Lifestyle Magazine

5 Main Rules How To Address Wedding Invitations

By Olga

Each member of your guest list and bridal party is there for a very special reason. Thus, you’ll have to keep in mind while you are addressing wedding invitations. When it comes to formality, the most important thing is to follow the Mr. Mrs. Miss and all the other title rules. Let’s be honest, when it comes to how to address wedding invitations, everyone can use a little help.

We’ve listed all the combinations for you so that you know how to properly personalize each invite. However, there’s quite a bit to consider in regards to wedding invitation address etiquette. Before you dive in and start writing your wedding speeches and everything else you have to attend to, click through for all the details.

How To Address Wedding Invitations To A Married Couple

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First, get organized by splitting your guest list into different groups. Single or coupled is a great place to start. Of course, there are many variations that we’ll cover, but we want to start you off with the most familiar: married couples.


Outer Envelope:

Mr. Robert and Mrs. Ellen Holfield

Inner Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Holfield

If yours is a casual theme, just the first names Robert and Ellen are a fun way to keep it personal while not being traditionally formal.

In general, standard wedding invitations include the name(s) of your guest(s), the time and date of the ceremony, the location of the ceremony, and the location of the reception. If the reception is at the same location make sure to point this out to avoid misunderstanding. Remember, your guests also need to come up with and choose just the right cute couple quotes to congratulate your knot.

You can also place reception details at the bottom of the card if there happens to be space. Couples on a budget will appreciate this because it will save you the time and money of sending a separate card.

A great idea for that ‘little extra something’ for a married couple is asking for their advice. A proper marriage takes work, and some hints and tips can end up being the best wedding gift you receive!

To An Unmarried Couple Living Together

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Coming from tradition it’s common practice to address the man first and then the woman in a wedding invitation to a couple who is not yet married.

Other than that, there’s nothing drastically different about addressing wedding invitations to couples that live together but aren’t married. But, you’ll want to make sure to invite them both individually by name.


Outer Envelope:

Mr. Richard Reeves and Ms. Sherry Zhang

Inner Envelope:

Mr. Reeves and Ms. Zhang

You’ll want to be aware that if they’ve been together for a while, surely there’s some pressure to get married. Keeping things straightforward may be successful in preventing some unwelcome tension from the couple.

Alternatively, if you’re connected with a couple whose wedding is long overdo, use this as an opportunity. Delivering the message of sharing a day of love and eternal happiness just may be the little kick they need to pull the trigger.

Make sure not to overdo it with the invitation though. Think of it like the invitation is the Trailer, and your wedding ceremony as the Feature Presentation. Most brides want their invitations to flow with the rest of their themes. But, you do have to send these out early and you may not have your theme perfectly refined yet. If that’s your case make sure to browse a wedding ceremony script sample or two so that you can ID your theme.

If you choose your words of together quotes wisely, it will be a great primer to the ceremony and celebration which is sure to stir the emotions responsible for wanting to find your one and only.

To A Married Couple With Distinguished Titles

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Some of your guests may have titles from the medical, military, or legal professions. They’ve worked hard to earn these titles, and it’s important to address them as such when writing sending your wedding invites.

Top priority is to get their titles right. A close second is looking into the wife’s last name. It’s not uncommon for a bride to take her husband’s last name when they wed, but to use her maiden name professionally.

We’ll have to show you a few scenarios with this one:

Same Profession, same last name:

Doctors David and Mary Tregwin

Same Profession, different last names:

Doctor David Tregwin and Doctor Mary Monteiro

Different Professions, same last names

Doctor David Tregwin and The Honorable Mary Tregwin

Different professions, different last names

Doctor David Tregwin and The Honorable Mary Monteiro

It’s acceptable to omit first names for the inner envelope. Use the same format mentioned above for couples where one of the guests has a distinguished title and the other does not. Simply replace the title with the standard Mr. Miss, or Mrs.

Empty space in these cases should be topical. If you are inviting a military family, insert a military-themed poem. It’s extremely difficult to suggest one over another since there are so many out there and very personal in nature. Browse around and choose the one that’s most applicable to you.

Use the same frame of mind for doctors, judges, and any other distinguished title that you are working with. If a poem seems out of place, go with a notable quote. If you cannot find a suitable quote, you can’t go wrong with an excerpt or sample traditional wedding vows.

How To Address Wedding Invitations To Children

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As with all the other scenarios, there’re both a formal and informal version of addressing invitations to children. When it comes to kids you’ll have to learn the rules of how to address wedding invitations to a family.

In cases where the children are under 18 their names will not appear on the outer envelope, only the inner. It’s also not required to assign a title. Their first names are perfectly acceptable. However, it’s fairly common to address daughters as Miss, and can be fun to address son’s as Master or Mister.


Outer Envelope:

Mr. Edward and Mrs. Anna Dale, and Family

Inner Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Dale, Thomas, Elizabeth, and Duncan

If there is more than one child to address it’s common practice to list them by order of age, oldest to youngest.

As a rule, anyone over the age of 18 requires their own invite, even if they still live in their parents’ house. You should also strongly consider sending any special guests a personal invitation even if they are under 18.

Candidates are the Flower Girl, the Ring Bearer, or maybe a god-child. Many kids are fascinated with mail and get excited when there’s something with their name on it.

Do your best to treat kids with the same level of communication as adults. They’ll appreciate feeling ‘all grown up’ and have fun with it. For the creative space, same as the adults, fill the page with something romantic. If you’re writing your own we are suggesting sample traditional wedding vows. Don’t write out the whole speech. Rather, give them a little taste of what’s to come.

Consider a poem, a line from a well-known movie, or a few princess bride marriage quotes. The only difference here is to make sure that it’s well known and doesn’t use language that’s too sophisticated. Kids should connect with what you write.

One important tip: If the parents are on the guest list but their children are not, specify this on the invitation somehow. It may seem insensitive to point out the kids can’t come, but it’s equally awkward for the parents to have to call and ask.

How To Address Wedding Invitations To A Single Female

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When it comes to your single friends, keep in mind that weddings are an extremely romantic occasion. Thus, it would be a very considerate gesture to give the recipient an idea of how many other singles will be in attendance for reasons you can guess.


Outer Envelope:

Ms. Katherine Noble

Inner Envelope:

Katherine Nobel and Guest

With your single friends and family members, you’ll have to specify a +1 option.
Here you should also use this rule for friends who are dating but has been less than 6 months just to play it safe.

In addition, there’s the touchy subject of addressing a wedding invitation to a widow. In some cases, the deceased’s last name is appropriate. Otherwise, it is not. The rule to follow is how the widow addresses herself socially.

However, some of you will prefer to send your invites in a single envelope as opposed to an inner and an outer. It’s a simple matter of using the outer envelope rules on a single page if you’re wondering how to address wedding invitations without inner envelope.

There may be a few scenarios that we haven’t specifically covered, but with these rules, you’ll do just fine. Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you have a plan, it’s time to start spreading the announcement and good cheer.

You may not realize it, but there are tons of tiny details like table settings and sample wedding programs that you’ll need. Briefly, come back often as you plan your trip down the aisle.

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