How To Address Wedding Invitations

Last updated on July 19th, 2021 at 02:31 pm

With all the work that revolves around the average wedding, people often overlook the importance of properly addressing their invitations.  It’s easy to skip the traditional envelopes and you may feel like you don’t need to do everything by the book. However, the way your invitations look and the way they “sound” can say a lot about the whole concept and tone of your wedding. The invitations give you a perfect chance to give important hints regarding the theme of your wedding and the precise number of guests you’re inviting.

We’ve prepared examples of different scenarios as well as examples to help you get the hang of addressing wedding invitations.

Addressing Married Couples

Addressing a wedding invitation envelopes may seem easy if the people in question are a married couple. While it surely isn’t rocket science, there still are some rules that apply to various situations.

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Traditionally, the proper way of addressing an envelope to a married couple with the same last name was by using “Mr.” and “Mrs.” before spelling out the husband’s first and last name. However, completely leaving out the wife’s name isn’t a great way to make one half of the invitees feel wanted, so we recommend erring on the side of modernism and mentioning both names, in full, on the envelopes.

Similarly, spell both full names for married couples with different last names or for couples who aren’t officially married.

These same standard rules apply for addressing invitation envelopes to couples of all sexual orientations. If you’re concerned about misgendering a guest with a “Mr” or a “Mrs”, the best practice is simply to ask them or someone they’re close to for their prefered pronoun.

In general it doesn’t matter whose name you put first on the wedding invitation. You may choose to list the person you feel closer to first, or list the names first alphabetically.

Addressing Families

Guest family siting at a table

The proper way to address wedding invitations when inviting families is to list the full names of the parents on the outer envelope and then list the children’s names on the inner envelope. Not including the names of each child implies that they aren’t invited. If you’re planning an adult-only wedding, you should only list the parent’s names on both envelopes. However, sometimes people assume the children are invited even though you haven’t listed their names. To make sure there are no surprises, turn to word of mouth and make sure people spread the info about your no-kids wedding party. You may also add the info to your wedding website.

How to Address Doctors and Those With Distinguished Titles

You may wonder how to address wedding invitations for those with distinguished titles, such as doctors or military personnel. When it comes to married couples where both parties have titles, write both their names and titles on the inner and outer envelopes. The name and title of the person with the higher rank should come first. If only one of them has a title, you should write that person’s name and title first. If either party uses another name with their title, for example a married woman who is a doctor and uses her maiden name professionally, you should include that name as well. These rules are most often used for doctors, but the same ones apply for judges, military personnel, reverends, etc.

How To Address Wedding Invitation to Single Guests

Single wedding guest eating at a table

If you’re wondering how to address a wedding invitation to a single guest, all you need to know is the age of the person.

For single female guests, use “Ms.” if the woman is over 18. If she is younger than that, you should write “Miss.” In both cases, you need to spell out their full name. For single male guests, it’s enough to write “Mr.” if the person is over 18. Again, if you aren’t certain what gender your friend identifies as or are concerned about offending them with a mistaken title, the best practice is to ask for clarification.

Make sure to specify on the wedding envelope whether the guest gets a plus one or not. If you want your single guest to bring a casual date, write their name and then “and guest.”

General Invitation Etiquette

The most important thing about wedding invitations is sending them out on time. You should send them at least six to eight weeks before the big day, and you should give your guests at least four weeks to RSVP.

The traditional wedding invitation address etiquette includes two envelopes: an inner and an outer envelope. The outer envelope is for proper addressing, and the inner envelope is a bit more personal and precise because it lists each guest.

Many people dread choosing the right layout for their envelopes, which is why customizable cards are so popular with newlyweds. At Printivity, we’ve helped many couples create personal, unique invitations using our customizable templates as guidelines.

Wedding Invitation Tips: Dos

Here’s a list of the most important tips for handling any wedding invitation envelope like a boss:

  • DO learn how to write formally. Be consistent with your wording throughout the whole process (the invitation, the thank you card, the reception card, etc.).
  • DO choose colors that match your wedding theme. If you choose customizable cards for your wedding invitations, you’ll be able to choose the colors, graphics, and fonts so they match the style of your wedding perfectly.
  • DO be unique: Your invitation is sure to end up displayed on your guests fridge or bulletin board as a reminder of you and your milestone, so the last thing you want is for it to be generic. It’s your big day, and it’s all about celebrating you and the person you love. Don’t be afraid to customize something unique, that speaks to who you are as a couple; make sure your wedding invitations express your unique love story.

Wedding Invitation Tips: Don’ts

If you want to know how to address wedding invitations without insulting anyone, here’s a list of things to avoid:

  • DON’T write your registry info on the invitations. You can list your registry on your wedding website and then list the website on the invitation.
  • DON’T explicitly write “no children” on your invitation. The inner envelope is there for you to address each person you’re inviting and to let the guests know who should come to the wedding.
  • DON’T include other events in the invitation: the details about pre and post-wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner or gift opening after the wedding shouldn’t be in the invitation.

How Printivity Can Change Your Wedding Invite Game

Using the proper wedding invitation addressing etiquette is important, but coming up with the perfect layout and print can make or break the impression your invitations leave on your guests. Choosing the right invitation envelopes and stationary is just as important as correctly writing the addressing details.

Since you’re inviting people to one of the most important and personal days in your life, you should feel free to make the invitations personal as well. When people receive something meaningful and beautifully printed, it shows effort and sets the right, special tone for the whole wedding. Our customizable templates will give you enough creative freedom to craft unique, appealing invitations for all your guests to enjoy, while keeping the process simple so that you can continue your planning, stress-free.


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