{Wedding Planning 101} | Addressing Wedding Invitations

 
 daytoremember.net | Eri Reyna Photography | Hyatt Regency Galleria | Houston, Texas | A Day To Remember Houston Luxury Wedding Planning and Design

daytoremember.net | Eri Reyna Photography | Hyatt Regency Galleria | Houston, Texas | A Day To Remember Houston Luxury Wedding Planning and Design

In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of your wedding invitations. You have spent hours working with your stationer creating that perfect invitation. The final touch is the art of addressing an envelope. Many couples come to us with questions about this, "Do I include children's names on the invitation", "How do I address to my uncle and his husband?", "How do I address common law married couples?", the list just goes on and on...

So, let's get started with some quick pointers, followed by more specific samples...

For your Outer Envelope:

  • Proper etiquette and tradition is upheld, decorum celebrated, so this means no cutting corners and using abbreviations such as Dr., Jr., TX, St., instead use Doctor, Junior, Texas, Street

  • Titles such as Doctor, Reverend, Captain, etc. are not abbreviated unless lack of space necessitates it

  • Mr. and Mrs. are the only acceptable abbreviations

  • Full names only, this means no initials or nicknames

  • If an unmarried couple is living in the same house their names should be on separate lines, with the female guest listed first. If both are of the same sex, list alphabetically.

  • Adding "and family" is not acceptable. Children's names are to be listed on the inner envelope

  • Write out "and", not "&"

  • Suffixes are all properly proceeded by a comma, including Roman numerals

  • Junior and senior are to be written out, no abbreviations

  • North and South is written in full if it proceeds the street name {123 South Main Street} with a comma added after the street name. An abbreviation is acceptable if it comes after the address {123 Main Street, N.W.}

For your Inner Envelope:

  • Formal invitations, unless they are in a pocketfold, are slipped into an unsealed inner envelope to be placed inside the outer envelope. The inner envelopes are addressed in a more informal fashion, typically only title abbreviations, last name or guests first names, including the names of all other invitees {ie: children}

  • Exclude the first names of the recipients {unless they are really close relations}

  • When including children, only their first names are needed and must be listed by age, oldest first

  • Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation

  • Omit children's names if they are not on the guest list

  • If an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your guest's name, or followed by "and guest" {guest should not be capitalized, it is not a proper noun}

Now that we've managed to confuse you some, here are just a few examples to better assist you! :)

Addressing to a married couple {outer envelope}:

Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe OR Mr. and Mrs. John Doe

Addressing to a married couple {inner envelope}:

Mr. and Mrs. Doe OR John and Jane

Addressing to a married couple using different last names {outer envelope}:

Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Fawn

Addressing to a married couple using different last names {inner envelope}:

Mr. Doe and Ms. Fawn OR John and Jane

Addressing to an unmarried couple living together {outer envelope}

NOTE: Just as a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes, but each name should be listed on a separate line.

Mr. John Doe

Ms. Jane Fawn

Addressing to an unmarried couple living together {inner envelope}

Mr. Doe

Ms. Fawn

Addressing to same-sex couples {outer envelope}

NOTE: Same rules apply just as you would for any other unmarried or married couple. If the couple is married, list the names on the same line; otherwise, the names are to go on separate lines

Ms. Jane Doe and Ms. Jill Hill

Addressing to same-sex couples {inner envelope}

Ms. Doe and Ms. Hill OR Jane and Jill

Addressing to a married woman doctor or two married doctors {outer envelope}:

NOTE: If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the outer envelope should read:

Dr. Jane Fawn and Mr. John Doe

NOTE: If a woman uses her husband's name socially:

Dr. Jane and Mr. John Doe

NOTE: If both parties are doctors:

Doctors Jane and John Doe

Addressing to a married woman doctor or two married doctors {inner envelope}:

Dr. Fawn and Mr. Doe OR The Doctors Doe

Addressing to guests with distinguished titles {outer envelope}:

NOTE: Same rules apply just as you would for doctors. If both titles do not fit on one line, indent the second line.

The Honorable Jane Fawn and Captain John Doe OR Lieutenants Jane and John Doe, U.S. Navy

Addressing to guests with distinguished titles {inner envelope}:

Judge Fawn and Captain Doe, U.S. Navy OR The Lieutenants Doe

Addressing to children and families:

NOTE: For girls under 18, use the title, “Miss.”. Boys do not require a title, unless they are 18 years, then, they are to be addressed as "Mr.". Remember, if you don't include each child's name, you're implying that children are not invited.

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe

Johnny, Jack, Miss Janie and Miss Jillie

We hope this gives you the tools necessary when addressing your invitations.

Now, if you have any questions or doubts, we recommend having a professional calligrapher handle this task for you. Not only will you save yourself the trouble of figuring out how to address each envelope, but having a calligrapher address your envelopes will give it that special touch your guests will greatly appreciate!