When you are addressing your wedding invitations there are some simple rules to follow. Whether your wedding is formal or casual, you will want to address your invitations properly. Not only are you inviting your own family and friends but those of your finance(e). Sometimes you may not even know them well due to distance or other reasons. So its important to address your invitations properly. After all, your wedding invitation is the first impression you make on your guests as a couple. So don’t start things off with your new in-laws by making a mistake.
When you are addressing your envelopes, its fun to get your mother and future mother in-law together with you and your finance(e). This gives both Moms the chance to meet if they haven’t and they can help you make sure everyone’s name, address and title are correct. Make a little party out of it and relax with each other while you stuff your envelopes and get them ready to send off. The chance to get everyone together informally is well worth it and both moms will feel like they had a hand in helping with your wedding.
First, before you get started give everyone a job in stuffing the envelopes. Find out who has the best handwriting among all of you. Many people think its ok to send their invitations by using address labels. Using address labels is so informal that it can cheapen the look of your invitation. Even if you aren’t sending a formal invitation and have chosen something more contemporary, do hand address your invitations. Your guests will notice that you took the time to send each one specifically to them. Sometimes its the little things that make the greatest effect!
Get started with your envelopes by getting the inner and outer envelopes sorted out. Your outer envelopes are where your return address is printed usually on the back flap. On the front, you will write your guests title, given name and surname. The address is written next. Write out the full address without using abbreviations such as rural route or post office box. For example, here is what the outer envelope will look like for a married couple:
Mr. and Mrs. John Public
58 North Main Street
If you would like your envelopes to have an even more formal look, write out the house numbers under one hundred. You may also include middle names for formal invitations.
On your inner envelopes, you will address them slightly less formally. Only the names of your guests are necessary. For close family, you can address them with nicknames like “Grandpa.” For other guests, refer to the table below. Make sure to name everyone who is invited including children and guests. If children and guests are not included then omit their names. If a single friend of yours is allowed to bring a guest, write the guest’s name especially if they have been together for a long time. Otherwise, you will have to write “and Guest.”
The following table shows how to address your envelopes for each of your guests. This table can also be found on page 150 of Wedding Invitations by Jennifer Cegielski. I recommend getting a copy of this book or another etiquette book.
The Outer And Inner Envelopes
|Outer Envelope||Inner Envelope|
|Single man||Mr. Gerald Thomas||Mr. Thomas (or Gerald if you know the person well|
|Single woman||Miss or Ms. Jean Price||Miss or Ms. Price|
|Single person with guest||Mr. Gerald Thomas||Mr. Thomas and Guest|
|Miss or Ms. Jean Price||Miss or Ms. Price and Guest|
|Married couple||Mr. And Mrs. Gerald Thomas||Mr. And Mrs. Thomas|
|Married couple, different surnames||Ms. Jean Price and Mr. Gerald Thomas||Ms. Price and Mr. Thomas|
|Cohabitating couple||Miss or Ms. Jean Price |
Mr. Gerald Thomas
|Miss or Ms. Price |
|Same sex couple |
(in alphabetical order)
|Mr. Joseph Albertson |
Mr. Timothy Zane
Ms. Elizabeth Austen
Ms. Margot Zento
|Mr. Albertson |
|Family with children under 18 |
(in descending age order)
|Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Thomas||Mr and Mrs. Thomas |
Lucy, Charles and Mimi
|Same sex children 18+ at home (eldest first)||The Misses Thomas||The Misses Thomas |
Miss Anna Thomas
Miss Beth Thomas
|The Messrs. Thomas||The Messrs. Thomas |
Mr. Alexander Thomas
Mr. Michael Thomas
|Different sex children 18+ at home||Miss Mallory Thomas |
Mr. Andrew Thomas
|Miss Thomas |