Wedding Etiquette: How To Address Your Invitations
Lets talk envelope etiquette! Its 2021 people, there are options. You can take the traditional path and follow the Emily Post guidelines. You can play it safe and skip titles, which makes it less formal. Or have some fun with it.
Working in the wedding business, we know addressing envelopes can be a somewhat contentious debate between couples and their parents. Or perhaps, others are just confused about what is protocol! In our viewpoint, there are some traditional approaches and some more modern-day approaches. We do BOTH based on the couples preference. You can choose to be more formal or embrace the changing landscape of our world. But whatever you choose, dont let this be a pain point or cause unneeded wedding planning stress.
Weve broken down the variety of options for addressing your envelopes below! And mega bonus: You can to start working on your own list!
How To Address The Wedding Invitation If The Couple Lives Separately:
When an unmarried couple does not live together, you should ideally send a wedding invitation to each person however, it has become more acceptable to send one invitation to the primary invited guest. In the case of only sending the wedding invitation to the primary guest with their name on the outer envelope, you should still include the significant others name on the inner envelope of the wedding invitation.
Another instance to consider is if you are friends with both partners of the couple and you would invite them each to the wedding even if they were not a couple or broke up tomorrow. If this is the case for you, then it’s probably best to send them each an invitation to their respective homes. While of course you don’t want to assume they will break up, it’s best to send wedding invitations to both of them to make it very clear that you want both of them to attend the wedding.
Printed Labels And Hand
When it comes to addressing wedding invitations, are you wondering whether labels or hand-written is preferred?
Up until recently, the only proper way to address wedding invitations was by hand.
Today, you have a few options for inscribing addresses on the envelopes though the secret to pulling it off without downplaying the event lies in following some contemporary rules of etiquette.
You have a few options for inscribing addresses on the envelopes for your wedding invitations. You can create appropriate and stunning wedding invitation envelopes with printed labels from Shutterfly.
Opt for custom printed labels or hire a professional calligrapher, says Christine Zohrabians, wedding planner and designer of Fancy That Events. While it might not be traditional to use printed labels, todays custom labels look incredible and complete the invitation suite.
In the examples above, youll see how different factors, including your guests, the formality of your event and certain planning details, affect how an envelope is addressed, with examples for various scenarios.
Heres a look at the rules of etiquette that apply for addressing wedding invitation envelopes in handwriting or with printing technology, the pros and cons for each option, as well as some expert tips on how to handwrite your own addresses like a true artist.
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Etiquette For Mailing Wedding Invitations
Before you buy stamps, take an assembled invitation to the post office and have it weighed. Its likely that the inserts, or even an unusually shaped envelope, will call for extra postage. The post office usually has wedding-themed stamps that will cover the cost of most invitations with enclosures. Some post offices may be out of stock, however, so leave time to find them at another branch or to order them online.
Remember that maps and other inserts sent to out-of-town guests will make those invitations heavier than ones sent to local guests and may require a postage adjustment. In that case, be sure to assemble two sets and have both weighed.
Lastly, ask at your post office if it is possible to have your envelopes hand-stamped. This produces a different postmark than if your invitations were run through an automatic sorter.
