Wedding Envelopes: Inner Vs Outer
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When sending out wedding invitations, unless youre sending one virtually, there are two envelopes. We know it sounds a bit confusing, but stick tight with us for just a minute, and well clear things up. If you do choose to send one digitally , well address that further down in this post.
How To Address Casual Wedding Invitations
Most of the examples given so far have been for how to address formal invitations. If you are wondering how to address informal wedding invitations, you have more freedom from the traditional rules of etiquette. Some casual wedding invitations dont even have the names printed on the invitation card, just the envelope, but that can still allow for confusion about exactly who is included on the invitation.
The most common option for casual invites is to just list first names on the inner envelope, or you could even include nicknames if you want to bring some personality into it. The order of the names is also more flexible and you can choose between:
- Woman first
- Alphabetical order
- Guest you know the best listed first
- Most common way of referring to a couple
If the invitation is to members of the same family, the parents will still always be listed before the children, no matter how old.
How To Address Wedding Invitations To A Married Doctor Or Two Married Doctors
It’s proper etiquette to address a doctor with their official title. If the couple doesn’t share a last name, be sure that your wedding invitations reflect that.
On the outer envelope:
Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Peter Underwood
If the doctor uses their partner’s name socially:
Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Underwood
If both parties are doctors, address the outer envelope:
Doctors Anne and Peter Underwood
On the inner envelope:
Dr. Barker and Mr. Underwood
The Doctors Underwood
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How To Address Hand Delivered
Hand delivered invites tend to be a bit less formal, and will often suit a local or small, intimate wedding where you know everyone very well. You can still opt to use peoples formal titles, but consider whether it is going to feel strange handing an envelope to your buddy or your mother when it reads Mrs. Mary Crawley, esq..
To Those With Distinguished Titles
If only one in the couple has a distinguished title, it is proper to write his or her name and title first. If the wife has the professional title, you will address her name depending on whether or not she uses her maiden name professionally.
If both parties are doctors with different last names, both their names can be written on the inner and outer envelopes.
If both parties are doctors with the same last name, you may address the envelopes as follows:
Many of the same rules that you use for doctors also apply for military personnel, judges, reverends, etc. If both parties have distinguished titles, it is best to write the person with the highest rank first. Also, make note to add The Honorable to a title in the case of elected government positions, excluding the President.
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How Do I Use Titles
Formal invitations call for courtesy titles or honorifics:
- Mr. for married or unmarried men
- Master for boys 12 and younger
- Mrs. for women who are married or have been married
- Ms. for women who are unmarried, have married and kept their own last name or hyphenated both last names, or prefer a title that doesnt refer to their marital status
- Miss for young girls
- Mx. for people who dont identify with either gender or choose not to use a gender-specific honorific
- Mmes. for married women with the same last name
- Messrs. for married men with the same last name
Honorifics also include occupation-related titles, such as:
- Dr. or Doctor
- The Honorable
- Military ranks
How To Address Married Couple On Wedding Invite
To a Married Couple With the Same Last Name For a heterosexual couple, use Mr. and Mrs. and spell out the husbands first and last name. For a same-sex couple, either name can go first. Many modern women may have a strong aversion to having their name left out and lumped in with their husbands.
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How To Address Wedding Invitations To A Married Couple
If you’re inviting a married couple, put their names on the same line. You’re free to forgo titles and list the names separately . If they have different last names, list the person you’re closest with first. If you’re equally close with them, go in alphabetical order. Or, if one person has taken the other person’s name, you can address the invitation to reflect that .
Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jacqueline Purcell
Celine Elgin and Jacqueline Purcell
On the inner envelope:
Ms. Elgin and Ms. Purcell
Mr. John and Mrs. Samantha Rivera
Mr. and Mrs. John Rivera
On the inner envelope:
John and Samantha
How To Address Your Wedding Invitation Envelopes
There are several ways to address your wedding invitations, and familiarizing yourself with best practices before setting pen to paper is an excellent idea. Whether youre inviting married couples, doctors, or single guests, use these address examples to address your wedding invitations.
Most wedding invitations come with outer and inner envelopes. Follow the below instructions for properly addressing outer envelopes. For inner envelopes, you can be a bit more informal. You can list out first names only, full names, or include the titles on an inner envelope.
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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.
