Signed, Sealed, Delivered

How to address your wedding invitations

Once you've approved the proofs and your lovely invitations have arrived, the daunting task of addressing them remains. Feel more than free to enlist your MOH, mother-in-law or other trusted individual. Keep in mind, the outer look is equally as important as the contained invitation. You wouldn't wish to do elegant stationery a disservice with poor penmanship. By the same token, specific etiquette exists for addressing both the inner and outer envelopes. Like any Southern girl knows, presentation is always key. If you aren't hiring a calligrapher, be absolutely critical in choosing designated help. Even the most diligent addressing assistant should be replaced, should her handwriting resemble chicken scratch. Now onto the particulars. For the inner envelope, you'll be crystal clear in clarifying whom precisely is invited to the event. Use titles and last names only and pair for married couples. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. You will also list any invited children below. However any child over the age of 18 should receive his or her own invitation. Should you allow your guest a plus one, the inner envelope is where you'll address this. For example, Laura Brown and Guest. For the outer envelope, this will entail title and relationship-specific instructions. Read on addressing instructions for each situation. Also all roads, boulevards and avenues should be spelled out–no abbreviations. Always omit middle initials. 

The couple that's hitched. For married couples, you'll write out both titles and the husband's first name. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Trey Miller. 

The unhitched couple under the same roof. For unmarried couples who live together, you'll write titles, first and last names for each, starting with the female. For example, Ms. Emily Clein and Mr. Joe Davis. 

All the single ladies. For a single individual, (*regardless of if you'll be allowing him or her a guest: this is addressed on the inner envelope) you'll write the title and full name. For example, Ms. Courtney Mills. 

Doctor in the house. For a wife who's a doctor, you'll write her title and first name. For example, Dr. Molly and Mr. James Waters. For two doctors, you'll write the plural title followed by the wife and husband. For example, Drs Molly and James Waters. 

What's in a name. For those with distinguished titles of honor, you'll address the female first and then male. For example, The Honorable Lauren Carter and Leiutenant Hamilton Carter. 

The couple made to last. For established couples not residing together, address the outer envelope to the individual to whom you are closest. For example, Mr. Jason White. Then for the inner envelope, you'll write out both individuals on separate lines. For example, Mr. White (next line) Ms. Eubank. 

Stuffing Course

For two envelope invites, you'll place the invitation, folded edge down or left edge down, so that when the envelope is opened, you see the printed side. When additional documents (i.e. maps, directions, reply cards, etc) are included, place them atop the invitation, all printed side up, in size order with the smallest on top.  For folded invitations, place them inside the fold in the same order. Then you'll seal the inner envelope and place it inside the outer so that when the flap is lifted, you see the guest's name. 

Weighty issue

Take one fully assembled invitation to the post office and have it weighed to ensure you're putting proper postage on the envelopes. Don't forget that out of town guests whose invitations may include additional documents will need to be weighed separately and require additional postage. 


Invitation: Salutations

Categories: Bride + Groom