So you’ve poured over wedding invitation designs and have selected your fave. You’ve gathered your guest list and negotiated it down with your partner-to-be. Yesterday the invitations arrived. Exciting! Now it’s time to get those names on your invitations except….ugh, all the etiquette and decisions around how to write the addresses on wedding invitation envelopes can feel like a minefield.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. This week we’ll describe the rules around the names. Next week we’ll talk about the street address, guests and inner envelope etiquette.
Outer Wedding Invitation Envelope Etiquette
Address the outer wedding invitation envelopes with the guests’ full names and addresses. The inner envelope (which we will save for next week) only features the names.
Since a wedding is about as formal an occasion as you can get, use your guest’s full name and title — including government titles, clergy titles and military titles:
Mr. and Mrs. Dean Johnson
Doctor Nancy Manus and Mr. George Manus
Note that you should abbreviate Mr. and Mrs. but other titles do not usually get abbreviated. For example, only abbreviate Doctor and Reverend if there isn’t enough room on the line. Never abbreviate military titles. List the person with the official or professional title first.
Couples on Envelopes
When mailing to a married couple, always address the envelope to both partners. Using only the man’s first name is an old-fashioned tradition that is falling out of style, so using both spouses’ first names is correct.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Tomsic
Ms. Julie Paek and Mr. John Paek
When addressing an envelope to a married couple where the woman uses her maiden name, you can write either name first, but if you’re “old-school,” you may list the gentleman first. A more neutral way to do it is to write the names in alphabetical order, which also works well for same-sex couples and unmarried couples who live together.
Mr. Thomas Roarden and Ms. Anne Sterling
If the names run onto a second line, put the first name on the first line and the second on next line, indented and starting with “and.”
Mr. Thomas Roarden
and Ms. Anne Sterling
Children on Envelopes
Send children ages 18 and older separate invitations from their parents. You may send brothers and sisters a joint invitation.
To invite all family members who are living at one address, address the envelope “and Family.”
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Potter and Family
In the next blog, we will discuss how to write the street address, guests and inner envelope etiquette.
Looking for wedding invitations? Ask for the Silver Leaf Invitation Album at your favorite Embossed Graphics retailer. Use our store locator. Please buy local to keep people employed and pay local taxes. Your purchase of Embossed Graphics stationery not only enriches your lifestyle, it enriches your community.