Tips for Addressing Your Wedding Invitation Envelopes

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Rustic Heart Envelope Label Set by Imbue You

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:


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 (the wife goes first)

Aunt Leslie and Uncle John Hubbard

*note on the formal “Mr. and Mrs. John Hubbard”. Many 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 event 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 guest getting “Leslie and John Hubbard” even for formal weddings.

More help from Emily Post.


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 controversial.

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.


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.


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. Written by, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding}

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Tips for Formal Wedding Invitation Wording

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Imbue You purple red gold indian wedding invitation wrap

One of most important indicators of what type of wedding you are having is your invitation wording. So when your wedding is a more formal affair, your invitation wording can help you communicate that.

The key is to spell out the date and time. Visually, you should consider more formal fonts, such as elegant scripts and serif fonts or all-cap block fonts.

Additional tips, courtesy of Emily Post:

  • Technically “honour of your presence” is used for weddings inside places of worship, while “pleasure of your company” is used for other venues.
  • For weddings not on the hour “half after” is preferred over “half past” or “four-thirty”
  • “In the afternoon”, or “in the evening” is not technically needed. But almost everyone does it, and I think it adds to the formality.
  • When spelling out the year, “and” is not needed, and the year is not capitalized.


When the bride’s parents are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Ellen Marie
Franklin Matthew
son of
Mr. and Mrs. James Myles
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at half after four in the afternoon
Berea Lutheran Church
2200 East Oliver Street
Baltimore, Maryland


Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas
request pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
Ellen Marie Thomas
Mr. Franklin Matthew Myles
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Baltimore Inn
768 Empire Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland


When the both sets of parents are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas
Mr. and Mrs. James Myles
request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their children
Ellen Marie
Franklin Matthew
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Baltimore Inn
768 Empire Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland


When the couple is hosting

Ms. Ellen Marie Thomas
Mr. Franklin Matthew Myles
request the pleasure of your company at their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Baltimore Inn
768 Empire Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

Looking for less formal wording, or wording inspiration for destination weddings? See this post: Unique Invitation Wording Ideas for Destination Weddings. See other wording tips here.

{Written by, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding}


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Unique Invitation Wording Ideas for Destination Weddings

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

tropical wedding invitation by Imbue You

Destination weddings are so often about sharing your special day with your closest family and friends. So why not have wedding invitation wording that reflects that? Destination invitation wording can be less formal and more personal.

So some of the more formal rules about writing out the day, time and year, and the “honor of your presence” don’t have to apply! Feel free to add quotes, sayings and personal messages to make your wedding invitation a more meaningful, heartfelt invitation to those you love.

Here are some invitation wording examples, many which were used by couples we’ve worked with over the years.

The pleasure of your company is requested
for a week in the sun
and the marriage of
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
on Wednesday, the twelfth of December
two thousand twelve
at six o’clock in the evening
Ko Samui, Thailand


Under the desert sky,
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
wish for the honor of your company
at their wedding ceremony
and celebration of Love
on Saturday, the 21st day of July
Boulder Mountain Ranch
Boulder, Utah


Because you have believed in us,
Celebrated with us, Loved and encouraged us,
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
ask you to join us
in celebrating our marriage
as we begin of our adventures together
on Saturday, July 21, 2012
at 4 pm
Valley Mountain Resort
Portland, Oregon


Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards

Love is in the air …
we make a great pair!
You’re invited to attend
our wedding affair.
on Saturday, October 20th
at 4 o’clock in the afternoon
Cedar Park Rainforest
Kuranda, Queensland


Your love and friendship have
helped us become who we are.
Together with our parents,
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
invite you to share our joy
and support our love,
as we exchange vows and
celebrate our marriage.
on Saturday, August 25th
at 5 o’clock in the evening
Ka’anapali Coffee House
Maui, Hawaii

Dinner and merriment to follow


Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
along with their families,
invite you to their barefoot celebration of love
as they are married on the beach
Saturday, June 23, 2012
5 pm
Santa Rosa Boulevard Park
Okaloosa, Florida
food, drink, and merriment to follow


With joyous hearts,
we invite you to share in our weekend of celebration
as best friends become husband and wife
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
on Saturday, the ninth of June
Two thousand twelve
at five o’clock in the evening
The Inn By the Sea
444 Main Road
Baltimore, Maryland


Together we laugh, we dream, we love,
and on this day, we marry

Please share in our joy as
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
exchange wedding vows
on Thursday, February 14
at 6 pm
Crescent Ranch
Mt. Vernon, Washington
Dinner and dancing immediately following


Come Fly With Us!

Please join
Terri Jacobs
Jaime Richards
as we begin the trip of a lifetime
by uniting in marriage
Saturday, July 21, 2012
6 pm
Grand Sun Resort
Cancun, Mexico

Dinner, dancing and merriment to follow

Want more? Check out our Wedding Style Guide, or click here for handmade invitations with layers, enclosure booklets and folds perfect for destination weddings.

{Written by, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding. For more wedding and party stationery advice, get our free Wedding Style Guide.}


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4 Ways to Honor Deceased Relatives in Your Wedding Program

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Mexican Tile Wedding Program by Imbue You

On one of the happiest days of your life, how do you remember and honor deceased parents or family members? Your wedding ceremony program can be a perfect way to do that. It’s a key memento of your wedding for guests, so it’s a wonderful place to honor those you miss on your wedding day.

