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Etiquette for Addressing Envelopes for Baby Announcements

by Samantha Kemp

After your bundle of joy arrives, you can't wait to share your momentous news with those you know and love. However, you may be overcome with fear of making a faux pas that will outshine the importance of your new arrival. However, years of established etiquette can help you get this task done, and the well wishes will start pouring in.

When to Send

Many new parents appreciate that their lives and schedules may be hectic right after the baby is born. Ellen Brenneman, a Hallmark writer for 28 years, advises parents to relax, as etiquette dictates that they have six months to send out the announcement of this important news.

To Whom to Send

Birth announcements are not as formal as wedding invitations, and etiquette permits you to send them to a variety of individuals without the potential of being snubbed. Send birth announcements to old friends, new friends, extended family, co-workers, business associates, old classmates and acquaintances in cities where you have lived previously. As Ellen Brenneman explains, nobody will be offended that you thought of them during this momentous time in your life.

Writing the Address

To write the address to the recipient, spell out all words, such as Avenue, Road, Street, Boulevard and Drive. Write the numerical address exactly as it appears as on its registered postal address. Write the return address on the back flap of the envelope in the center. Use a pen with black or dark blue ink.

Single People

When addressing a single woman, use the word "Miss" before her name. If you know this woman prefers to use the term, Ms., then address her by Ms. instead of Miss. Despite rules of etiquette that may say otherwise, some women strongly prefer Ms. over Miss. For a single man, use the abbreviation "Mr." followed by the man's first and last name. For example, you would address the envelope with "Mr. John Hancock."

Married Couples

If the wife uses her name socially, use "Mr." and "Mrs." followed by the husband's full name. For example, you would address the envelope as "Mr. and Mrs. John Hancock." If you know the woman prefers that she be addressed by her first name and not as Mrs. John, then address her by her first name, such as Mr. John and Mrs. Emily Hancock. Etiquette expert and author Emily Post says that when a woman uses her own name socially, there is no longer a preference for using a man's name first. For example, you may use, "Mr. John Hancock and Mrs. Emily James" or "Mrs. Emily James and Mr. John Hancock." Both names appear on the same line of the envelope.

Unmarried Couples

When couples live together but are unmarried, write their names in alphabetical order on two separate lines. Do not join the names by the word "and."

Doctors

If both spouses are doctors, write "The Doctors Doe," or "The Drs. Doe" or "Drs. Edna and Bob Doe." If the two spouses are doctors but have different last names, then write Dr. Bob Doe and Dr. Edna Smith.” If only one of the spouses is a doctor, place the abbreviation before the doctor's name and have the doctor precede the other spouse. For example, write "Dr. Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe."

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