Just when you thought you were out of the woods on invite etiquette, wait, there’s more: addressing your wedding invitations.
If you’re wondering how to address wedding invitations like a pro, you’ll find it here along with specific examples based on the recipient.
Ways to Address Wedding Invitations
Wedding invitations are addressed on the outer envelope and vary in wording, depending on the addressee’s title and status. It can get tricky to nail it perfectly, but don’t worry: I’ll take the guesswork out of addressing your envelopes so you can tackle this task with confidence.
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Learn all the different ways to address wedding invitations to a family, with a guest, to a single guest, to a couple, to married couples, to unmarried couples, to doctors, etc. Plus, you’ll see examples of wedding invitation addressing so you don’t make any blunders.
Let’s get started.
JUMP AHEAD: If you’d like to skip ahead, click on the heading for reference:
Family | Married Couple | Engaged Couple | Single Guest | with Guest / Plus One | Different Last Names | Unmarried Couple Living Together | Unmarried Couple Not Living Together | Doctors | Doctor and Spouse | Military Officer | Widow | No Inner Envelope | Casual / Modern Wedding
Expert Advice: Wedding Invitation Addressing
Since your invitation is the first impression you’ll make upon guests, there is no room for error. Common mistakes happen when couples don’t realize there are rules to abide by and no one knows unless someone tells you about proper etiquette. So, hi, it’s me, and I’ll help you through this topic with proven, tried-and-true examples. :)
First, let’s begin with examples of addressing wedding invitations to a family.
Invitations to a family with children under the age of 18* will be addressed as follows:
The Outer Envelope ► “The Mitchell Family” or “Mr. and Mrs. Emily Mitchell” or “Mr. Michael Mitchell and Mrs. Emily Mitchell and Family”
The Inner Envelope ► “Michael, Emily, Rhys, Blake, and Mikey”
*A dependent living with their parents over the age of 18 will receive their own invitation.
You’ll use either “Mr.” and “Mrs.” or “Mr.” and “Mr.” or “Mrs.” and “Mrs.” and spell out the first and last name. For Mr./Mr. or Mrs./Mrs., either name can go first.
Married Couple: Same Last Name
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. and Mrs. James Bennett”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. and Mrs. Bennett” or “James and Erica”
Married Couple: Different Last Name
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Thomas Bennett and Mrs. Erica Mitchell”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Mitchell” or “James and Erica”
You’ll follow the same protocol for an engaged couple in this way:
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Jason Yasbeth and Ms. Anna Winters”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Yasbeth and Ms. Winters” or “Jason and Anna”
If you’re sending invitations to a single guest, here’s how to do it properly. Anyone over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation.
• Single Female
The Outer Envelope ► “Ms. Amanda Hamlin”
The Inner Envelope ► “Ms. Hamlin” or “Amanda”
• Single Male
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Anthony Rosengaard”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Rosenaard” or “Anthony”
When you’re inviting a single person and a guest, here’s how you’ll address the envelope. Whenever possible, use the name of the guest they plan to bring (which will be helpful for printing names on place cards, escort cards / seating chart, etc.)
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Benjamin Lucas and Ms. Anna Samson”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Lucas and Ms. Samson” or “Lucas and Anna”
If unsure of their plus one’s name, simply use, “and Guest“.
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Benjamin Lucas and Guest”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Lucas and Guest” or “Benjamin and Guest”
If the couple is married and has two different last names, here’s how to address their envelopes.
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Ryan Thunberg and Mrs. Jennifer Sanders”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Thunberg and Mrs. Sanders” or “Ryan and Jennifer”
Send an invitation to a couple who is unmarried but living together at the same address in this way:
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Walter Tims and Ms. Emily Franklin”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. Tims and Ms. Franklin” or “Walter and Emily”
PRO TIP: Whose name goes first? Whomever you are related to or are of closer acquaintance. In situations such as doctors, military personnel, lawyers, etc., the individual with the title will be listed first.
As a rule of thumb, when you’re inviting an unmarried couple who doesn’t live together, you will send an individual invitation to each residence.
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. Andrew O’Neill”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mr. O’Neill” or “Andrew”
Then send to their significant other:
The Outer Envelope ► “Ms. Taylor Thomas”
The Inner Envelope ► “Ms. Thomas” or “Taylor”
Are both of the partners doctors? You will use the term, “The Doctors” on the envelope.
The Outer Envelope ► “The Doctors Franklin”
The Inner Envelope ► “The Doctors Franklin” or “Michael and Paula”
When addressing to a married couple and one of them is a doctor, here’s how to properly indicate their status on the envelope.
The Outer Envelope ► “Doctor Blake Boothe and Ms. Mya Franklin”
The Inner Envelope ► “Dr. Boothe and Ms. Franklin” or “Blake and Mya”
NOTE: Other instances where you’ll include a title when addressing invitations include:
• Judge: “The Honorable…”, i.e. “The Honorable Mitchell Lincoln and Mrs. Beverly Lincoln”
• Attorney: Name followed by “Esq.”, i.e. “Dr. Boothe and Ms. Franklin, Esq.”
In an addressing to military officers, show respect by properly addressing the invitations. Military titles are very specific: see this guide for properly addressing invitations to a military officer, based on rank.
For the instance of a widow, you will address it as follows:
The Outer Envelope ► “Mrs. Theresa Yasmin”
The Inner Envelope ► “Mrs. Yasmin” or “Lisa Yasmin” or “Lisa”
Some modern style invitations — like an all in one invite — omits an inner envelope. It saves paper, money, and time, all great points! But how should you address wedding invitations without an inner envelope? It’s easy!
All you’ll do is utilize the outer envelope in the examples above and omit the inner envelope wording. The biggest blunder you’ll reach is when it comes to addressing invitations to a family with kids or not including children for an adult-only wedding.
If kids are not invited to the wedding, be very specific on the outer envelope and include the names of guests who are invited.
Kids NOT Invited
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. and Mrs. Mark Scott” or “Mr. and Mrs. Scott” or “Mark and Melissa”
Kids ARE Invited
The Outer Envelope ► “Mr. and Mrs. Mark Scott and Family” or “Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Family” or:
“Mr. Mark Scott and Mrs. Melissa Scott
Anna, Michael, and Lucy”
[ Separate Lines ]
This way, there is no confusion as to whom is or isn’t invited.
When it comes to addressing invites, the trickiest rules pertains to include or exclude children from the guest list.
For more tips on this, see:
For a casual wedding such as a BBQ reception, backyard wedding, etc., it’s acceptable to be more laid-back and omit the formal titles. Instead, opt for the first and last names for the guests on the outer envelope.
Now that you know all the etiquette tips and tricks, you’re ready to go forth and address wedding invitations properly. Have fun with it! And remember, if you run into any questions along the way, just ask me in the comment box below.
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P.S. Once you address them, don’t forget to prep them for the post office. It looks like you’re ready for the next challenge: Here’s EXACTLY Where to Put the Return Address on Invitations.