Categories
Dining-Rooms

How to address response card envelopes

Response cards make keeping track of your guest list much easier.

Response or reply cards are included with a wedding invitation to give you an accurate guest count for the reception. They are not used for ceremony-only invitations. The card and envelope are engraved or printed in the same style and paper stock as the invitation, but in a smaller size. Often they are included as part of an invitation set. It’s a good idea to pre-address and stamp the reply envelope to make it as easy as possible for guests to RSVP via mail. If you prefer to receive replies via email or telephone, that’s fine—just include the necessary information on the response card and skip the envelope.

It’s also a good idea to include a “reply by” date, usually two to three weeks before the wedding. This gives hosts time to follow up with guests who have yet to reply and to give accurate head counts to wedding vendors, such as caterers.

Sample Wedding Response Card

M__________________________________________

_____ accept(s) [or, will attend]

_____ regret(s) [or, will not attend]

The favo(u)r of your reply is requested [or, Please reply] by July 26

The “M” precedes the space where the guest(s) write their name(s) and the name of their plus one, if they were invited to bring one:

Download the WeddingWire App

Plan your wedding wherever and whenever you want on the WeddingWire App.

  • View all
  • Barns & Farms
  • Gardens
  • Beaches
  • Rooftops & Lofts
  • Hotels
  • Waterfronts
  • Wineries & Breweries
  • Parks
  • Country Clubs
  • Mansions
  • Historic Venues
  • Boats
  • Restaurants
  • Museums
  • Banquet Halls
  • Churches & Temples
  • View all

Complete your wedding team

  • Event Rentals
  • Photo Booths
  • Bands
  • Dress & Attire
  • Cakes
  • Transportation
  • Ceremony Music
  • Lighting & Decor
  • Invitations
  • Travel Agents
  • Jewelry
  • Favors & Gifts

Easily plan your international wedding.

  • View all
  • Planning
  • Wedding Attire
  • Honeymoon
  • Community Conversations
  • Reception
  • Ceremony
  • Married Life
  • Family and Relationships
  • Etiquette and Advice
  • Parties and Events
  • Style and Décor
  • Fitness and Health
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Registry
  • Local Groups

Stay up to date

  • Discussions
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Users
  • Account Support
  • View all
  • View all
  • Planning Basics
  • Wedding Ceremony
  • Wedding Reception
  • Wedding Services
  • Health & Beauty
  • Wedding Fashion
  • Destination Weddings
  • Family & Friends
  • Events & Parties
  • Married Life

Real Weddings

Find wedding inspiration that fits your style with photos from real couples

Honeymoons

Sit back and relax with travel info + exclusive deals for the hottest honeymoon destinations

Your wedding day can be as traditional or as offbeat as you want, but when it comes to your invitations and RSVP cards, you do need to follow a few rules. Not only do your guests need to know important information about your wedding, you need to get an accurate guest count to proceed with the menu, seating chart, place cards and other planning details too.

Invitations should be sent out to six to eight weeks before your wedding. This should be enough time for your guests to clear their calendars and make necessary travel arrangements. If you’re having a destination wedding, send your invitations out three months before the event to give your guests extra time to plan.

You’ll need to include an RSVP card with your invitations. Make the RSVP deadline two to four weeks before the wedding date. This should give you plenty of time to contact anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d, give your caterers the final head count, finalize the seating chart and put together the finishing touches on centerpieces and other décor.

To avoid any last-minute surprises, ask your caterers when they need the final head count and factor that into your timeline.

In This Article:

Wedding RSVP Wording

Your wedding RSVP card wording can be straight-laced and formal or creative and funny. No matter what theme you choose, there are a few pieces of information you must include.

1. RSVP date

There are a few ways you can request the RSVP, such as:

  • RSVP by the Twentieth of June
  • The favor of a reply is requested by June 20th
  • Please respond by June 20th
  • Kindly reply by June 20th
  • Your reply is requested by June 20th

2. A space for your guests to write in their names

Traditionally, this is done by writing “M.” Alternatively, you can write “Name” or “Name(s)” followed by a line.

3. A checkbox for “Accept” or “Decline.” The “accept” and “decline” wording is one spot on the RSVP card where you can have fun and get creative. Read on for examples to fit any theme.

