Addressing Wedding Invitation Envelopes

*{Updated 5/1/14} MagnetStreet offers white and cream mailing wedding envelopes in four different papers. We no longer offer an outer envelope option for wedding invitations. 

Before committing calligraphy pen to paper ...

Let me introduce you to a new way of thinking when it comes to addressing your wedding envelopes: an art form and a communication tool. Your invitees come in all statuses ... married, single, with children, living together, titled professionals incl military personnel, etc. It's kind of mind boggling to think that every invitation has to be specifically and accordingly addressed. Yikes! How you word the envelope{s} communicates who is invited~ specifically. And then of course, there's the part about etiquette.

Find below basic etiquette for addressing wedding invitation envelopes ... but ultimately, it's your wedding, your way!

addressing the wedding invitation with etiquette

How many envelopes will you be using?
One {single} or two {double set includes inner and outer envelopes}?

About Inner Envelopes Most often used with formal weddings. The inner envelope contains the invitation and is left unsealed, and written informally with the names of those specifically invited from that particular address. The way you address the inner envelope depends a lot on your relationship and how close you are to that guest.

About Outer Envelopes The outer envelope formally addresses your guest.

*If you are using a single envelope only, use the etiquette that pertains to the outer envelope.

Addressing Etiquette Traditional etiquette dictates that you do not use abbreviations for titles, street names, states- exceptions being: Mr. Mrs. Ms. Jr. Sr. II, III. The number one, apartment numbers can be written in numerals.

Married Couples
{outer}Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brady
{inner} Mr. and Mrs. Brady or Mike and Carol
if children are invited:
{outer} Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brady and family
{inner} Mike Carol {with kids listed on line below} Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy
if children are not invited: {By not including "and family" you are implying that it's an "adults only" event}

Married: He has a title and she does not
{outer and inner} Doctor and Mrs. Cliff Huxtable

Married: She has a title {use wife's title with full name and husband's first and last names}
The Honorable Judy Jackson and Mr. Robert Jackson {inner} Judge Jackson and Mr. Jackson
Doctor Clair Huxtable and Mr. Cliff Huxtable {inner} Doctor Clair Huxtable and Cliff Huxtable

Married: They both have titles
Doctors Cliff and Clair Huxtable
Professor Cliff Huxtable and Doctor Clair Huxtable

Examples of other titles:
Father and Mrs. Daniel Brown
Professor Pam Halpert and Mr. James Halpert
Reverend and Mrs. Marjorie Simpson
Major and Mrs. Ralph Kramden

Married Couple Living Together, Different Last Names: 
Ms. Aubrey Johnson and Mr. Michael Stenson
Mr. Michael Stension and Ms. Aubrey Johnson

Unmarried Couple Living Together: they each get their own line
{outer} Miss Fiona Glennane{inner} Fiona or Fiona Glennane
{outer}Mr. Michael Weston {inner} Michael or Michael Weston

{outer} Mr. Richard Castle {inner} Rick
{outer} Ms. Katherine Beckett {inner} Kate

Single + Guest
{outer} Mr. Richard Castle {inner} Rick Castle and Guest {try to find the name} i.e. Rick and Kate

More Tips:

  • If using 2 envelopes: insert inner envelope with the print facing the back of outer envelope. When your guest opens their outer envelope, they will see print first.
  • Decide at which age children should receive their own invitation: most common ages: 13 and 18.
  • Request the post office hand-cancel your invitations to avoid damage from postal machines
  • Take an assembled invitation to the post office so you are aware of postage cost.
  • Don’t forget the additional postage required for RSVP cards
  • Spellings: whatever you choose - be consistent i.e. honor/honour (don’t forget the RSVP cards)
  • Use stamps that complement the look of your invitations
  • Hire a calligrapher or enlist the help of friends/family with nice handwriting to help hand-address the invites
  • Have return address printed on the back side.

An art form. A communication tool.

Do you find this info helpful?

featured Pocket wedding Invitation: Lovely Lavender

sources consulted: The New Book of Wedding Etiquette and Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette

Insert inner envelope with the print facing the back of outer envelope. When your guest opens their outer envelope (or single), they will see print first.


This is very helpful to me. I am bookmarking it so I can refer to it when we get ready to send our invitations. Thanks!

Interesting article and very useful in many ways. Minor points. Reverend is never supposed to be just Reverend (though it is often done that way); it should be The Reverend. Also many Rev.'s are Dr.'s as well. In that case it's The Reverend Doctor Bob Smith. As a church administrator I've had to learn these among other details Care should also be taken when addressing same sex couples who consider themselves married whether or not they are living in a place whose laws acknowledge such relationships.

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