Inner Vs Outer Envelope:
Most traditional weddings have an outer and inner envelope. These tend to be addressed differently because one is a resource for USPS, and the other is for the invitees themselves. If you choose to go this route, the correct formatting would have the outer envelope with more formal titles and full names, while the inner envelope would be a bit more informal.
How To Address Wedding Invitations
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By this point, you’ve likely selected your stationery and collected information from guestsand now you’re looking into how to address wedding invitations. There’s a lot that goes into sending your invites , which is why we created this guide. No matter who you’re sending an invite to, here’s exactly how to address your wedding invitations.
Traditional etiquette indicates the outer envelope of your wedding invitation should be more formal with titles and/or full names, while the inner envelope is more informal . Since titles can be restricting and exclusive , know that they aren’t necessaryyou’re free to simply use your guests’ names and leave the titles off.
To A Married Couple Both Of Whom Are Doctors
In the case of married doctors, it is proper to use: “The Doctors.”
- Outer envelope: “The Doctors Smith” or “Drs. Matthew and Angela Smith”
- Inner envelope: “The Doctors Smith” or “Matthew and Angela”
In the case of married doctors and one has chosen to hyphenate. If both titles don’t fit on one line, indent the second line.
- Outer envelope: “Doctor Matthew Smith and Doctor Angela Griggs-Smith”
- Inner envelope: “Dr. Smith and Dr. Griggs-Smith” or “Matthew and Angela”
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How To Address The Outer Envelope Of A Wedding Invitation
The outer envelope is addressed conventionally using titles, first, , and last names.
- An invitation to an unmarried couple residing at the same address is addressed with both names connected by and. Use one or two lines, depending on length.
- No abbreviations or middle initials are used when addressing formal invitations.
While titles are abbreviated all other words such as Street, or Boulevard are spelled out. State names may be written in full or use the two-letter postal code abbreviation. Middle initials arent used, so either write out the middle name or omit it. Generally, an invitation to parents and children is addressed to the parents:
Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Darling
Things You Should Know Before Addressing Assembling And Mailing Your Wedding Invitations
If you’re in the middle of wedding planning, you likely have your big-day stationery suite picked out and ready to go. Before you eagerly pop those fresh-off-the-press paper goods in the mail, however, you’ll want to research everything there is to know about properly formatting all of the information typically included on the invite. Like with most things wedding-related, there’s a code of conduct to follow when addressing wedding invitations and guests, assembling invitation pieces in a specific order, and choosing a time to send.
Thankfully, these must-know wedding invitation tips will help you mail your invites without a hitch. Trust usyou’ll find this cheat sheet particularly helpful when it comes time to put together all of the elements that actually go inside the envelopeincluding that second “inner” envelope. If you’re already confused, don’t be. While these invitation customs have history, there are endless ways to make your paper suite your ownbut it’s important to nail down a few of the bigger rules, to ensure that the invites make it into your guests’ hands safe and sound.
Since you paid good money for your invites, you also want to be certain that they remain in pristine condition throughout their journey. Here, you’ll learn about requesting hand-canceling, which prevents heavy machines from damaging soft paper goods. Ready for more invitation suite tips and tricks? Click through for all the paper good details, big and small.
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:
The Inner Envelope For Inviting
Within the inner envelope, your guests will find the invitation suite. Each guest invited to the wedding will have their names printed on this envelope. Except this time, you just need to print titles and last names.
Take note: This is your opportunity to be very specific about who is invited to your wedding. If you are welcoming plus ones, you will allude to that here . If youre inviting two people, both their names should be printed.
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Social And Professional Titles
Your guests’ names should be written in full on outer envelopes-no nicknames or initials. Use the appropriate social titles as well, such as addressing married couples as “Mr. and Mrs.” If a man’s name has a suffix, write “Mr. Joseph Morales, Jr.,” or “Mr. Joseph Morales IV” “Junior” can be spelled out on a more formal invitation. It gets a little tricky when husband, wife, or both have different professional titles. If the husband is a doctor, for example, the titles will appear as “Doctor and Mrs.” if the wife is a doctor, her full name would come first, as in “Doctor Sally Carter and Mr. John Carter.” If both are doctors, write “The Doctors Carter.” If they have different professional titles, list the wife first: “The Honorable Pamela Patel and Lieutenant Jonathan Patel, U.S. Navy.” If a wife has kept her maiden name, her name should appear first and be joined with her husband’s using “and.”
