You’re almost done with your wedding invitations. You finally nailed down the wording. You’ve chosen your stationery. You and your fiancé have been badgering family and friends for their mailing addresses for days. Now, it’s time to address your wedding invitations.
You may not think addressing an envelope is a big deal (unless you’re a Millennial or Gen Z who never had to learn how to address an envelope) but your wedding invitations are a much bigger deal than mailing in your bills or sending a random letter to a friend. There are specific rules you should follow.
We know this is probably the least exciting piece of planning your wedding—you’re probably dreaming about your cake tasting right about now—but it is so important! Give yourself plenty of time to verify all of your guests’ addresses so you can send out your invitations in plenty of time—typically 8-10 weeks to give everyone ample time to respond.
Traditional wedding invitation etiquette says your outer envelope should be more formal with proper titles and full names, where the inner envelope can be more informal. Here we will outline how to address guests of varying ages, marital statuses, family sizes and living conditions so you can be sure everyone’s invitations are addressed properly!
Addressing Invitations to Married Couples
Put a married couple’s names on the same line (unless they don’t fit; then, separate them). If the couple has the same last name, it is easy to address their envelopes.
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Johnson
Mr. Steven and Mrs. Michelle Johnson
Steven and Michelle Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson
Steven and Michelle
If you are inviting a married couple with different last names, list the guest who you are closest with first; if you are equally close with the two, list their names alphabetically.
Mrs. Sarah Howell and Mr. David Smith
Mrs. Howell and Mr. Smith
Sarah and David
To an Unmarried CoupleWhen sending an invitation to couples who are not married, you address your invitation to both of them, listing who you are closest with first.
Mr. Joshua Davis and Ms. Amanda Harrison
Mr. Davis and Ms. Harrison
Joshua and Amanda
To a Single FemaleIf she is over 18, use “Ms.” when addressing her, and if she is under 18, use “Miss.”
Ms. Taylor Wright
Miss Taylor Wright if she is under 18
To a Single MaleYou only need a title for men over the age of 18.
Mr. Patrick Thomas
To a Married Couple Where One Person is a Doctor
Your friends didn’t spend 10 or more years in school to not be recognized! Make sure you spell out “doctor” on the outer envelope, and abbreviate on the inner envelope.
Dr. Emma Harres and Mr. Alexander Matthews
Dr. Harres and Mr. Matthews
Emma and Alexander
To a Family, Including all ChildrenWhen you invite family and friends with children, it is important to let them know early on whether their children are also invited, or if you are having a child-free ceremony. An easy, effective way to let them know their children are invited is to include their children’s names on the inner envelope.
The McKinney Family
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan McKinney
Mr. Ryan McKinney and Mrs. Emily McKinney
Ryan, Emily, Jace and Miss Lillie
You may not think invitation etiquette is important but trust us. After all is said and done you will be so happy your invitations are going out properly to all of your guests. They will appreciate the time and effort you put into making them feel special and welcome for your big day!