To Professionally Address Your Envelopes or Not to Professionally Address them – That is the Question…


Recently we have been invited to numerous weddings/events and I have some envelopes from the past too.  Below shows an envelope printed by the Invitation company and looks lovely and totally matches the invitation.  It’s clear to read so that it will be delivered, the State is spelled out as etiquette advises – everything is done perfectly.


Lovely addressing in black with invitationThis envelope below was addressed on the computer and as you can see, it took a beating through the mail.  Didn’t look so fabulous when it arrived.  The State wasn’t spelled out either.   I also advise going for hand stamping from the post office and hopefully, it wouldn’t arrive so dirty.


Smudged addessGold lettering and invitationThe above envelope is quite lovely.  Only thing the printer wouldn’t do now (this was from a few years back) is they prefer not printing in gold or light inks so that it’s crisp and clear to read.   Notice that the addressing matches the invitation perfectly.


Clear LabelIf you don’t go the route of printing your envelopes, the above is the next best option (I always thought), using a clear label and printing it in a large, clear script font.  Again, the State is not spelled out and it was not hand stamped and arrived quite dirty.  If interested, this is a great reason why inside envelopes are a nice thing as it keeps your invitation clean.


These are the most convincing reasons to get your envelopes professionally addressed – The above came handwritten.  If handwriting your envelopes, I highly recommend purchasing a fine tip calligraphy pen, practicing printing on a 45 degree angle and write your addresses with this.  It’s won’t look professional, but will look a LOT nicer than a simple pen.  (I used to do calligraphy).  The one next to it is a  plain white small label, it isn’t centered, it’s not large print, it’s not in script, State is abbreviated and it looks like an advertisement or something like that – NOT a Wedding Invitation.

Here’s another thought I have – we received an e-vite for an event.  I highly DO NOT recommend this at all and would prefer any of the above envelopes with invitations to that.  With an e-vite, we do not have an address to send a present, we don’t have a printed copy to bring with so that we arrive at the correct location.  An e-vite may be ok for casual things, maybe, but the printed invitation is always BEST.

When planning your big day, there are expenses.  Some you can minimize and some, I, personally, do not recommend.  The company that I deal with has professional addressing which matches your ink color (unless light) and type and my favorite, the ink doesn’t smear.  The cost for the outer envelope, after discount, is only $1.12 each – not a lot of money.  I also have an awesome calligrapher who is only $1.50 each.

I hope that this is helpful.  Contact me to chat, schedule an appointment, pick my brain – I’d love to hear from you. While trying to watch your pennies, I also have a wide range of affordable, lovely invitations – We should talk!

Schedule your Free Consultation today!!  Have an awesome day!

Deborah Carasso

Unique Invitations by Deborah

As you can see from envelopes above, I’m located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  lol



5 Wedding Gift Ideas that Don’t Rob the Bank

By Sara McCord | The Daily Muse

Between engagement parties, bachelorette parties, and bridal showers — not to mention dresses, shoes, hotels and airfare — wedding season gets expensive. And that’s even before you think about gifts for the bride- and groom-to-be!

If your wedding calendar is full this summer, here’s the scoop about gifts: Yes, you do need to give one for each wedding (and each shower) you attend. But, you don’t need to stock your friends’ china cabinets with $200 glassware off their registries. Decide on the dollar amount you can realistically spend for each wedding, then get creative with one of these five great gifts that won’t leave you broke (or looking cheap).

1. Pieces of a Set

Let’s say the couple registered for placemats, napkins, and napkin rings for six. In your fantasy world, where shopping is free, you may have given the full set at the shower and a check at the wedding. But when that’s not an option, give two placemats, napkins, and rings at the shower and the rest at the wedding. This way, the focus is on the theme and how you thoughtfully tied the gifts together — not on the dollar amount you spent. And just think of the thank-you note: “We’ll always think of you when we set a beautiful table” is easier to write than “Thank you for five totally unrelated items that we’ll use to do totally unrelated things.”

