advice for graduates

Advice for Graduates: How To Address an Envelope

Following last week’s post regarding RSVPs, a number of parents responded with a request to address “addressing” envelopes. Graduates are mailing graduation announcements and invitations and thank-you notes, so I hope you’ll find this practical advice helpful.

Recipient’s address

The recipient’s name and address are written or typed in the center of the envelope.


Top line = Recipient’s title and first and last names

Second line = Street address or post office box

Third line = City, state, ZIP code


The USPS prefers using the two-letter state abbreviation, but for formal invitations, it is acceptable to spell the state in full.


Return address

The return address is your address written in the upper left corner or the back flap of the envelope. I recommend ordering these preprinted for announcements and invitations. If you choose to hand address your envelopes, you follow the same format for the recipient’s address:


Top line = Your first and last names

Second line = Street address or post office box

Third line = City, state, ZIP code



The stamp is affixed neatly in the upper right corner of the envelope for standard mail. If you are mailing a heavy envelope or a card with an irregular shape, please check with your local post office to ascertain the type and number of stamps you’ll need. The same advice applies for international mailings.


Bonus envelope-addressing tips

  • Print rather than use cursive writing
  • Use blue or black ink
  • Avoid fancy fonts and lettering if typing



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