Wedding Stationery Tips

How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes

January 11, 2020

Hi, I'm Chelsea!
I'm a wedding invitation designer, and your guide to all things wedding etiquette and paper products. You can find me on social below.

In today’s age of email, texts, and DMs, sending snail mail party invites is not something we regularly do. So, it’s totally fine if you’re unsure about how to correctly address your wedding envelopes. Luckily, as your stationery designer, I’m here to guide you and ensure you know how to address wedding invitation envelopes without making an etiquette faux pas.

Keep scrolling for our complete envelope addressing guide.

Examples of how to properly address  wedding invitation envelopes

What is the proper way to address wedding invitation envelopes?

When addressing your wedding invitation envelopes, there are two styles to choose from— formal and informal. Most of the time, wedding invitation envelopes should follow a formal address format meaning:

  • You use their formal title (Mr., Mrs, Dr., Mx., etc.)
  • Their full first names are used (ditch the nicknames)
  • The husband’s name is generally the only one listed (e.g. Mr. and Mrs. Donald Duck)
  • Married couples are listed on the same line while unmarried couples who are living together are listed on two separate lines.
  • Children are not named.
  • There are some strict rules to follow when exceptions to the above are required (I’ll go over those below.)

If you decide to go with a less formal addressing model for your wedding invitation envelopes, that’s totally fine, it’s your wedding! My one tip is to make it consistent. Some more informal addressing formats may include:

  • Ditching the title: this is great when you want to be more inclusive to gender nonconforming family and friends; as shown above, you could also use Mx. for gender-neutral friends and family members)
  • Listing both married partners’ names: the wife is her own person, right!?
  • Using nicknames: this can make your wedding invitations feel super personal and it is a great tactic for a microwedding.

Whichever envelope addressing method you choose, stay consistent.

Standard Envelope Addressing

Best etiquette recommends your wedding invitations are mailed in two envelopes. The Outer Envelope is the one that features the mailing address and postage. It also is where you should have the most formal recipient names. The Inner Envelope contains the actual invitation (and is then stuffed inside the outer envelope). It is also your opportunity to be a little less formal and list all recipients by name.

Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
UNWED MANMr. Jonathan SmithMr. Smith (or John)
UNWED WOMANMs. Rebecca PalmsMs. Palms (or Rebecca)
A MARRIED COUPLE
(with the same last name)
Mr. and Mrs. John SmithMr. and Mrs. Smith (or John and Rebecca)
A MARRIED COUPLE
(with the different last names)
Mr. Jonathan Smith and Mrs. Rebecca PalmsMr. Smith and Mrs. Palms (or John and Rebecca)
A MARRIED SAME SEX COUPLE
(with the same last name)
Mr. James and Mr. Peter Smith (or Messrs. James and Peter Smith)*The Messrs. Smith (or James and Peter)
UNMARRIED COUPLE LIVING TOGETHERMr. Jonathan Smith
Ms. Rebecca Palms
Mr Smith
Ms. Palms
(or John and Rebecca)

*”Mesdames” is the appropriate plural for multiple Mrs.

Addressing wedding invitation envelopes to doctors

When addressing your wedding invitations to doctors or guests with specialty ties (“The Honorable” for a Judge, military titles, etc.)

Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
DOCTOR HUSBAND
(with the same last name)
Dr. and Mrs. Jonathon SmithDr. and Mrs. Smith
DOCTOR WIFE
(with the same last name)
Dr. Rebecca and Mr. Jonathon SmithDr. Rebecca and Mr. Smith
BOTH DOCTORS
(with the same last name)
Doctors Rebecca and Jonathon SmithThe Doctors Smith
DOCTOR HUSBAND
(with the different last names)
Dr. Jonathon Smith and Mrs. Rebecca PalmsDr. Smith and Mrs. Palms
DOCTOR WIFE
(with the different last names)
Dr. Rebecca Palms and Mr. Jonathon SmithDr. Palms and Mr. Smith
BOTH DOCTORS
(with the different last names)
Dr. Rebecca Palms and Dr. Jonathon SmithDr. Palms and Dr. Smith

Addressing wedding invitations to families

When you start figuring out how to address your wedding invitations to your friends and family members with children, things can get a bit confusing. Here are the rules of thumb:

  • For couples with children living at home, only the parents are listed on the Outer Envelopes.
  • If the children live outside of their parents’ home, they get their own invite.
  • List the children who are invited on the Inner Envelope
  • Girl children under 18-years-old require the title “Miss,” if they’re over 18, use “Ms.”
  • Boy children under 18-years-old don’t require a title, Boy children 18 and over, use the title “Mr.”
Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AT HOMEMr. and Mrs. Jonathon SmithMr. and Mrs. John Smith
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly
CHILDREN OVER 18
(living outside the home)
Ms. Elizabeth SmithMs. Smith (or Elizabeth)

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