It’s time to send out those invites but with a long list of guests with a lot of different situations, it can be a little confusing! Should you include children on the front of the envelope, how do you correctly address a doctor or what do you do when couples live at different addresses? These are all questions we get asked w
hen it comes to addressing wedding invitations.
Firstly, just a quick note that you can decide whether to be a little more informal in your wedding invitations but if wedding etiquette is important to you, keep reading! Regardless of whether you want to go informal or formal, the most important thing to keep in mind is respect. It is important to respect your friends and family, so make sure you are addressing those in how they would like to be addressed. Although the rules that follow are important to consider, ultimately addressing someone how they would like to be addressed is more important than everything else. In this blog we help take away some of the confusion around correctly addressing your wedding invitations.
Proper Formatting of Envelopes:
Traditionally, the outer envelope of the invitation is more formal than the inner envelope. The outer envelope should include full names and titles, while the inner envelope can omit first or last names and titles. Here are a few examples for most common situations:
Addressing Wedding Invitations to Couples:
If the couple you are addressing is married, you would put both names of the couple on one line, listing the person you are closest with first if they have different last names. If you are close with both parties, put the names in alphabetical order.
On the outer envelope: “Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Deer” or “John Doe and Jane Deer”
On the inner envelope: “Mr. Doe and Ms. Deer” or “John and Jane”
On the outer envelope: “Mrs. Jackie and Mrs. Jane Doe” or “Mrs. and Mrs. Jane Doe”
On the inner envelope: “Mrs. and Mrs. Doe” or “Jackie and Jane”
On the outer envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe”
On the inner envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. Doe” or “John and Jane”
Formatting invitations to unmarried couples
Formatting invitations to unmarried couples is very similar to married couples with both names included on both envelopes. The only difference is that each name should get its own line.
On the outer envelope:
“Ms. Jane Deer
Mr. John Doe”
On the inner envelope:
Addressing Wedding Invitations to Married Doctor(s):
It is important to address doctors by their official titles. Your friends worked hard for these titles, so it is respectful to show that recognition. This formatting will be the same for other titles such as judges, reverends, or military personnel.
On the outer envelope: “Dr. Jane Deer and Dr. John Doe”
If the doctor uses their partner’s name: “Dr. Jane and Mr. John Doe”
If both people are doctors: “Doctors Jane and Joe Deer”
On the inner envelope: “Dr. Deer and Mr. Doe” or “The Doctors Deer”
Addressing Wedding Invitations to Families with Children:
First and foremost, if you are not planning on having children invited to your wedding, do not include them on the invitation. By doing this, you are giving your guests the impression that children will not be attending or invited, although some guests may bring children if they assume they are welcome. If you are worried your guests will bring uninvited children, ask your friends and family to help inform other guests that the event will be for adults only. You may have to contact some guests directly to kindly inform them of this situation.
If you are planning to invite children, you can include their names in their parent’s invitation on the inner envelope. If there are girls under the age of 18, you can address them as “Miss”, however, boys do not need a title unless they are 18, where they would then be addressed as “Mr.”. Please also keep in mind gender neutral titles such as Mx if applicable.
On the outer envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe”
On the inner envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
Joey, Brian, Miss Lisa and Mx. Sarah”
If there are children that are older than 18 that do not live with their parents, they should get their own invitation. Formal titles are not necessary, but you are more than welcome to use them if you wish, as long as you are using the proper identifiers for each guest.
On the outer envelope: “Ms. Jane Deer” or “Mr. John Doe” or “Mx. John Doe”
On the inner envelope: “Ms. Deer” or “Mr. Doe” or “Mx. Doe”
A Few More Etiquette Tips!
It is always important to make sure you are using formal names, meaning no nicknames. Middle names are not always necessary, but if you are planning to use them, make sure they are spelled out completely, not just including the initial.
When writing out addresses for invitees, make sure to spell out words such as street, avenue, apartment, and numeric street names as well (e.g., “First Avenue” instead of “1st Ave.).
When it comes to plus ones, there are a few etiquette rules to consider. First, spouses should always be invited! Don’t assume that your friend will bring their spouse, include both names on the invitation. If a couple does not live together, make sure to send two invitations to each address. If you are inviting someone who is bringing a plus one, try to find out their name and address so you can send two separate invitations. If you are not able to do so, address the outer envelope as the invitee and the inside envelope as “Mr. John Doe and Guest”.
Lastly, out of respect for everyone invited to your wedding, it is important to address everyone by their preferred pronouns. This means that if someone identifies as “they/them”, make sure to address them as Mx., instead of Ms., or Mr. You want everyone invited to feel respected, so if you don’t know someone’s pronouns directly, make sure to ask how they would prefer to be addressed.
Although we covered a lot of different situations on how to address everyone on your wedding invitations, there may be a few situations that are unique to your wedding guests. In this case, make sure you are always being formal and respectful when addressing guests, and if you are not sure how to properly address someone, you can always ask! If you are more curious on how to address wedding invitations correctly, we can connect and talk about the best way to address guests. We can also make sure you have the best wedding invitations to give each guest a glimpse into your special day. Pearl Invitations would love to help you curate custom and elegant wedding invitations that are perfect for you.