2. A Useful Gourmet Gift Basket

I’m not talking a fruit assortment from Harry & David (that’s still a lovely choice for the office at the holidays — but it doesn’t exactly scream wedding). Take a look at the kitchen section of the couple’s registry, and make a gift basket that complements their picks. Did they register for an ice cream maker? Buy them an ice cream cookbook and a few fun sundae toppings. Do they want a paella pan? Give them a basket of Spanish seasonings and spices. This is an equally great gift for young couples looking to stock that new spice rack or more established couples who can use the ingredients to entertain. Bonus: Gift baskets are great group gifts.

3. Gift Cards (to Where the Couple is Registered)

When you see the low-priced gifts on the registry, you may wonder — do they really want these tchotchkes or are they on the list for form’s sake? It’s one thing if there’s an adorable salt and pepper shaker set you know they’ll love, but if you have $25 or less to spend and can’t picture the bride and groom smiling at any of the gifts on the registry for that amount, give a gift card. The couple likely won’t get everything they want, and your gift can be put toward something they didn’t receive.

4. Something Special to the Couple

Some of the gifts the couple will remember the most aren’t things that can even be put on their registry — they’re the thoughtful gifts that really mean something to them. I remember audibly gasping at my bridal shower was when I opened a card that contained a secret family recipe for legendary brownies. Have a secret recipe of your own? Consider giving it with a few of the key ingredients. Other thoughtful options include great stationery that the couple can use for their thank-you notes or a framed piece of memorabilia that’s special to them, like the menu from the restaurant where they had their first date.

5. A Genuine Offer to Help

Couples are DIY-ing more and more these days, so offering your skills (or simply being willing to roll up your sleeves) for the projects they’re taking on themselves can be invaluable. This option is best if you’re in the wedding party or a close friend or family member — but it can be a great way to give the couple something they really want at little or no cost to you. How do you distinguish between what’s expected of any great friend and a gift? A gift is something you take off the bride and groom’s plate wholly and execute as beautifully as they themselves would. Think designing programs, taking care of the seating cards, painting signs, or creating hotel bags for the big day.

Yes, wedding season is expensive, but you shouldn’t have to go broke to help your friends and family celebrate their big day. With a little creativity, you can bring a gift that the couple — and your budget — will love.

Tell us! What budget-friendly gifts have you brought to a friend’s wedding?

Growing up just outside the nation’s capitol, Sara McCord’s childhood dream was to someday be the President…and a supermodel. Married to a college football coach- which requires an encyclopedic knowledge of mascots, a premium cable sports channel subscription, and the ability to move to a completely new community every couple years- Sara moved to Maine in July 2012. She has worked and volunteered in the public interest since graduating from Franklin & Marshall College in 2008, and is now pursuing writing full-time. Catch up with her on her blog Grab A Latte ( or follow her on Twitter for entertainment (or similarly) nonprofit and marketing RTs @Grabalatte.

Reposted by Unique Invitations by Deborah

How to Address Formal Invitations

Check out our guide to addressing wedding invitation envelopes correctly—according to etiquette.
by Amanda Black

Determining the appropriate way to address your wedding invitation envelopes can be a tricky process. As a rule of thumb, the outer envelope of your wedding invitation should be more formal, with titles and full names, while the inner envelope is more informal, leaving out first names or titles and last names (if you’re very close to the guest). Find even more ways to address your wedding invitation envelopes below.

At Unique Invitations by Deborah, you can, on most invitations, use their addressing software so that when they arrive, the invitations are all addressed in the same typestyle and ink color and my favorite, the ink doesn’t smear like calligraphy.  The price is excellent as well.

A Married Couple

On the outer envelope:

Mr. John and Mrs. Samantha Holt


Mr. and Mrs. John Holt

On the inner envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Holt


John and Samantha

A Married Couple With Different Last Names

List the person you’re closest with first on the outer and inner envelopes. If you’re similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.

On the outer envelope:

Mr. John Holt and Mrs. Samantha Thuente

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Holt and Mrs. Thuente


John and Samantha

An Unmarried Couple Living Together

As with a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes, but in this case, each name gets its own line.