4. Entrée preference.

If you’re serving a buffet, you can skip this section altogether. If you’re serving a plated meal with more than one entrée option, you’ll need a space for your guests to indicate which meal they would like.

Opening a wedding invitation is unlike opening any other piece of mail. Much care goes into addressing both the inner and outer envelopes. Several enclosures usually accompany the invitation itself, and there is a thoughtful order to how they are placed inside the outer envelope, and even a few things to think about when you stamp and mail them.

Before You Begin

  • Allow plenty of time to address, assemble, and mail all invitations.
  • Order extra envelopes—inner and outer—in case of errors.
  • Consider the reply address you will wish to use. Guest responses and gifts are likely to be sent to the return address on the outer envelope. If guests should reply to a different address, use it for the reply card envelope or list it below the RSVP line on the invitation.
  • Organize the master guest list in a useful form, such as on file cards, in a computer database, or on a spreadsheet.
  • Extra tip: When response cards are used, lightly mark the back of each card with an identifying number (keep track on your master guest list) in case guests neglect to write in their names when RSVPing.
  • Make sure your addressing and/or assembly area is clean (be careful with beverages!) and wash your hands before you begin.

How to Address the Envelopes

  • Double check the spelling of your guests’ names before addressing the envelopes.
  • Invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple.

How to Address the Inner Envelope of a Wedding Invitation

The inner envelope bears the title and last names of the specific people invited. This allows the host to be very clear about who is invited, and by omission, who is not invited.

If children are invited but are not receiving a separate invitation, their names may be written on a line below their parents’ names on the inner envelope. If no inner envelope is used, children’s names are written on the outer envelope below the names of their parents.

For example, the inner envelope for Mr. and Mrs. James Darling and the two Darling children, Sarah and Jonathan, would be written:

It’s also fine to write familiar names for close family: Aunt Martha and Uncle Bill.

How to Address the Outer Envelope of a Wedding Invitation

The outer envelope is addressed conventionally using titles, first, (middle), and last names.

  • An invitation to an unmarried couple residing at the same address is addressed with both names connected by “and.” Use one or two lines, depending on length.
  • No abbreviations or middle initials are used when addressing formal invitations.

While titles are abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr.) all other words such as “Street,” or “Boulevard” are spelled out. State names may be written in full or use the two-letter postal code abbreviation. Middle initials aren’t used, so either write out the middle name or omit it. Generally, an invitation to parents and children is addressed to the parents:

Forms of Address

Following is list of the most common forms of address. Please see our Guide to Addressing Correspondence for a complete list.

To a married couple

Invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple, even though the bride may know only one or knows that only one will attend.

To an unmarried couple living together

Invitations to an established couple who are unmarried but live at the same address are addressed to “Ms. Nancy Fellows and Mr. Scott Dunn,” on one line.

To a married woman doctor or two married doctors

If the woman uses her husband’s name socially, the address is “Dr. Barbara and Mr. James Werner.” If she uses her maiden name both professionally and socially, it is “Dr. Barbara Hanson and Mr. James Werner.” If the husband is also a doctor, the address is either “The Drs. Werner” or “Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.”

How to add “and Guest”

Since it’s awkward and impersonal to address the outer envelope as “Mr. James Smith and Guest,” the two envelope system works well. Address the outer envelope to “Mr. James Smith” and the inner envelope to “Mr. James Smith and Guest.” If you’re only using one envelope, include a short note with your invitation: “Dear James, You’re welcome to bring a guest to the wedding. Please let me know. Best, Laura.” If there’s time and James supplies the information, you can send his guest an invitation, too.

How to Stuff the Envelopes

  1. When two envelopes (inner and outer) are used, insert the invitation (folded edge first for a folded invitation, left edge for a single card invitation), so that you see the printed side of the invitation when the envelope flap is opened.
  2. When there are enclosures—reply card and envelope, map, printed directions, etc.—they are placed on top of the printed side of the invitation, with their printed sides up, in size order with the smallest on top. Again, when the flap is opened, the printed side should be visible. If the invitation is folded, insertions are stacked in size order—smallest on top—but within the fold. Tissues are optional. If used, they are placed on top of the invitation and below any enclosures. If the invitation is folded, they are inserted into the fold.
  3. The inner envelope is then placed unsealed in the outer envelope, so when the outer envelope flap is lifted, the name(s) of the guest(s) is visible.
  4. Before sealing the outer envelope, double- and triple-check that the names on the inner and outer envelopes match up.