Addressing The Outer Envelope
According to history, the outer envelope allowed the bride’s footman to deliver the invitations to the correct households without actually touching the invitations themselves. This allowed the guests to receive the invitations, set in an inner envelope, exactly as the hosts had intended. Today, outer envelopes are generally large, thick, and square in shape. They usually match the color and paper type of the invitation and inner envelope. Outer envelopes are addressed to the appropriate member of the household and contain the mailing address, a return address, and postage. First, make sure to review your guest list and confirm that all addresses are current and names are spelled correctly. Always spell out the full name and address. Do not use abbreviations except for the following titles: Mister , Misses and Junior . Here are some guidelines for addressing your outer envelopes, listed by recipient type. Mr. and Mrs. James Baldwin Ms. Reese Cooper and Mr. James Baldwin Single Woman
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Mailing Invitations In The Outer Envelope Only
A Married Couple
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Everson
A Married Couple with Different Last Names
Mr. Robert Everson and Mrs. Jennifer Power
A Married Couple where the Woman has Hyphenated her Last Name
Mr. Robert Everson and Mrs. Jennifer Power-Everson
An Unmarried Couple Living Together
Mr. Robert Everson
A Same-Sex Couple
If the couple is married and shares the same last name, list the names on the same line:
Mr. Rob Brown and Mr. Carl Brown
If they are married but kept their own last names:
Mrs. Celine Elgin and Mrs. Jennifer Power
If they are unmarried, list them alphabetically by last name:
Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jennifer Power
A Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors
If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially:
Dr. Jennifer Power and Mr. Robert Everson
If she uses her husbands name socially:
Dr. Jennifer and Mr. Robert Everson
If both parties are doctors:
The Doctors Jennifer and Robert Everson
An Unmarried Couple Living Together
As with a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes, but in this case, each name gets its own line.
Mr. Robert Everson
Traditionally, a widow retains her husbands name until she remarries. Some widows prefer to use their own first name as well. In this case, it is best to ask what she prefers.
Mrs. Robert Everson
Children under 18 and Families
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Everson
Miss Carolyn, Master Bobby, and Miss Gail
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Everson
Carolyn, Bobby, and Gail
How To Address Wedding Invitations To Children 18 And Older
Children 18 and older should receive their own invitations . You don’t need to use titles, but you can if you’d like. Just be sure that you’re using the correct identifiers for the guests. If you’re unsure about their preferred title, it might be best to forego titles in general, or use “Mx.”
On the outer envelope:
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Is The Couple Married
There are so many rules and alternate rules and rules that change with the times. Here are the common ones:
- Use and to join their names, and put them on the same lineunless the names are too long, in which case put them on separate lines still joined by and.
- The traditional rule that the mans name should come first has changednow either is appropriate. You can list the person youre closer to first or go alphabetically.
- If one partner has a distinguished, occupation-related title, their name should be listed first. If both do, go by rank. If theres no rank, you get to decide the order.
Here are examples of correct usage . If titles are separated by a slash, either is OK to use.
Mr. and Mrs. Michael SmithMr. Michael and Mrs. Lisa SmithMrs./Ms. Lisa Smith and Mr. Michael Smith
Mx. and Mrs. Taylor WilliamsMx. Taylor Williams and Mrs./Ms. Gabriella WilliamsMx. Taylor and Ms. Gabriella Williams
The Mmes. Jessica and Ashley JohnsonMrs./Ms. Jessica and Mrs./Ms. Ashley JohnsonMrs. Jessica and Ms. Ashley Johnson
The Messrs. Matthew and Joshua JacksonMr. Matthew Jackson and Mr. Joshua JacksonMr. Matthew and Mr. Joshua Jackson
Ms. Lisa Rodriguez and Mr. Michael SmithMr. Michael Smith and Mrs./Ms. Lisa Rodriguez-Smith
Mx. Taylor Williams and Mrs./Ms. Gabriella Brown
Mr. Matthew Jackson and Mr. Joshua Walker
Ms. Jessica Johnson and Ms. Ashley Jones
If you add in occupation-related titles, the name with the title goes first.
Colonel and Mrs. Michael Smith
When In Doubt Write Things Out
Tradition says not to use abbreviations on an invitation, writing “Twenty Main Street” rather than “20 Main St.” For very casual weddings, there’s the option of choosing to ignore this rule. However, using the long-form can help an invitation stand out as a special occasion. It marks an invite as something that took a little extra time to address, which is never a bad thing to communicate.
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Additional Formal Addressing Etiquette Rules
There are a few rules youll want to follow, even if your wedding is on the casual side:
Wedding Invitation Return Address Etiquette
The last thing youll do when addressing your envelopes is add your return address.
There are just a few things to remember when it comes to writing your return address on the wedding invitation envelopes:
Thats it the complete guide to addressing your wedding invitations. If you have any questions left answered, give us a buzz. Our wedding experts are here to help.