On the outer envelope:

Mr. Joseph Hirsch
Ms. Rebecca Strecker

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Hirsch
Ms. Strecker

A Same-Sex Couple

Use the same rules you would for any other unmarried or married couple. If the couple is married, list the names on the same line.

On the outer envelope:

Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jacqueline Purcell


Celine Elgin and Jacqueline Purcell

On the inner envelope:

Ms. Elgin and Ms. Purcell


Celine and Jacqueline

A Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors

If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the envelopes should read:

On the outer envelope:

Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Peter Underwood

If she uses her husband’s name socially:

Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Underwood

If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope:

Doctors Anne and Peter Underwood

On the inner envelope:

Dr. Barker and Mr. Underwood


The Doctors Underwood

Those With Other Distinguished Titles

Apply the same rules you use for doctors for military personnel, judges, reverends and so on. If both titles don’t fit on one line, indent the second line.

On the outer envelope:

The Honorable Jane Kelly and Lieutenant Jonathan Kelly, US Navy

Or if they’re both captains in the military:

Captains Jane and Jonathan Kelly, US Navy

On the inner envelope:

Judge Kelly and Lieutenant Kelly, US Navy


The Captains Kelly

Children and Families

Younger guests can be included on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by their name(s)—they should not be addressed on the outer envelope. For girls under 18, use “Miss.” Boys don’t need a title until they’re 18—then they’re addressed as “Mr.”

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly

Children 18 and Older

They should receive their own invitations (unless they’re living at home with their parents).

On the outer envelope:

Ms. Audrey Abraham


Mr. Jack Abraham

On the inner envelope:

Ms. Abraham


Mr. Abraham

Note: If you don’t include each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited. That said, don’t be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are welcome. If you’re concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family and bridal party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only and add the message to your wedding website. In the end, you may have to follow up with guests who don’t get the message via phone to gently explain the situation.

Reposted by Unique Invitations by Deborah

Schedule your Free Consultation today!!


How to Know What to Wear to a Wedding

From black tie to casual, our wedding guest cheat sheet has everything you need to know about wedding attire.
by The Knot

Wedding processional and guests


Has a wedding invite ever left you clueless about what to wear? Don’t worry, the info you need is likely there—you just have to know how to interpret the dress code wording. Whether it’s black tie, white tie or something in between, here’s a basic cheat sheet for deciding what to wear.

If the invite says “white tie”

This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars).

He should wear:
A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest and a bow tie. Formal black shoes and even white gloves for dancing are appropriate.

She should wear:
A formal, full-length ball gown. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate.

If the invite says “black tie”

This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair.

He should wear:
A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund and patent leather shoes are also suggested.

She should wear:
A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown. The bride, wedding party or close friends can help answer questions about the appropriate dress length.

If the invite says “formal” or “black tie optional”

The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate.

He should wear:
A tuxedo or formal dark suit and tie.

She should wear:
A long evening dress, dressy suit or formal cocktail-length dress.

The invite says “cocktail attire”

This is slightly less formal than black tie and black tie optional, which means no tux required for men and no floor-length gown required for women (unless you’d like to wear a long dress).

He should wear: 

A suit and tie. Lean toward darker hues in chillier months, and feel free to opt for lighter grays or blues in warmer weather.

She should wear:

A cocktail dress or dressy suit or jumpsuit.

The invite says “beach formal”

This suggests an elegant beach wedding—so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand and water). Anything you’d wear to a nice restaurant on a summer night is appropriate.

He should wear:
A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants (or khakis) and sandals.

She should wear:
A formal summer sundress at tea or knee length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural.

The invite says “semiformal” or “dressy casual”

Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding.

He should wear:
A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.

She should wear:
A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.

The invite says “casual” or “daytime”

Generally, casual means anything goes—but jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they’re specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side.

He should wear:
Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.

She should wear:
A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural.

Not sure where to begin with your wedding planning? Take our Style Quiz and we’ll pull together a custom wedding vision and vendors to match, just for you. After that, create a free, personalized wedding website to keep your guests informed (and excited!) about your plans, and a time-saving Guest List Manager to organize your attendees. Even better? You can sync your Guest List Manager and wedding website to update everything at once.  

