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Addressing Wedding Invitations

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Addressing & Mailing
Wedding Invitations

Imagine ... your wedding envelope standing out like a diamond in the sand among the other pieces in the pile.

Casting all other mail aside, your addressee will pore over the contents and pay attention to the details.

Both pretty and practical, Wedding Envelopes must do the heavy lifting of communicating who’s invited (and who isn’t).

Although the rules of etiquette have changed, there are conventions worth keeping. The most important guideline is to respect how your guests would like to be addressed.

Single or Double Envelopes?

Double Envelopes Once necessary, now an option.
The Outer envelope formally addresses guests while the Inner Envelope is less formal and more specific.

Example:
Outer Envelope    Mr. and Mrs. Lee Burke
Inner Envelope     Lee and Jane

  

Single Envelopes Most commonly used!
Many couples are using the single wedding envelope as a way to save money on their invitations.

The following examples are written for single envelopes using the same principles as the outer envelope.

Good to know
Traditionally, when last names are different, the woman‘s name is written first. The word “and” implies marriage.

Tip
For unmarried couples not living together, consider sending 2 separate invitations.

Addressing Couples

Married
Mr. and Mrs. Lee Burke formal
Mr. Lee and Mrs. Jane Burke
Lee and Jane Burke contemporary

Married (wife kept maiden name)
Mrs. Jane Smith and Mr. Lee Burke formal
Jane Smith and Lee Burke contemporary

Married (wife has hyphenated name)
Mrs. Jane Smith-Burke and Mr. Lee Burke formal
Jane Smith-Burke and Lee Burke contemporary

Unmarried (living together)
Ms. Katherine Jones formal
Mr. Scott Janzen
contemporary
Ms. Katherine Jones and Mr. Scott Janzen

Unmarried (not living together)
Ms. Katherine Jones formal
Mr. Scott Janzen
contemporary
Ms. Katherine Jones and Mr. Scott Janzen

Tip
With divorced and widowed guests, check to see if they are still using their married names.

Addressing Single Guests

Male
Mr. John Silversformal
John Silverscontemporary

Female
Miss Lisa Kubel formal
Ms. Lisa Kubelcontemporary
Lisa Kubel contemporary

With a date or “plus one”
Lisa Kubel and Guest contemporary

Divorced (if still using married name)
Ms. Holly Silvers formal
Holly Silvers contemporary

Widowed
Mrs. John Stone formal
Mrs. Daisy Stone less formal
Daisy Stone contemporary

Good to know
If children are not invited, do not include their names anywhere on the envelopes.

Children

Under 18
John and Lisa Thompson contemporary
and Family

John and Lisa Thompson contemporary
Anna, Tanner and Josiah oldest listed first

Over 18 (may receive their own invitation)
Mr. Tanner Thompson
Miss Anna Thompson

Tip Having an Adults Only wedding? Consider using a double envelope set to confirm just who is invited (and by omission, who isn’t).

Example
Outer Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. John and Lisa Thompson
Inner Envelope
Uncle John and Aunt Lisa
Anna, Tanner, Josiah oldest listed first



Good to know
Who’s who? Professional titles come before social titles (i.e. Mr. Ms. Mrs.). If wife is the doctor and husband is not, she is listed first.

Different last names?
It is traditional to list the wife’s name first.

Professional Titles

Doctor
Dr. Sarah Mitchell and Mr. Jacob Mitchell
Doctor Jacob Mitchell and Mrs. Sarah Mitchell
Doctor and Mrs. Jacob Mitchell

Professor
Professor Sarah Mitchell and Mr. Jacob Mitchell
Professor Jacob Mitchell and Mrs. Mitchell
Professor and Mrs. Jacob Mitchell

Elected Official
The Honorable and Mrs. Jacob Mitchell
Judge and Mrs. Mitchell
Judge Sarah Mitchell and Mr. Jacob Mitchell
The Honorable Mayor Sarah Mitchell and Mr. Jacob Mitchell

Attorney
Mr. Jacob Mitchell, Esquire and Mrs. Sarah Mitchell

Clergy
Father and Mrs. Jacob Mitchell
The Reverend Jacob Mitchell
Rabbi and Mrs. Jacob Mitchell
Pastor Sarah Mitchell and Mr. Jacob Mitchell
Sister Sarah Mitchell

Both Have Professional Titles
Doctor Jacob Mitchell and Professor Sarah Mitchell
The Doctors Mitchell
The Doctors Jacob and Sarah Mitchell

Good to know
Wedding invitations are social correspondence and do not require naming the branch. Check with specific branch for specific protocol.

Military

Commissioned Officer
Lieutenant Joel Larson and Mrs. Larson
Colonel and Mrs. Joel Larson
Major and Mrs. Joel Larson
Lieutenant Robin Larson and Mr. Joel Larson

Both are Officers
The Captains Larson
Colonel Joel Larson and Lieutenant Robin Larson

Tip: Officer with the higher rank is always listed first.

 

Non-commissioned officer or enlisted personnel
Mr. and Mrs. Joel Larson
Mr. and Mrs. Joel and Robin Larson

Tip: Only use military titles for officers on wedding envelopes. Enlisted personnel such as: Private, Specialist, Corporal, Seaman, Airman should not have their rank on the envelope.

Return Address

Using the same basic etiquette, the Return Address is typically printed on the back flap of the wedding envelope and corresponds with the address on the RSVP Postcard or Envelope.

The Return Address may be printed directly onto the envelope or an Address Label.

Did you know that MagnetStreet offers Return Address Printing on Envelopes and Labels?

Shop Wedding Envelopes

Shop Address Labels


Quick Reference Checklist

  • Avoid symbols and abbreviations
  • Spell out: names, titles, street names, states,
    Exceptions: Mr. Mrs. Ms. Jr. Sr. The number one
  • Apartment numbers, house numbers, and zip codes may be written in numeral form
  • Before buying your stamps, take fully assembled wedding invitation envelope to post office for weighing
  • Remember additional postage is required for Square Invitations
  • Don’t forget postage for your RSVP Postcards or Envelopes
  • Request that the post office hand-cancel your postage

Get the Go-to Guide & Checklist

Addressing Template

Easy to follow, use this free printable to hand-address your wedding envelopes with beautiful precision on perfectly straight lines.

Download the Addressing Template