How to Address Wedding Invitations

Addressing wedding invitations can be tricky when it comes to balancing tradition and reflecting your personality as a modern couple. Most couples do not stick directly to the formal, traditional wedding invitation address etiquette dictating that a married couple should be addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Jill Jones. Today there are many more acceptable ways to address wedding invitations than there have been in the past. Follow this quick-reference guide to addressing wedding invitations to avoid even the stickiest situations.

Classic Format

Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Jill Jones
Twenty Two Front Street
Chicago, Illinois

Couple with Different Last Names

Mrs. Jill Smith and Mr. Jack Jones

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.

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.

Same-Sex Couples

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

Special Titles

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 Sargent.

A Few Etiquette Tips to Stick To

Write things out. Names, street numbers and names 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. You know your guests best. Keep in mind, 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 if you know that's what they would prefer. 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.

Related Resources:

Essential Wedding Planning Checklist
When to send Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations & Thank You Cards
Wedding Reception Timeline
How to Address Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitation Wording
Wedding Reception Seating Etiquette
Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
Wedding Ceremony Program Wording
Ordering Guideline

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