After tackling the wordings on wedding invitations, it's time to determine the right way to address your envelopes. After all, more goes into your wedding envelope wordings than names, addresses, and postage stamps.
Why should we learn wedding invitation envelope addressing etiquette?
1. Identify who is invited, avoid some "unexpected guests”
2. Avert impolite manners. It can be rude when you use wrong titles or forget to spell the names out in formal cases.
3. Easy to cope with special situations such as addressing to a divorced woman, to families with children who you don’t want to include, or to unmarried couples living together, etc.
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Outer vs Inner?
In fact, many modern couples now choose to send their wedding invitations without an envelope. As a rule of thumb, it’s enough to convey all message using an outer envelope. But if you want further clarification on who are invited, an inner envelope will help you get things more clear. For example, for a family with two children under 18, you may write “Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham” on the outer envelope while “Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly” on the inner one, as the outer envelope itself can not contain all the messages-it can be so congested.
We recommend using separate two envelopes, the outer one containing the mailing address, postage, and return address in a formal way, and the inner one indicating all the people invited ( just first names) in a more casual way.
5 General Rules to Keep in Mind
1. Spell out all the words, such as Apartment, Avenue, Street, etc. Do not use abbreviations;
2. Do not spell out the sate;
3. Husband name goes first for married couples;
4. List the names on a separate line for unmarried couples;
5. Use formal names, not nicknames
8 Frequently Situations
Filling out envelopes can be a very tricky process, especially when it comes to specific circumstances. Look at the 10 cases below, what type do you belong to? Keep reading these practical etiquettes and pick the most fitted one to your actual state.
1. To a Family with Children
Only address children on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by first name.
Children above 18 should receive their individual invitations.
For girls under the age of 18, address them as “Miss”. Boys don’t require a title until they’re 18, then they are addresses as “Mr”
The Brady family
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brady
Mr. and Mrs. Brady
Jonathon and Jeffery
Michael, Daisy, Jonathon, and Jeffery
2. To Married Couples with the Same Last Name
If a married couple shares the same last name, usually we address the envelope as [Mr. and Mrs. “His-first name-last name”]. For example:
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua McLemore
Mr. and Mrs. McLemore or
Joshua and Penny
You can also address both partners equally, then use both the wife’s first and last names and the husband’s first and last names. For example:
Mr. Joshua Mclemore and Mrs. Penny McLemore
Mr. Joshua and Mrs. Penny McLemore
Joshua and Penny
If one of the couple is a doctor, then list his or her name and title first.
If the female part has the professional title, address it depending on whether she chooses to use her maiden name. You can just use “Dr.” or spell it out like “Doctor”
Dr. Anne and Mr. Joseph Kaplan
Dr. Anne Ramirez and Mr. Joseph Kaplan (if she uses maiden name)
Dr. Ramirez and Mr. Kaplan
If both of the couples are doctors, traditionally the female partner’s name goes first:
Doctors Anne and Joseph Kaplan
Drs. Anne and Joseph Kaplan
The Doctors Kaplan
Apply the same rules to address military personnel, judges, reverends,and so on. If both titles don't fit on one line, indent the second line:
The Honorable Richard Kelly and Lieutenant Matthew Kelly, US Navy
Colonel Richard and Matthew Kelly, US Navy (if both of them are colonel)
3. To Married Couples with Different Last Names
List the partner you’re closest with first. If you’re close with both, list them in alphabetical order:
Mr. James Wilson and Mrs. Mary Higgins
Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Higgins
James and Mary
If one party is a doctor, list the doctor first:
Dr. Mary Higgins and Mr. James Wilson
Dr. Higgins and Mr. Wilson
Apply the same rules to address military personnel, judges, reverends and so on. If both titles don't fit on one line, indent the second line:
Captain Richard Kelly and Lieutenant Matthew Smith, US Army
If one partner has a hyphenated last name, list the hyphenated name last:
Mr. Andy Dwyer and Mrs. Elgin Ludgate-Dwyer
4. To Unmarried Couples Living Together
List the one you’re close with first, and write the two names in a separate line:
Ms. Audrey Spano
Mr. Albert Thompson
If you don’t know your friend’s partner name, then simply use “and guest” after your friend name:
Mr. Albert Thompson and guest
5. To Same-sex Couples
It’s fine to put either guest first, or address them in alphabetical order.
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.
Ms. Audrey Spano and Ms. Anne Smith
Ms. Spano and Ms. Smith
Audrey and Anne
6. To a Divorced Female
You can address her as either “Ms” or “Mrs.” and use her maiden name or her former husband’s surname, depending her preference:
Mrs./Ms. Audrey Thompson
Mrs./Ms. Audrey Spano (if she uses maiden name)
7. To a Widow
Traditionally, you would use the deceased husband’s last name in the address, as well as his first name. However, better ask her whether she prefers to use her first name:
Mrs. David Miller
Mrs. Austin Miller
Some widows might also prefer to use “Ms.,” so be sure to inquire.
8. To an Individual
To people 18 and older, unless they live together with their parents, send them an individual invitation. For a single female, use Ms. and Mr. for male one:
Ms. Elizabeth Lemon
Mr. George Constanza
If your guest is a judge, doctor, priest and so on, use the professional titles:
The Honorable Elizabeth Lemon
Father James Wilson
Fast Questioned & Answered 101
1. It’s okay to use address labels on the envelops?
Yes, we recommend using address labels for return addresses and placing them on the back flap for the tidiness of the envelope front. Or you can find online shops with free return address printing service.
2. It’s essential to indicate not including children?
Not recommend. As a rule, if you address to a family, write all the names invited on inner envelopes, and most of guests will know not to bring the one not showing on the envelope. For more assurance, add the message to your wedding website (if you have one) and ask your bridal party or family to spread the word that it will be an adult-only celebration.
Hope this article helps you get through with wedding invitation envelope addressing, show it to your couple and write with him or her together.