A Note of Thanks

One of the most common ways couples honor deceased family and friends, is a note of remembrance in the thank you section of the wedding program. This can be as simple as a sentence like this: “Our thoughts are with those loved ones who could not be with us, but are here in spirit.” Weddings are joyous occasions and for those who want that to be the focus, a short note is respectful and appropriate.

A Ceremony Acknowledgement

You can also incorporate the remembrance of family members in your ceremony or at your reception. Ideas include candles on the alter of a church ceremony or photos of family at a special remembrance table.  In that case, feel free to mention in your wedding program that you have set up something special and where it’s located. “Candles on the the alter have been placed in loving memory of family members who are no longer with us.”

A List of Names

You may also wish to list dear family members by name and their relationship to you under a heading in your wedding program, such as “In Loving Memory” or “We Remember”. If appropriate, list members from both sides of the family. But take care not to list too many names, in order to keep the focus on this happy occasion.

A Dedicated Message

The absence of parents can be especially hard on your wedding day. A poem or quote can be a poignant way to express your feelings in a wedding program for key people you have lost. One bride we are working with is using this poem and dedicating it in memory of her father:

If flowers grow in Heaven
God, please pick a bunch for me,
place them in my Father’s arms
and tell him they’re from me.
Tell him I love him and miss him
and when he turns and smiles,
place a kiss upon his cheek
and hold him for a while.
Because remembering him is easy,
I do it everyday,
but there’s an ache within my heart
because I’m missing him today.
When everything is said and done
I will cherish this day and smile,
because I know my Daddy is here with me
as I am walking down the aisle.

As you begin to think about how you want to remember deceased family on your wedding day, you’ll want to figure out how much will be personal and how much will be more visible to guests. And it’s those things that are visible to guests that are appropriate for your wedding program.

{Written by, the blog of Imbue You and Imbue You Wedding. For more wedding and party stationery advice, get our free Wedding Style Guide.}

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What wedding stationery do I need for my reception ?

Posted by in Ask Imbue You, Wording and Etiquette

Indian wedding table numbers purple gold

Picking the venue, food, linens, entertainment and flowers often come to mind when planning your wedding reception. It’s so easy to forget about reception stationery, or hard to fully think through what you might need.

Here’s a handy guide to wedding reception stationery. You can use this list as a starting place and let your ideas flow.

Lotus place cards purple and teal Seating Cards. These are more typically escort cards which include the guest or couple name and the table where they are seated. Place cards, on the other hand, simply list the guest name and are placed at the table where the guest sits. The use of place cards is seen more with smaller weddings. But more formal or lavish weddings may use both escort cards and place cards.

Seating Chart. A seating chart may take the place of seating cards or be used with place cards. A chart can be a poster-sized design with the name and table of each guest, or a series of smaller cards. Charts can be listed by name, usually the last name, or by table. Listing by name is easier on your guests, especially for weddings with more than 6 tables.

Menus. These may be provided by the catering company or your venue. But you can also supply your own if you want to match other wedding stationery or your venue decor. Menus typically list the couple’s name, wedding date and dinner or buffet menu items. They can be provided at each place setting or displayed 1 or 2 for the table.

Moroccan table numbers Table Numbers. You can really have fun with these. Table numbers can be numbers, words, favorite book titles, etc. The possibilities are endless. And since they are on every table, you can use them to tell a story, or start dinner conversation. One of our couples included names of cities they had been to together with a personal travel story on each table number.

Alternative Guest Book. If you are looking to go beyond the traditional guest book, you may decide to use stationery that guests can sign during your reception. These can include wish tags or postcards. One of our couples had guests write notes on postcards that matched their invitations, and the maid of honor mailed them to the couple throughout their first year of marriage.

wedding favor tag with ribbon Favor or Gift Tags. These can be as simple as labels or tags attached to your favors. Couples often include their names and the wedding at least. However a personal note of thanks can make your favor even more special.

Directional Signs. Where is this reception exactly? If your reception isn’t right next to the wedding revenue, consider using larger signs to send guests in the right direction. This may also be a good idea for slightly out of the way wedding venues or parking.

Banners. These signs of love are great for the reception, and look wonderful in pictures. Like table numbers, banners can also be different. Feel free to be fun, cheeky or sweet. In addition to “Just Married”, you can do your names or romantic phrases, like “Love is in the Air”.

buffet or dessert table cards Buffet Cards. Let your guests easily see the name and what’s in a buffet dish. Larger buffet cards may include detailed ingredients, especially important for potential allergens or for people who have dietary restrictions. Coordinating cards are also perfect for a dessert table.

Bar Signs. Bar signs are great if you have a specific bar menu or signature drink to highlight. These can be tent cards that match the rest of your reception stationery, panel cards in a frame, or even mini chalkboard signs.

Instructional Signs. These can be framed or tented 5×7, 8×10 or larger signs for guest book instructions, welcome, gift table, photo booth or other activities you may have during your reception. For example, coordinating signs at a beach wedding may direct guests to flip flops, water bottles or hand held fans.

just married chair sign Chair Signs. Some couples use chair signs to say, Mr. and Mrs., or to include their new last names. But they can also say “just married”, “sweethearts”, nicknames or anything else you can think of that matches the theme of your wedding or something meaningful to you.

Reserved Cards. These signs can be as small as seating cards or larger like table numbers to let guests know that a certain table or place setting is reserved.

Are there other stationery or design pieces you are including in your wedding reception?


{Written by, the blog of Imbue You. Photos by Imbue You Wedding. For more wedding stationery advice, get our free Wedding Style Guide. }


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