For most of us, hand-addressing snail mail seems like a foreign task, much less formally addressing wedding invitation envelopes. The etiquette and protocol for different household situations can be confusing, but we're here to help uncomplicate it. In the United states, wedding invitation addressing tends to look like this:
Attendee's Full Name with Title
Street Address (written out, no abbreviations)
Apartment/Unit Number (if necessary)
City, State (written out, no abbreviations)
5-digit Zip Code
|Mr. John Smith
123 Palmetto Boulevard
A Guide to Invitation Address Etiquette
One of the most difficult parts of addressing your wedding invitation is figuring out the first "Addressee" line. If it's an individual or a more traditional household, that part may be easier, but what happens if someone s nonbinary, or if both partners are doctors or if two married partners have different last names? Here's a quick guide:
Addressing Envelopes to Individuals
|To a male identifying guest, 18+ years old||Mr. John Snow|
|To a female identifying guest, 18+ years old||Ms. Rachel Smith|
|To a nonbinary guest, 18+ years old||Mx. Taylor Anthony|
Addressing Envelopes to Unmarried Couples
|If your primary guest is in a relationship, but they don't live together||Mr. John Snow and guest|
|If your primary guest is in a relationship and they do live together (each name receives its own line)||Ms. Rachel Smith
Mx. Taylor Anthony
|If the couple is engaged||
Mr. John Snow
ORThe Future Mr. and Mrs. John Snow
(though, some think this is bad luck)
Addressing Envelopes to Married Couples, Same Last Name
|Cisgender, Heterosexual Couples||Mr. and Mrs. John Snow|
|LGBTQ Couples||Ms. Rachel and Mx. Taylor Anthony|
|Cisgender, Heterosexual Couples, when the husband is a doctor or has an honorific title (Judge, Sargent, etc.)||Dr. and Mrs. John Snow|
|Cisgender, Heterosexual Couples, when the wife is a doctor or has an honorific title||Dr. Jane and Mr. John Snow|
|LGBTQ Couples with the same last name, when one or both are doctors or have honorific titles||Dr. Rachel and Sgt. Taylor Anthony|
|Cisgender, Heterosexual Couples, when both have are doctors or have honorific titles||Rev. Jane and Dr. John Snow|
Addressing Envelopes to Married Couples, Different Last Names
|All Married Couples regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or profession||Mrs. Jane Geller and Mr. John Snow|
Addressing Envelopes to Families
|Non-traditional Style||Mr. and Mrs. John Snow and family|
|Traditional Style (parents' names one first line and children's name on second line||
Ms. Rachel and Mx. Taylor Anthony
|Male child under 18, receives no title||Phillip Snow|
|Female child under 18||Miss Sally Anthony|
NOTE: Etiquette states that children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation, whether they still live at home or not.
The most important things to know when addressing your wedding invitation are:
- What is your guest's relationship status?
- How do your guests like to be addressed? What are their pronouns?
- Do your married guests share a last name?
- If your married guests don't share a last name professionally, do they prefer to be addressed by a singular last name personally?
- For families, what are the children's names and ages?
- Do the children still live at home? If no, you'll need to get their address.