Addressing Invitations

Wedding invitations should always include formal addresses.  Here are some helpful hints to make sure your invitations look their best.  And remember… etiquette gives you guidelines to follow.  These aren’t rules, so if you have cases that don’t fall under one of the categories below, just do what works best for you!

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Outer Envelopes:

  • Use full names and formal titles. Do not abbreviate.  When titles are used, the husband’s title comes first.
    Ex: Dr. and Mrs. Alan Brown
    Mr. Alan and Dr. Deborah Brown
  • The names of unmarried couples living together should be written on two separate lines.
  • Do not use symbols. Spell out the word “and”.
  • Do not use initials. Spell out all names.
  • Do not write “and family” if children are to be included in the invitation. (See #2 of Inner Envelopes).
  • Use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes.
    Ex: 1747 Second Avenue South
  • Write out the words “Street”, “Boulevard”, “Avenue”, etc.
  • Do not abbreviate state names.

Inner Envelopes:

  • Use full names and formal titles. Do not abbreviate.
    Ex: Mr. and Mrs. Steven Johnson
  • Type the first names of children to be invited below the parents’ in order of age.
    Ex: Mr. and Mrs. Stevens
    Lisa, Adam, and Julia
  • Omit children’s names if you are planning an adult-only celebration.
  • If an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your guest’s name followed by “and Guest”.
    Ex: Miss Andrews and Guest
  • The invitation, along with any accompanying cards should be placed in the inner envelope.  Inner envelopes are placed into the larger, outer envelope with the guests’ names facing towards them.

Single Outer Envelopes:

  • If you have selected an invitation that does not include an inner envelope or choose not to use your inner envelope, you may follow traditional addressing rules for outer envelopes or use a method that works best for you.
  • For a traditional single outer envelope address, include the names of the children to be invited below the parents’ names as on a standard inner envelope.
  • Write “and guest” as it would have appeared on an inner envelope.

Mailing Your Invitations:

  • Mail all invitations at the same time, six to eight weeks before the wedding date, using first class postage. If you are enclosing response cards in your invitations, remember to include stamps on the return envelopes.
  • Assembled invitations often require additional postage. To avoid postage delays and returned invitations, take a completely assembled invitation to your post office to determine proper postage.
  • Be sure to include a return address on each outer envelope. Invitations returned by the post office will allow you to invite those individuals personally.
  • You will receive the exact number of inner and outer envelopes you ordered.

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