Etiquette for Mailing Wedding Invitations

Before you buy stamps, take an assembled invitation to the post office and have it weighed. It’s likely that the inserts, or even an unusually shaped envelope, will call for extra postage. The post office usually has wedding-themed stamps that will cover the cost of most invitations with enclosures. Some post offices may be out of stock, however, so leave time to find them at another branch or to order them online.

Remember that maps and other inserts sent to out-of-town guests will make those invitations heavier than ones sent to local guests and may require a postage adjustment. In that case, be sure to assemble two sets and have both weighed.

Lastly, ask at your post office if it is possible to have your envelopes hand-stamped. This produces a different postmark (often considered more attractive) than if your invitations were run through an automatic sorter.

Every wedding is unique. From holistic, barefoot beach celebrations to traditional church ceremonies, each couple has the right to define their special day. Naturally, it all starts with a simple card. Wedding RSVP cards give your guests the first taste of your theme, and perfecting your wedding RSVP card wording is the first step.

We checked in with a few experts to gather their wedding RSVP card insight. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started, along with some examples for inspiration.

Wedding RSVP Card Tips

Send them early.

“Wedding RSVPs are one of the elements for guests to discover as they explore the wedding invitation suite, either as separate insert cards or as a portion of text on the invite itself,” says Valentina Ring, founder, creative director, and head planner at The Stars Inside. “Invites are typically finalized and ordered from your stationer about four to six months before the wedding, and sent out around two months before the day.”

Give a clear deadline.

When you’ve sent the cards out, it’s a waiting game. To save yourself any stress, give a clear deadline. “My recommendation is to set it one month prior to the wedding date,” says Ring. “Many vendors require order details to be finalized four weeks before the wedding. Having your RSVPs back by then can make the process smooth and accurate.”

What’s more, if you’re planning on tying the knot far away, you need to allow some extra time. “For destination weddings, where invites are sent a bit earlier, the RSVP date can be around two months before the date, allowing guests to iron out their travel details.”

Invest in matching stationery.

The devil is in the detail, or so they say. When you’re picking out your stationery, ensure that it matches for an elegant effect. “If you've chosen to have a separate RSVP card for guests to fill out and mail back to you, these would typically come with their own matching envelopes, which should be pre-addressed and stamped for convenience,” suggests Ring.

Include the essentials.

Wondering what to include on a wedding RSVP card? We’ve got you covered. The card itself usually includes the following:

  • A clear RSVP deadline for your guests to be mindful of.
  • A way of marking whether or not the guests invited will be attending.
  • Sufficient space for guests to enter exactly who can make it, including any plus-ones.
  • Any dietary requirements.

Add more information.

Before you seal the envelopes, consider whether you need to add any extra information, such as your contact details and more. “You can add details of the dress code here if you haven't elsewhere,” says Ring. “You can also include a phone number and an email address or remind them of the URL of your wedding website.”

Leave some blank space.

Encourage your guests to get creative and share their thoughts with you. Allowing them to write something is a simple way to make your RSVP cards unique. “If possible, leave some space on the RSVP so that your guests can write any special accommodations or leave you notes about how excited they are for your celebrations,” says Ring.

Create a spreadsheet.

It’s time to get organized. “A tip I always suggest to couples is to create a spreadsheet where each invite sent corresponds to a number and then subtly penciling in that number to the back of the RSVP card,” says Ring. “This way, if the guests' names are missing or tricky to read, you'll know exactly who the RSVP came from!”

Break the traditions.

“Traditional wording for an RSVP is ‘Accepts With Pleasure/Regretfully Declines’ which is perfectly acceptable if a little boring,” says Tasha Newland, wedding creative and community founder at The County Wedding Clubs. “We absolutely love it when a couple desires nothing more than to do their wedding their way and embrace the personal side of everything marriage. You can, of course, change the wording, you can add different requests, you can personalize the actual RSVP with your design and wedding style, and above all else, you can think of something quirky or even something funny.”

