How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

invitation return address label

Along with your reception seating chart, figuring out your guest list can be one of the most frustrating and confusing parts of wedding planning. But it doesn’t have to be.

When it comes to actually addressing your envelopes, here are some things to consider:

 

1- How formal do you want to be?

Rules and etiquette aside, the addressing of your wedding invitations should fit the tone and formality of your wedding. If your wedding is casual, addressing your invitation to Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard just doesn’t fit.

And the opposite is also true. Formal weddings should not have nicknames on the envelope.

These are some options ranging from formal to more casual:

Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard
Mr. Thomas Jones and Mr. Richard Johnson (for same sex couples)

Ms. Leslie Jones and Mr. Richard Johnson (wife uses maiden name)

Leslie Jones and Richard Johnson (wife uses maiden name)
Leslie and John Hubbard

Aunt Leslie and Uncle John Hubbard

*note on the formal “Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard”. Some women may not want to be addressed as “Mrs. John Hubbard”, and some women use their maiden names (me included).

So an understanding of your wedding vision and also your guests is important. Many people now split up their addressing generationally, with older guests getting the more formal “Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard” and younger guests getting “Leslie and John Hubbard” even for formal weddings.

More help from Emily Post.

 

2- Who is invited?

This used to be a bit simpler with inner and outer envelopes. You would address the outer envelope and list the individual names of the people invited on the inner envelope. Most couples nowadays are skipping the inner envelope, or use it to keep the invitation fresh, and so don’t address it.

That’s ok. It just means your addressing also has to communicate who’s invited to the wedding. For a family with kids and the kids can come, include the parents names and the children’s first names. Or simply add “and Family”. You can also address the envelope to “The Hubbard Family”.

If children aren’t invited, leave them off the envelope. You may also have to let them know, informally and/or in your invitation stationery that children aren’t invited, though adding it to your stationery is more of a personal choice.

With single guests who are engaged, living with a partner, or in a long-term relationship, put both people by name on the envelope. And it’s perfectly fine to put the name of the person you know the best first. When couples are living together, both people should be invited.

When you don’t know who your guest may bring, you can add “and Guest” to the envelope.

 

3- Who gets their own invitations?

Guests over 18 should get their own invitations, even if they are living with other guests. This goes for living with parents or a roommate.

 

4- What to do with titles?

Titles such as Rev. and Dr. should be abbreviated. The person with the title is listed first. So when the wife is a doctor and the husband is not, she goes first.

Some remaining tips:

  • Check the addresses on your list, then check them again. You’ll almost always find something you missed.
  • When organizing your list in Excel, check for missing zeros at the front of zipcodes when they are in their own cell.
  • If a parent or someone else needs to have input on who’s invited and how the addresses look on the envelope, get them involved early in the list making. That way you’re on the same page, and only have to make your list once.

Find the answers to other wording and etiquette questions.

Are there other questions and issues you face with addressing your invitations? Let us know in comments.

{Photo by Imbue You Wedding}

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