Etiquette for Addressing Bar Mitzvah Invitations

by Ruby Martes
Bar mitzvah invitations should be addressed with a care that reflects the importance of the occasion.

Bar mitzvah invitations should be addressed with a care that reflects the importance of the occasion.

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While there are no specific etiquette rules that must be followed exactly when addressing bar mitzvah invitation envelopes, approach the task with an attention to detail and quality that will reflect the importance of the occasion. Unless the invitations are unusually informal, use a formal, conservative style when addressing the envelopes.

Handwritten vs. Printed

Addresses on the envelope can be handwritten, done in calligraphy or printed. According to Invitation Consultants, using address labels is poor etiquette. Calligraphy can be done by talented amateurs or by professionals. Leave enough time to get the calligraphy done. The Modern Mitzvah site recommends allowing two weeks for a calligrapher to address 100 invitations.

Titles and Abbreviations

Use Mr., Ms., Mrs. and Miss with the names on the envelope. When addressing a woman, follow the recipients' preferences when choosing whether to use Mrs., Miss or Ms. If you don't know which title the recipient prefers, use Ms. Aside from the titles, do not abbreviate any words in the names or addresses -- spell everything out. Use the word "and" instead of using an ampersand. Use numerals for house addresses and ZIP codes, but spell out any street names that are numbers.

Couples and Children

Married couples should be addressed as "Mr. and Mrs. [so-and-so]." Unmarried couples who live together should have their names on separate lines. Include the name of invited children on the outer envelope only if you are not using an inner envelope. If you are using only the single outer envelope, put the children's names on a line below the parents' names. According to Invitation Consultants, use the title "Master" for boys under 7 years old, no title for boys age 7 to 17, and "Mr." for ages 18 and up. Young girls should be addressed as "Miss." If you are using an inner envelope, put the children's names on the inner envelope only.

Inner Envelope

Inner envelopes are optional. If you do use them, write the adult recipients' names and titles (Mr., Ms., Miss and Mrs.) the same way you did on the outer envelope. If children are invited, their first names should be listed on a line below the adults' names. If the recipient can bring an unspecified guest, write "[Title] [Recipient Name] and Guest."

About the Author

Freelance crossword puzzle writer for many major markets including the New York Times. Freelance humorous greeting card writer for American Greetings and other companies. Articles written under the pen name May Monten:

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