Add a flair of creativity.

You don’t want your cards to be a carbon copy of generic messages. “These RSVP cards are a wonderful way of injecting your own personality and style,” says Ring. “You can really embrace your theme or aesthetic narrative! If you have space, you can make it more unique to you by asking some fun questions like what song is sure to get them on the dance floor, date ideas, or advice for the newlyweds.”

“We love encouraging personalizing it in some way,” says Alexandra Rembac, principal & creative director of Sterling Engagements. “Sometimes that comes through within the first two sentences at the top via a message and sometimes it’s about adding a line for a love note or a song request at the bottom. It’s a fun way they can connect with their guests and set the tone for what’s to come.”

Wedding RSVP Card Wording Examples

Before you send out your invitations, it helps to see some creative RSVP card wording samples—a little inspiration goes a long way! Here are formats you may choose to use when writing your cards:

Formal

Répondez S'il Vous Plaît (RSVP)
Your response is requested before August 31st.
Name(s) :__________________
▢ accept(s) with pleasure
▢ decline(s) with regret
Entrée Preference: ▢ Filet Mignon ▢ Vegetable Medley
Dessert Preference: ▢ Parfait ▢ Macarons
Dress code: White tie

Casual

Kindly Respond
We ask you to reply before August 31st.
Name(s) :__________________
▢ will be there to celebrate
▢ will be toasting from afar
Entrée Preference: ▢ Meat ▢ Vegetarian
Dessert Preference: ▢ Parfait ▢ Macarons

Unique

Will You Be Joining Us?
We kindly request your reply before August 31st.
Name(s) of our fabulous guests:__________________
▢ will be there with bells on
▢ will be there in spirit
Song request:__________________
Advice for the newlyweds: __________________
Entrée Preference: ▢ Meat ▢ Vegetarian
Dessert Preference: ▢ Parfait ▢ Macarons

Funny

Yay or Nay?
When we say ‘I do’, will we be seeing you? Reply before August 31st.
Name(s) :__________________
▢ Yes, you will see our/my face(s)
▢ Sorry, we’re/I’m busy that day!
Give us your best advice:__________________
Entrée Preference: ▢ Meat ▢ Vegetarian
Dessert Preference: ▢ Parfait ▢ Macarons
What should we pack for our destination wedding? __________________

Destination

Fly Away with Us!
Elope with us and watch us tie the knot. RSVP by August 31st.
Name(s) :__________________
▢ Yes, we’re/I’m beachy keen to attend!
▢ Sorry, we/I can’t make the flight!
Entrée Preference: ▢ Meat ▢ Vegetarian
Dessert Preference: ▢ Parfait ▢ Macarons

Modern

Will You Be Joining Us?
Say ‘yes’. You know you want to. RSVP by August 31st.
Name(s) :__________________
▢ Yeah, baby!
▢ Dang, we’re/I’m busy!
Anything else you want to say?:__________________
Entrée Preference: ▢ Meat ▢ Veggie
Dessert Preference: ▢ Parfait ▢ Macarons

How to address response card envelopes

When you receive your wedding invitations from the printer, you'll probably be excited to get started stuffing envelopes and sending them off to your friends and family. But if your invitation suite involves multiple cards and pieces, you might start wondering how to assemble wedding invitations properly. The truth is, it's less complicated than it looks.

Read on to find out exactly how to put wedding invites together and start an at-home assembly line with your bridesmaids.

How to address response card envelopes

1. Start With the Invitation

Start with the wedding invitation, which you should place face up on the table.

2. Decide What to Do With the Tissue Paper

If a sheet of tissue paper came on top of each invitation, it's your choice whether to leave it in or not. Traditionally, it was used to keep the ink from smudging. While most inks used these days won't smudge, the tradition has continued.

If you want to keep the tissue in the invitation suite, place the tissue on top of the wedding invitation.

3. Add the Reception Card

Place the reception card (if applicable) face-up on top of the invitation (or tissue paper, if you included it).