Why You Should Properly Address Wedding Invitations
The way you address your wedding invitations is crucial not only for etiquettes sake , but for logistical reasons as well. Youre sending a message, quite literally, about who is invited to your wedding. If you address your wedding invitations inaccurately, your guests might get the wrong idea about who exactly is expected to show up on the big dayand theres absolutely nothing more embarrassing for everyone than someone feeling unwelcome at the party you planned so carefully.
Dont envision your cousins twin toddlers racing around your black-tie evening reception? Not sure what to write on your divorced, almost-mother-in-laws envelope? Well guide you through every addressing scenario possible to ensure your wedding invitations make a favorable first impression. Below, find out how to address invitations to different types of wedding guests or jump straight to the section most relevant to you:
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To The Guest With A Plus
When deciding whether to add a plus-one to your friends significant others and dates, the choice is yours based on budget, venue capacity, and even how long the couple has been together. Address the envelope to the primary attendee then include and guest at the end. Leave the and guest off if you dont wish to include a plus-one.
How To Address Invitations To Children
In addressing wedding invitations to include children, for kids under 18 you can add their names on the inner envelope with the rest of their family. Children over 18 as well as any child who is a special guest at the wedding, should get their individual invitations.
On the outer envelope:
Mr. Manuel and Mrs. Anna Edwards, and Family
On the inner envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, Sylvia, Timothy, and Louisa
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Invites : How To Address Wedding Invitations
Its just two months until the big day. The bridal party is chosen, the menu selected, and the cake taste-tested. Now is the time to send out the invitations but how does one address wedding invitations? Dont worry this is our territory.
There is a formal way to address wedding invitations, and were happy to walk you through it. The questions may already be bubbling up in your own mind: Whose name should you write first? How do you tell single guests whether theyre welcome to bring a plus one? How do you invite a whole family?
All of these questions and probably a few others are about to be answered. But before you write the addresses for each person on your guest list, lets talk about envelopes.
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.
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A Married Woman Doctor Or Two Married Doctors
If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the envelopes should read the following way below. This may feel overwhelming, but trust us, this matters. Thoroughly review your guest list and notate who this may apply too.
On the outer envelope: Dr. Lynn Shadow and Mr. Colton Kappel
If she uses her husband’s name socially:
Dr. Lynn and Mr. Colton Kappel
If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope:
Doctors Lynn and Colton Kappel
On the inner envelope: Dr. Shadow and Mr. Kappel Or The Doctors Kappel
A Married Couple Same Last Name Woman Is A Judge
List both names on the same line. List both full names, each preceded by the appropriate title, on the same line with the and conjunction. The womans name should be listed first and preceded by the The Honorable title.
The Honorable Rashida Benjamin and Mr. Eric Benjamin
Lauren Rodrigue has been a freelance contributor to WeddingWire for over three years, writing on… such topics as planning advice, etiquette, and trends. The Maine native attended college in Boston and lived in New York City, where she worked in advertising. She moved back to Maine in 2018, and currently lives in Portland with her husband Joe and rescue dog, Molly. She enjoys flower arranging, trying out the latest skincare trends, and yoga.
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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
The Outer Envelope For Mailing
The outer envelope is where you print a guests physical address. Therefore, this is the envelope handled by your mail courier. Youll type your guests names on the first line, complete with titles, first names, and last names . While you can abbreviate a title, you should spell out first names.
Next, write the physical address of your guests home or post office box. Again, use full words here writing Street instead of St., Road instead of Rd, and so on and so forth.
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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.
Dont Forget Special Titles
If you are inviting guests that have formal titles, you should include them. It is respectful to address people like doctors by their titles, although if youre having a more informal wedding, you dont necessarily have to.
If you decide that you want to include the title of doctor, you should include any military titles or ambassador titles as well. That may mean writing Captain for military positions or Judge or The Honorable Judge for judiciary positions, and so on.
If you write the formal titles, list the person with the higher rank first, regardless of gender.
Inner & Outer Envelopes
The etiquette tied to wedding invitations has existed long before cars replaced horses as the primary mode of transportation. Back then, to ensure your carefully constructed wedding invites were unsoiled upon arrival, they were placed in an envelope inside another envelope. Thats right, Christopher Nolan fans Envelopception. Today many people still choose to follow this tradition, much to the delight of stationery stores.
How you address the inner & outer envelopes is not quite the same. In our table of examples we dived into the differences, but the general rule of thumb is:
Deciding On Manners Of Address