The way you address your wedding invitations is important! This is not only for envelope etiquette’s sake. But for logistical wedding planning reasons. Since you have already handled the wedding invitation wording, it is time to figure out how to address your guest list.
Before you mail your invitations, ensure you have a return address. You will also need to check if the inner envelope and the outer envelope addressing is properly done. Be sure to include an rsvp card as a separate invitation so that its mailed back to you.
When addressing your invitations, be sure to follow the invitation etiquette for formal weddings even if yours is a casual wedding. The proper etiquette means good grammar, proper capitalization of names and using the right titles.
Let us guide you through every detail of addressing your own invitations to ensure they have a favorable first impression.
We have prepared a comprehensive guide that covers everything including:
- How to address single and their plus one
- How to address a married couple with different last names
- How to address unmarried couples
And anything else included in the addressing
How to address parents who are hosts
Hosting the wedding means you pay for the wedding service providers. Traditionally, the bride’s father would finance the wedding. But today, it is common for other family members to split the cost. If parents are paying, its courteous to put their names first and then their children – bride or groom followed by the other partners name.
Harry and Maria Stevens request the pleasure of your company to celebrate the marriage of their son Allen Peter to Sally Jacobs (daughter to Mary and Gregory Thompson).
If both parents are paying:
Brian and Sarah Gonzalez together with John and Jessica McCartney request the pleasure of your company to celebrate the marriage of their children Lisa Gonzalez and Michael McCartney
How to address host from either bride or groom
In most modern wedding, couples usually pay for their own wedding. If you are one of these couples, you may be wondering how to write the invitation without offending the parents. The most common invitation address if you are paying for you for your wedding is to put the bride’s name first.
Britney Warren and Harry Peters request the honor of your presence at their wedding
Michelle Markle and Ryan Brown together with their families request the company of Lauren Jones at their wedding
Addressing a married couple with the same last name
You have a few options on how to address this:
Use Mr. and Mrs. With the husband’s first and last name spelled out on the wedding invitation envelopes. If you choose to include the husband’s middle name, you should not be abbreviations rather spell it out.
Outer envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Leakey
Inner envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Leakey or Thomas and Lily
You can spell out the couple’s names separate. This makes the woman feel included instead of it lumped in with the husbands’.
Outer envelope: Mr. Thomas Leakey and Mrs. Lily Leakey
Inner envelope: Mr. Leakey and Mrs. Leakey or Thomas and Lily
Addressing married couple with different last names
Write their names on the same line with the woman’s name first. If the combined names are too long, list them in separate lines.
O.E: Mr. and Mrs. Maria Latanya and Mr. David Myles
I.E: Ms. Latanya and Mr. Myles or Maria and David
Addressing a married couple with one hyphenated last name
There are couples who choose to hyphenate their last name they should be addressed using this order. Mrs. + her first name + maiden name + married name
O.E: Mr. Michael Crane and Mrs. Laura Diamond-Crane
I.E: Mr. Crane and Mrs. Diamond-Crane or Michael and Laura
Addressing an unmarried couple
A couple who are unmarried but live at the same address need an invitation addressed to both of them on one line. The name of the person you are closest to comes first.
O.E: Mr. Stanley George and Ms. Trish Ashley
I.E: Mr. George and Ms. Ashley or Stanley and Trish
Addressing the same sex couple
In this case, it is acceptable to put either guest’s name first. You may choose the person you are closer to first or address them in an alphabetical order
O.E: Ms. Diana Stevens and Ms. Lucy Thompson
I.E: Ms. Stevens and Ms. Thompson or Diana and Lucy
Addressing a single guest – female
In this case, use Ms. if she is over 18 years and Miss if younger. The Miss in the younger one should be spelled out not used as abbreviations.
O.E: Ms. Stephanie McCarter or Miss Stephanie McCarter – if younger than 18
I.E: Ms. McCarter or Miss McCarter or Stephanie
Addressing a single guest – male
For the single male, if he is over 18, address him as Mr. if younger, no title is necessary.
O.E: Mr. Joseph Ingram or Joseph Ingram
I.E: Mr. Ingram or James
Addressing a married couple with whom one is a doctor
Always list the one with the title first. If the combined names are too long for one line, list them separate. Spell out the doctor title on the outer envelope and abbreviate it on the inner.
O.E: Doctor Kim Trump and Mr. Chris Smith
I.E: Dr. Trump and Mr. Smith or Kim and Chris
Addressing a married couple who are both doctors
In a case where the married couple are both doctors. And the wife has taken her husband’s last name, it is fine to address them as “The doctors”.
O.E: The Doctors Ramsey or Drs. John and Mary Ramsey
I.E: The Doctors Ramsey or John and Mary
Incase these married doctors have a hyphenated name, address it as follows
O.E: Doctor John Ramsey and Doctor Mary Greg-Ramsey
I.E: Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Greg-Ramsey or John and Mary
Addressing a couple with other distinguished titles
The same doctor rule we have applied above, apply it for other titles. These titles include judges, military personnel, reverends and many others. If both titles do not fit on one line, indent on the second line. Remember, whichever professional title outranks the other for example a doctor, military personnel or any other title, their name is written first regardless of the gender.
O.E: The Honorable Abby Baker and Mr. James Baker or Captains James Baker and Abby Baker, US Navy
I.E: Judge Baker and Mr. Baker or The Captains Baker
Addressing a widow
Confirm with her close friend if she would like to be addressed by her married name or by her husband’s name.
O.E: Mrs. Kelly Brown or Mrs. Michael Brown depending on her preference
I.E: Mrs. Brown or Kelly
Addressing a divorced female
If she still uses her ex-husband’s last name you can address her by using it or use her maiden name.
O.E: Mrs. Beyonce Clerk
I.E: Mrs. Clerk or Ms. Clerk or Beyonce
Addressing the whole family including children
When addressing an entire family, the family name or parents’ names are listed and children’s names included. When including female children less than 18 years, address them as Miss spelled out in full.
O.E: The Nigel’s family or Mr. and Mrs. Allan Nigel or Mr. Allan Nigel and Mrs. Emily Nigel
I.E: Allan, Emily, Greg, Alex, Miss Laura, and Miss Charlotte