Republished by Unique Invitations by Deborah

Schedule your Free Consultation today!

10 Reasons to Purchase your Invitations from an Professional

1. You will receive Fantastic Customer Service (at Unique Invitations by Deborah you will – Deborah has over 36 years of experience.) Appointments available if in the Philadelphia, PA vicinity.
2. You have the assurance that your invitations will look like what you ordered.
3. The layout will be correct, grammatically and etiquette wise
4. It will be centered correctly
5. You will be sure to order the correct amount – not too many, not too few which is a very costly mistake often made.
6. DIY’s are nice, but it’s a lot of work, jams, ink, smears often happen, etc. You can easily purchase a simple, reasonable priced invitation from Deborah and bling it up/wrap it, tie a bow, etc. like you would one from scratch but it’s professionally printed and you received Deborah’s expertise. Deborah even has rhinestones and pearls at very reasonable prices.
7. If you shop online without service or in a store with minimal employees, they do not have the time to suggest ideas, proper wording, etc. Deborah always takes the time to give fantastic suggestions (look at her reviews). Deborah has the time and loves to help wherever possible.Arlene Love in Bloom Allure
8. Other’s will talk you into buying the moon. At Unique Invitations, Deborah respects your pocketbook and will only advise what you need so you walk out or hang up with her not feeling like you’ve been taken. She knows how expensive events are and wants you to have the very best value for your money.
9. More than invitations – Deborah has Holiday Cards, favors, attendant gifts, wedding items and lots more.
10. No pressure and tons of pleased clients nationwide.

I hope to hear from you soon – please tell a friend!

Deborah Carasso
Unique Invitations by Deborah
215-728-0328 or toll free: 877-837-9122

Schedule your Free Consultation today!!

Tips for Hosting a Wedding at Home


Although at-home weddings are intimate and sentimental, they generally require more money and preparation than people realize. According to Washington DC area wedding planner Katie Martin, at-home weddings cost 10 to 15 percent more than location weddings. That being said, if done correctly, hosting a wedding at home can be an incredible experience.

The first thing you need to do is make room for your guests. By utilizing a self-storage finder, you can locate an affordable storage locker for your excess furniture. At-home weddings require a great deal of room, and temporary self-storage is a great way to free up space. In addition to renting a storage unit, we’ve compiled these tips for hosting an at-home wedding:

Let the setting dictate the wedding aesthetic

If you have an oceanfront property, perhaps you will have barefoot guests, margaritas and tiki torches around the yard. If the wedding is on a large estate, maybe it’s a champagne waterfall, fine china and lavish decorations. A rustic cabin would arguably mandate a more down-to–earth décor.

Hire a wedding planner

Between hiring a catering company, bartenders, musicians and a tent company, an at-home wedding is a great deal of work. Although it is an added cost, a wedding planner can really help alleviate stress. Don’t try to do everything yourself. I have many vendors that I recommend. Check out: my preferred vendors

Be prepared for inclement weather

If you’re having an outdoor reception, be prepared for Mother Nature. A large tent can provide both shade and protection from rainfall, but depending on the size of the wedding, a tent may not be sufficient. You may need to clear out rooms inside your home as well.

Be courteous to your neighbors

Make sure you let your neighbors know you’re having a wedding. You don’t want them landscaping that day or hosting a party at the same time. Also, if you are friendly with your neighbors, perhaps some of your guests can park in their driveway.

Consider permits

Look into the local noise ordinances, as you may need a permit to host the loud festivities at your home. Some towns require permits to park cars on certain streets as well.

Portable bathrooms

The general rule is to have at least one bathroom for every 35 guests. You don’t want guests waiting in long lines for the restroom, so it may be prudent to rent portable bathrooms. Luckily, these port-a-potties have become very upscale; you can rent ones equipped with air conditioning, heated water, sinks, lighting and mirrors.
Transportation and housing

Perhaps the most important considerations are where the guests will stay and how they get to and from the wedding. It’s important to consider taxis, shuttles and hotels early in the planning stages.

Reposted by Unique Invitations by Deborah