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How to Formally Address Wedding Invitations

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Stacy Harbert
Determining the right way to address your wedding invitation envelopes can get a little tricky. You might have a variety of scenarios like couples who aren't married, families with different last names, families with kids, and more. As a general rule, the outer envelope of the invitation should be more formal with titles and full names, and the inner envelope is more informal. Here are more specific ways to address your wedding invitation envelopes.



Married Couples
Outer Envelope:
Mr. John and Mrs. Jill Smith
-or-
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Inner Envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
-or-
John and Jill

Married with Different Last Names
List the person you're closest with first on both envelopes. If you're equally close with both, list them alphabetically.

Outer Envelope:
Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jill Baker

Inner Envelope:
Mr. Smith and Mrs. Baker
-or-
John and Jill

Unmarried Couple Living Together
Similarly to married couples, both names will be on the envelopes, but each gets their own line.

Outer Envelope:
Mr. Frank Porter
Ms. Lily Hunt

Inner Envelope:
Mr. Porter
Ms. Hunt

Same-Sex Couple
The rules are the same as any other unmarried or married couple. If they are married, list their names on the same line.

Outer Envelope:
Mr. Mark Thomson and Mr. Bill Green
-or-
Mark Thomson and Bill Green

Inner Envelope
Mr. Thomson and Mr. Green
-or-
Mark and Bill

Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors
If a woman uses her maiden name both professionally and socially:
Outer Envelope:
Dr. Anne Jones and Mr. Peter Parks

If she uses her husband's name socially:
Outer Envelope:
Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Parks

If both parties are doctors:
Outer Envelope:
Doctors Anne and Peter Parks

Inner Envelope:
Dr. Jones and Mr. Parks
-or-
The Doctors Parks

Other Distinguished Titles
The same rules for doctors applies for titles like military personnel, judges, reverends, etc. If both titles don't fit on one line, indent the second line.

Outer Envelope:
The Honorable Jane Marker and Lieutenant Brad Kelly, U.S. Navy
-or-
Captains Jane and Brad Kelly,
   U.S. Navy

Inner Envelope:
Judge Marker and Lieutenant Kelly, U.S. Navy
-or-
The Captains Kelly

Families with Children
Younger guests should be included on the inner envelope of their parents' invitation by their name(s). They should be left off of the outer envelope. Girls under 18 should be addressed as "Miss", and boys under 18 do not need a title.

Inner Envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Rick Steel
James, George, Miss Kate, and Miss Penny

Singles 18 and Over
Unless they live at home with their parents, everyone 18 and over should receive their own invitation.

Outer Envelope:
Ms. Ashley Hart
-or-
Mr. Sam Jones

Inner Envelope:
Ms. Hart
-or-
Mr. Jones
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