Addressing wedding invitations can be tricky when it comes to balancing tradition and reflecting your personality as a modern couple. Today there are many more acceptable ways to address wedding invitations than there have been in the past. Unsure of how to proceed? Follow this quick reference guide to addressing wedding invitations.
Classic Format for Addressing Wedding Invitations
Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Jill Jones
Twenty Two Front Street
How to Address Invitations for a Couple with Different Last Names
Mrs. Jill Smith and Mr. Jack Jones
How to Address Invitations for a Single Guest
Follow The Classic format on the outer envelope. On the inner envelope, include the single guest's name along with "and Guest," or include the guest's name on a separate line if you know who they'll bring.
How to Address Invitations for a Family with Children
Follow The Classic format on the outer envelope. Then, on the inner envelope include the name of the adult(s) in the family as well as the names of each child invited. For a more formal invitation use "Master" for boys under 13 and "Miss" for girls under 18.
How to Address Invitations for a Same-Sex Couple
Same-sex couples should be addressed in the same way heterosexual couples are. Find a few common formats below: Misters John Smith and Jack Jones; Mr. and Mr. John Smith and Jack Jones; Mr. and Mr. John and Jack Jones; Ms. Jill Smith and Ms. Jane Jones; Mrs. and Mrs. Jill and Jane Jones
How to Address Invitations for Guests with a Special Title
Special titles always go first. For example, if the woman in a couple is a doctor her name would be written first, "Doctor Jill Smith and Mr. Jack Jones." If both members of the couple are doctors the invitation should be addressed to "Doctors Jill and Jack Jones." If both couples have titles, list the woman's first. This recommendation holds true unless the man's title outranks the woman's substantially. For example, if the man is the President of the United States. All U.S. elected officials should have the prefix "The Honorable." This includes judges, mayors and members of Congress. Also be sure to use any appropriate military titles, including Colonel and Sergeant.
A Few Etiquette Tips to Stick to When Addressing Wedding Invitations
- Write it out! Names, street numbers and state names should all be written out fully. Nicknames and abbreviations should not be used.
- Include all invited guests names. Don't leave any room for wondering about who exactly is invited to the wedding. On the interior envelope of each invitation be sure to specify all children's names, spouses, or dates you'd like to invite to the wedding.
- Keep in mind your guests' preferences. You know your guests best. While it's important to follow etiquette and respect your guests' titles, it's also important to address your guests how they like to be addressed. For example, if your guest is a doctor but never uses that title, you may consider leaving it off.
- Remember, these people are your nearest and dearest. If you do make an etiquette mistake when addressing invitations, your loved ones care about you and will likely cut you some slack. Plus, they'll be so excited to receive what's inside the envelope a title mishap will be overlooked.