You’re creating your wedding guest list and it’s filled with your closest family and friends. Now that you’ve narrowed down your nearest and dearest, it’s time to gather their information so you can address your wedding invitations. This may seem like a simple task at first, but it is a delicate process that requires particular attention to detail, etiquette, and a bit of finesse.
The style you choose and how you address your wedding invitations sets the tone for your day. In this blog, we will guide you through the art of writing your invitations. Years ago, it was common for couples to send out invitations with an outer and an inner envelope, but most modern couples choose to only have an outer. For this article, we will be showing you how to address the outer envelope.
Dos and Don’ts for Addressing Wedding Invitations
DO know your guests’ pronouns. Traditionally, Ms./Miss/Mrs. is used for females, Mr. for males, and Mx. as a gender-neutral/nonbinary title. Replace Mx. for any specific female or male identifying titles in the guide below.
DON’T be vague. Explicitly lay out who exactly is invited so you don’t have any unexpected +1s. We will discuss more on this below.
DO use your guest’s full names on invitations.
DON’T misspell names, street names, cities, etc. Delegate a member of your wedding party or another third party to spell-check everything before mailing.
DO send out invitations in a timely manner. Etiquette says to mail out invitations about 2 months prior to your wedding day.
When you choose how you want to address your guests, it comes down to whether you want to go formal or casual which is all personal preference. The level of formality will dictate how you should list out names. For a formal wedding, you’ll want to use titles and first and last names. For a more casual wedding, you can forgo titles and just use first and last names. Below, we list out exactly how you should address your wedding invitations based on gender, title, marital status, and formality.
For a Single Individual
If your guest is a female that is single, it’s proper to use “Ms.” unless they are under 18 then use “Miss”.
- Ms. Ronnie Lee
- Miss Ronnie Lee
A male guest over 18 should be addressed as “Mr.”. If under 18, no title is needed.
- Mr. Robert Currie
You may come across a situation where a guest is widowed and has not remarried. It is best to ask this guest’s preferred title — or ask someone close to them — as they may still identify as a married person.
- Mrs. Wendy Kurtz
This situation is similar to someone who is divorced but still has their married last name. Make sure that you are using their correct title and preferred last name.
Single Individual with a +1
If you have someone coming to the wedding who is single but you’d like to provide them with a +1 of their choice, just add “and guest”.
- Mr. Robert Currie and Guest
Wedding Guys Wisdom: Always identify guests by name when possible as you address your wedding invitations. If you have a guest with a +1, ask for their name if they know who they are bringing ahead of time.
For a Married Couple with the Same Last Name
If the couple has the same last name, there are two ways that you can list them.
- Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Rose
Or, to address both spouses equally:
- Mr. Jonathan Rose and Mrs. Moira Rose
- Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Moira Rose
Married Couple with Different Last Names
If a married couple’s last names differ, you can list both of their full names beginning with the one you’re closest to or just in alphabetical order.
- Mrs. Alexis Rose and Mr. Ted Mullens
For a Same-Sex/LGBT+ Couple
The exact same rules apply for LGBT+ couples. All of the following examples are acceptable.
- Mr. David and Mr. Patrick Rose / Mrs. Stevie and Rae Budd (Same last name)
- Mr. David Rose and Mr. Patrick Rose (Same last name)
- Mr. David Rose and Mr. Patrick Brewer / Mrs. Stevie Budd and Mrs. Rae Schoot (Different last names)
- Mr. David Rose and Mx. Patrick Brewer (Different last names and genders)
A couple who is unmarried but living together should both be addressed by their full names. As for the order of names, you can either place the one you are closest to first or just go alphabetically by last name. If they do not live together, send separately addressed invitations.
- Mr. Ray Butani and Ms. Gwen Currie
If the couple is engaged to be married and will have the same last name, a fun addition may be to address them by their future last names. Ex: “The Future Mr. and Mrs. Butani”
Inviting a Family
If you’re choosing to invite an entire family that lives in one household — parents and children — there are a couple of ways you can address your wedding invitations. For family members that live in different homes, they should all receive individual invitations.
- The Rose Family
- The Rose Family
Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Moira Rose
Mr. David Rose
Miss Alexis Rose
For a family with children where you are only inviting the parents, be explicit in your invite. Only address the couple invited on the envelope and place a note in the invitation that your wedding will be an adults-only celebration.
Guests with Titles in Their Name
A distinguished title includes doctors, attorneys, pastors, rabbis, special military ranks, and judges. If you know that your guests have these titles, it is a formal etiquette rule to include them.
Doctors (You can also use the abbreviated Dr. as an informal option)
- Doctor Theodore Mullens and Mrs. Alexis Mullens
- Dr. Theodore Mullens and Dr. Alexis Mullens OR Drs. Theodore and Alexis Mullens (Both are doctors)
If you have two doctors with different last names, list their titles as well as their full names.
- Doctor Alexis Rose and Doctor Theodore Mullens
If one partner is a judge in a married couple, use “The Honorable” before their name.
- The Honorable Clinton Brewer and Mr. Jacob Johnson
- The Honorable Clinton Brewer and the Honorable Jacob Johnson (Both are judges)
Other Distinguished Titles
- Rabbi Emir Kaplan and Captain Stevie Budd
- Pastor Emir Kaplan and Mrs. Stevie Kaplan
- Lieutenant Jocelyn Schoot and Mr. Roland Schoot
- Senators Veronica Lee and Marsha Lee
- Captain Mutt Schoot and Mx. Alex Schoot
Note that if you are identifying military titles, you should always place the higher-ranking category first.
Now that you understand how to accurately address your guests’ names, you can move on to their physical addresses. Home addresses should be placed directly below names with separate lines for the house number/street names and the city/state.
If you are choosing to go the formal route, ensure that every abbreviation is spelled out: Street, Avenue, Road, North, South, West, East, and the state (i.e. Minnesota instead of MN).
Mrs. Johnny Rose and Mrs. Moira Rose
123 Budd Road
Schoots Creek, Minnesota 55000
Johnny and Moira Rose
123 Budd Rd
Schoots Creek, MN 55000
Learning how to address your wedding invitations is an important task you should educate yourself on early on. Know your guests’ marital status, preferred gender, correct addresses, distinguished titles, and any other vital information as you begin to build your guest list.
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