one wants that!

City and State: 
City is easy. As for State, you can choose to write it out or use the abbreviation. I personally love to see a state's name written out on envelopes. Again, up to you, but on formal invitations, I definitely recommend spelling out the state.

Now, the one issue that I tend to encounter with the zip code is that some start with a 0. If you use our template, it's already set to include the 0. However, if you need to adapt your own spreadsheet. Choose to format your cells in the zip code column as text cells. That way the cells will include the 0 in the front of the number and not delete it.

***The Most Important Overall Fact***
What you give, is what you get!
 If you capitalize everything, then you will get all capitalized addresses, if you use the & sign, then you will have that in your addresses (which is beautiful, but if you don't want it, then don't use it). If you choose to put a "." after Mr. and Mrs. then that's how it will look. If you leave off the "." then it won't be there.

So there you have it, the nuts and bolts of invitation addressing. As you get to work on your list, you will surely encounter some unique questions, so PLEASE don't hesitate to ask! Leave a comment below and I promise to get you an answer ASAP.

Don't forget to check back next week for Part Two - Perfect Postage!

Sparkle On!

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