4. Add Any Other Enclosure Cards

Place any remaining enclosure cards, such as a map card or hotel accommodations card, face up. If there is more than one enclosure card, the order doesn’t matter unless they’re different sizes. If they are different sizes, start with the largest enclosure card and work your way to the smallest.

5. Include the RSVP Card

Place the reply envelope face-down on top of the enclosure cards. Insert the reply card under the reply envelope flap, face-up so that the printed side is visible. If the invitation is a folded-style invitation, all enclosures are placed within the folded invitation rather than on top.

6. Stuff the Envelope

If you’re using two envelopes (an inner envelope and outer envelope), insert the now fully assembled invitation suite into the inner envelope (left edge first for a single-card invitation; folded edge first for a folded invitation). When the envelope flap is opened, you should see the printed side of the invitation. Insert the inner envelope into the outer envelope so that the handwritten guests’ names you’ve put on the inner envelope are visible when they open it up.

If you're using just one envelope (an outer envelope), insert the fully assembled invitation suite into the envelope (left edge first for a single card invitation; folded edge first for a folded invitation). When the envelope flap is opened, you should see the printed side of the invitation.

Today we’re continuing ELD’s Stationery Week with a post all about RSVPs from Alicia of A&P Designs! From the general format of the RSVP card and what you should include, to envelopes and postage, Alicia is covering everything you need to know about the all-important RSVP cards!

As a stationer, I am often asked lots of questions about the proper etiquette behind wedding invitations. The response card (or RSVP card) always accompanies the invitation in the wedding stationery set. The response card does exactly what it says- allows a guest to formally respond to the event.

How to address response card envelopes

FORMATTING YOUR RESPONSE CARD

Have you ever noticed a response card, seen just the response date in the top center of the card, and think, “Wow, they really messed up and didn’t provide that much information”? Well believe it or not, that is the traditional way of sending a response card. In the past, it was proper to respond to a wedding invitation by writing a handwritten note to the bride and groom. The response card would be as simple as “The favour of your reply is requested before ”. This would allow guests enough room to send a hand written response back to the bride/ groom.

In today’s day and age, because of the lack of understanding of social etiquette, this tradition has disappeared. And now, most response cards are formatted with a space for guests to simply write in their name and a check box to accept or decline.

When formatting the response card, brides and grooms need to think about what information they need to know about the guests that are coming. Do you need to know what they are eating? Do they have food allergies? How many guests are planning on attending? Etc.

How to address response card envelopes

It is proper to ask your guests to respond 4-3 weeks prior to the wedding date. When choosing your caterer, please make sure you know when you need to provide them with the total head count for your wedding and factor that into your response date.

FAVOUR vs FAVOR

Both are correct. Its really just a matter of personal preference. If you are using “honour” in your wedding invitations, then use “favour” on your response cards.

When it comes to meal selections, if you are having a seated dinner with meal selections, it is best to provide your guests with the meal selections and allow them to indicate which meal they would like. There are several ways they can indicate which meal selection they would like. If multiple people are responding on one card, they can initial next to their meal selection, or we can create a line for each guest to write their name and select their meal choice.

How to address response card envelopes

NUMBER OF PEOPLE ATTENDING

Many brides opt to have “Number of Guests Attending” with a blank for the guests to write in. This can be tricky and provide a larger headache then attending. While it does allow you to have an accurate account of how many guests will be there, it also can give your guests the idea that the entire family is invited. If the envelope is addressed to just Aunt & Uncle and they see the space, they might think that they can bring their 5 children as well. To avoid this, you can simply omit “number of guests attending”.

If you are worried about your guests not knowing that only Aunt & Uncle are invited, we can add a line that says “We have reserved ___ seats in your name”. This will tell your guests exactly how many people are invited without any hesitation, but this process is also time consuming as you would have to write in exactly the number of seats for each invitation.

ENVELOPE VS POSTCARD

It is traditional to provide an envelope for your guests to send their reply back to you. In today’s day, some brides will opt to have a postcard style response card. The postcard style saves on paper (no envelope needed) and will save on postage (you will be able to use a postcard stamp).