How To Address Without Inner Envelope
If youre wondering how to address the invitations with one envelope or how to properly address wedding invitations without inner envelopes, you can include the guest and kids on:
- The outer envelope
- Indicate the exact guests on the RSVP card
- Guest address on the pocket
- Address the guests by name on the belly band
Addressing A Family With Children
There is always a friend or relative, you would like to invite with a special mention to their children. Instead of writing the name of the couple and covering the children under the umbrella phrase And Family, it is always good to write the names of the individual children without the surname. This creates a more intimate invitation and a one which has more appeal.
How To Address For Unmarried Couples
How to address wedding invitations to unmarried couples can be tricky, but is determined primarily by the living situation. If you are posting the invitations and they dont live together, you can just send them separate invitations, addressed like you would a single person . If they dont live together but you are hand delivering invitations and want to address them together you can do either name first, but a good idea is to do so alphabetically.
If the couple are not married but live together, place their names on separate lines with no and joining them. Traditionally the man is listed above the woman, but you could choose to go by alphabetical order or whichever guest you are the most familiar with.
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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
How To Address Wedding Envelopes
A handy guide to wedding envelope etiquette
Once youve decided on your wedding invitation wording and its time to slide your beautiful invitation safely inside its inner and outer envelope, theres still the matter of what to write on the front. But deciding how to address envelopes for everyone on your guest list isnt as simple as it sounds. With two envelopes to think about, different scenarios to consider and titles to get right , its easy to forget where to start. So to offer a helping hand when youve got a million other things to prep and plan, weve put together this quick, simple guide to wedding envelope addressing.
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To Doctors Or Other Distinguished Titles
If your guest is single, you can address them with their title. If your guest is married, the one with a distinguished title goes first, followed by the spouse.
If both spouses are doctors or have another distinguished title, there are two ways you can address them. Married doctors are often referred to as The Doctors or Drs. followed by their last names.
Spell out doctor on the outer envelope. On the inner envelope, abbreviate it to Dr.
- Single guest: Doctor John Smith
- One doctor: Doctor John Smith and Mrs. Sarah Smith
- Two doctors: The Doctors Smith or Drs. John and Sarah Smith
Follow the same protocol for other distinguished titles. If one spouse outranks another, list them first.
How To Address Wedding Invitations To Children And Families
Include younger guests on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by their name. For girls under 18, you can use “Miss” if you’d like. Boys don’t need a title until they’re 18then they can be addressed as “Mr.” As with the other guests invited, you can always forgo titles or use the gender-neutral title of “Mx.”
Note: If you don’t include each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited. That said, don’t be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are welcome. If you’re concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family and wedding party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only and add the message to your wedding website. You may still have to follow up with guests who don’t get the message via phone to gently explain the situation.
On the outer envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
On the inner envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Mx. Kelly
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How To Address Your Wedding Envelopes
Youve got your beautiful wedding invitations all ready to post. Now, you just need to address your wedding envelopes. So, what is the best etiquette? Whether youre having a formal wedding or an intimate backyard wedding, its still important to have consistency when addressing your envelopes.
Wedding envelope addressing etiquette is about respecting your guests. So, how you write out the names is based on the formality of your wedding and how people prefer to be called. So choose the best style to reflect you and your guests. Below is some advice on the best approach.
Your envelope should include all the names of the guests invited. Most wedding invitations nowadays dont have the guest names on them. So, the way to make it clear is by putting the invitees names on the envelope. For example, if you are not inviting children, dont include their names.
A casual wedding
If you are having a casual, friendly wedding, it is totally fine to use just names without titles such as Claire and Alex , Aunty Samantha and Uncle Bob or Clare and Alex Brookes. However, just be careful if some people in your family are more conservative. They may think you are being disrespectful if you dont use titles.
A more formal wedding
A married or unmarried couple with different last names
Address an unmarried woman as Ms.
Mr John Hagen and Ms Emma Pearce-Hagen
Mr Joe Brooks and Mr John DAngelo
Joe Brookes and John DAngelo
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:
Inner Envelope Vs Outer Envelope
As we mentioned before, there are two envelopes sent with a wedding invitation. Remember that the inner envelope is typically more informal than the outer envelope our examples above are all for outer envelopes.
Write the more formal full name on the outer envelope, but feel free to use first names or other less formal wording on the inner envelope of the wedding invitation.
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