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Why Should You Learn How To Address Wedding Envelopes
In this section, we will be discussing the importance of addressing the wedding envelopes yourself before getting into addressing formal wedding invitation envelopes or learning how to address wedding envelopes in general. There might be a lot of questions for why this should be personalized or why do the married couple have to do it themselves well this is the section to answer all those.
Your wedding is an important part of your life and it only happens once. The joy of meeting your one true love and sharing your love in a sacred ceremony makes it more magical for both you and your partner. For this special event, you will want to invite people who have been a part of your life every step of the way. Your family and friends are a given since they are the first people who would be happy knowing that you find true happiness. Your colleagues should also be invited because they also played an important role in your life. Having said all these, if there is one area on your wedding preparations that should be personalized and be given with all your sentiments and appreciation it should be on your wedding invitation and addressing it. In writing the address of your wedding you will most likely reminisce all the times you shared with these people as you now step into a different stage of your like. In the end, for a memorable wedding for both you and your loved ones, you should try to do some of the wedding aspects yourself so you could look back and smile at the memories.
How To Address Guests On Wedding Invitation Envelopes
Consider this your etiquette cheat sheet, so you can mail the good news using the correct wording.
Wedding invitations are undeniably important: Not only do they inform your guests about when and where the celebration will take place, but they also set the tone for the entire party. And since this is one of the very first wedding-related details your family and friends will see, it’s important that you go about sending your invitations correctly. That’s why learning how to properly address wedding invitations is a key step in the process there’s a lot more to it than you might think. To ensure you get it right, we’re explaining exactly how to address your envelopes based on the different attendees who may be joining you.
Finalizing the guest list is one of the wedding-planning tasks most couples dread, but it’s essential and must be done before you get ready to mail those invites. Still, just because you know who gets an invitation doesn’t mean you know how to address everyone on your guest list. That’s where we come infrom figuring out how to address a judge to the right way to mail an invitation to a family full of doctors, we have all of the information you need to ensure these important pieces of mail get sent out without a hitch. These guidelines can be tailored to your guests’ preferred pronouns, too.
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To A Married Woman Doctor Or Two Married Doctors
If the woman uses her husbands name socially, the address is Dr. Barbara and Mr. James Werner. If she uses her maiden name both professionally and socially, it is Dr. Barbara Hanson and Mr. James Werner. If the husband is also a doctor, the address is either The Drs. Werner or Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.
Whose Return Address Do You Use
In most cases, you will use the same address for both the back flap of your invitation envelope and front of your RSVP envelope.
Traditionally, the hosts of the event will collect both gifts and RSVPs for the couple.
However, there are situations where you would like gifts mailed to the brides parents address , and replies sent the brides address, if shes in charge of the guest list.
Keep in mind that if an invitation is returned to sender by the mail, it will go to the return address on the back flap of your invitation envelope. So, essentially, this residence will be in charge of receiving gifts and undeliverable invitations.
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The Proper Way To Address Your Wedding Invitations
With all the pieces included in a wedding stationery set, it might be easy to overlook the envelopes. But according to Deborah Lau-Yu, founder of Palettera Custom Correspondences, envelopes can say a lot about the tone of your wedding.
A lot of people want to save money, and yes, thats important, Lau-Yu says. You can try to print the envelopes yourself, but home printers arent perfect. If you spent money on your invitations, it can cheapen them if you have a label thats shifted, she adds. This is why Lau-Yu recommends that couples have their envelopes professionally addressed in typography or calligraphy by their stationery designer. When its printed in beautiful script or font, it shows something special, she explains.
The details of how your envelopes are printed are just as important as what is printed. Lau-Yu tells couples that the most important thing is to always be intentional when it comes to addressing their guests. Weddings are sacred things, she says. Having your envelopes properly labelled conveys respect, properness and sacredness.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when addressing your invitations:
Here are some examples of templates you can use for addressing your envelopes:
For a married couple using different names:Put the names on two separate lines, alphabetically.Mrs. Jane Doe