When issuing the address for your response card, it is proper etiquette to have them be returned to the ones that are hosting the event. For example if the bride’s family is inviting, then the response card should go back to the bride’s family.

When it comes to postage, some people have strong opinions on whether they should provide postage on the RSVP envelope or postcard. Some believe that providing a stamp is common courtesy since you are inviting them. Others feel guests should provide their own stamp. I tend to go towards common courtesy and think that if its easier for guests to respond, then they will respond quicker and it will save the bride & her family time in having to call those who didn’t respond.

How to address response card envelopes

The best advice when it comes to invitation etiquette is to do what feels right for you. If you are having a casual wedding and you don’t want to adhere to common etiquette practices, then you don’t have to. But its always good to know the traditions behind items and then you can opt to adhere to tradition or not. When working with a stationer, they will help to answer questions and point you in the right direction that best reflects your wedding style & personality.

Thank you so much for all of this great information Alicia! Brides, be sure to check out more of A&P Designs‘ work in their ELV listing! And remember, if you have any questions, feel free to ask and either I or Alicia will answer! 🙂

The words BUSINESS REPLY MAIL are required above the address in capital (upper case) letters 3/16″ minimum height. Immediately below this, the words FIRST-CLASS MAIL PERMIT NO. followed by the permit number and the name of the issuing Post Office (city and state) in capital letters.

Note: This should be enclosed in lines forming a box.

2. Postage Paid Line

Locate the statement “POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADDRESSEE” (in capital letters) under the business reply legend box.

3. Company Logo

A company logo is permitted in the address block as long as it does not extend below the top of the delivery address line. The logo must not interfere with any of the required business reply endorsements.

4. Facing Identification Mark (FIM)

A facing identification mark (FIM) is another type of postal barcode used in computerized processing of the mail. It’s the pattern of vertical bars printed on the top right portion of the address side of the piece. A FIM (specifically FIM type B or C) is required on all BRM postcard and letter-size mailpieces. This is required so computerized cancellation equipment can align, postmark and direct the mailpiece properly. Additionally, a “FIM B” is for pieces without barcode, FIM C” is a piece with the barcode (FIM Pattern Type A is for courtesy reply mail only).

Note: Please consult your local Postal Business Center or the Domestic Mail Manual for further information on FIM Types.

Facing Identification Mark (FIM) Location: A FIM clear zone must be maintained and can contain only the appropriate FIM pattern. The right boundary of this clear zone must be 1 3/4 from the right edge of the mailpiece and the left boundary must be 3 from the right edge. The top of the bars cannot be any lower than 1/8 from the top edge, and may extend over the top edge to the back (flap) of an envelope. The bottoms of the bars should be within plus or minus 1/8 of the bottom edge of the clear zone. The clear zone is 5/8 deep, measured from the top edge of the mailpiece. The right-most FIM bar should be 1 7/8″ to 2 1/8″ from the right edge of the mailpiece. FIM bars should be 1/2 minimum and 3/4 maximum in height, and at least 0.03125 plus or minus 0.008 wide.

5. Postage Endorsement Box

Be sure to print the endorsement “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED IN THE UNITED STATES” in the upper right corner on the face of the mailpiece. Take care not to extend any further than 1 2/4″ from the right edge of the mailpiece. Endorsements should be enclosed in lines forming a box.

6. Horizontal Bars

Print a series of horizontal bars immediately below the “NO POSTAGE” endorsement. These bars must be uniform in size, at least 1″ long, 1/16″ to 3/16″ in thickness and evenly spaced. These bars may not extend below the delivery address line, located directly above the line containing the city, state and ZIP Code. There must be at least 1/2″ clearance between the ZIP Code and the horizontal bars.

7. Postnet Barcode

A barcode is a series of tall and short bars that are printed on a mailpiece. The barcode on BRM represents the 9-digit ZIP + 4, code. A camera-ready positive may be obtained free of charge from your local Postal Business Center.

POSTNET Barcode Location: The location of the barcode is on the address side of the mailpiece within a clear read zone as indicated. This area needs to be free of any printing other than the barcode. The clear zone extends up 5/8 from the bottom-right edge and at least 4 3/4″ leftward of the right edge of the mailpiece. Within the barcode clear zone, the left-most bar of the barcode must be located no more than 4 1/4 and not less the 3 1/3 from the right edge of the mailpiece. The bottom, or baseline, of the barcode must be 1/4 (plus or minus 1/16) from the bottom edge of the mailpiece. The barcode must be completely contained within the barcode area.

Size Standards for BRM

For letter sized mail to be considered “machinable” and compatible with USPS computerized processing equipment, it must meet specific standards for size and thickness. (Insert graphics below)

Letters Minimum Size Maximum Size
Height 3.5 inches 5.0 inches
Length 5.0 inches 4.25 inches
Postcards Minimum Size Maximum Size
Height 3.5 inches 4.25 inches
Length 5.0 inches 6 inches

Note: Larger postcard sizes are mailable; however, they will be charged at the regular First-Class Mail letter rates.

Paper Weight Considerations: The thickness must be at least 0.007 thick and not more than 0.0095 thick.

Visit the USPS web site for additional information.

This information is intended to simplify the USPS regulations for your direct mail projects. While we made every attempt to be accurate with the information we shared, only the USPS can supply information that is guaranteed accurate. Always consult with your Post Office representative to make sure you are compliant with the rules and regulations.

Large envelopes need the same basic information as small envelopes, including return and delivery addresses. Putting those addresses in the right locations on the envelope helps ensure fast and correct delivery. The post office has guidelines for large envelopes sent landscape, or with the long sides on the top and bottom, as well as portrait orientation.

Explore this article

1 What Information to Include

The U.S. Postal Service requires specific address information on all letters and packages. For the delivery address, include the recipient’s name, the address including suite or apartment number, the city, state and zip code. The return address includes your name and full address. The post office delivers some mail without return addresses, but some services such as Priority Mail Express require a return address. The USPS strongly recommends including a return address in all cases, including on large envelopes, in case the mail can’t be delivered to the recipient or is damaged during shipping. Print the addresses clearly in capital letters or type them so they are easier for the post office to process. Avoid colored inks or cursive handwriting or fonts.

2 Landscape Orientation

The post office prefers large envelopes to be mailed using landscape orientation. The return address goes in the top left corner, just like it does on smaller envelopes. The delivery address should start at least 1 inch to the right and 1 inch below the return address. Ideally, the delivery address should end about 1 inch from the right edge of the envelope, even if that means scooting it more than 1 inch to the right of the return address. The last line of the delivery address should be 1/2 inch or more from the envelope’s bottom edge.

3 Portrait Orientation

When you mail large envelopes with the short ends on the top and bottom, the post office prefers the delivery address to be near the top of the envelope. The return address stays in the upper left corner. Start the delivery address at least 1 inch to the right and 1 inch below the return address. Unlike landscape envelopes where the delivery address can be near the bottom, it should be as close to the top of the envelope as possible in portrait orientation while keeping the 1-inch buffer between the bottom of the return address and top of the delivery address.

4 Using Labels

Many mailing labels suitable to use on large envelopes have spaces for both the return and delivery addresses. For some premium services, the post office requires you to use an official USPS mailing label with room for both addresses. When using a label instead of writing directly on the envelope, put the return address in the upper left corner of the label and the delivery address in the lower right section. Most labels make this easy by marking the locations with “From” and “To.” If it’s not marked, put the delivery address at least 1 inch to the right and 1 inch below the return address. Apply the label as straight as possible and put it where you would normally write the delivery address on the envelope.

And the Postal Service™ can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter — complete with the North Pole Postmark! The Greetings from the North Pole Post Office program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal for getting kids interested in letter writing, stamps and penmanship.

How to address response card envelopes

How to address response card envelopes

How to get a letter postmarked from the North Pole:

  1. Have the child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.
  2. Write a personalized response to the child’s letter and sign it “From Santa.”
  3. Insert both letters into an envelope, and address it to the child.
  4. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.
  5. Ensure a First-Class Mail stamp is affixed to the envelope.
  6. Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address it to:

We recommend sending your letters by December 7 so that they can be received by the Anchorage, AK, Postmaster no later than December 14. Santa’s helpers in Anchorage, AK, will take care of the rest!