Help with etiquette for addressing wedding invitations

Addressing wedding invitations can be a daunting task...but then trying to remember the proper way to address them makes things even more overwhelming!

Both your inner and outer envelopes will need to be addressed and there are different rules to follow for each.

General rules:

• An individual is considered an adult at the age of 18, it is proper to send a separate invitation to those individuals that are 18 and older and living with an adult that you are inviting.
• It is proper and courteous to give your single guests the option of bringing a guest with them; even if you know they aren’t seeing someone in particular.
• The handwriting for your inner envelope and outer envelope should match. So if you use calligraphy style handwriting, you will need to use it on both.
• Invitations should be addressed with professions in if you have a medical doctor, make sure to address them as Doctor John Smith or a judge as The Honorable John Smith or a lawyer as John Smith, Esq.

Addressing the inner envelope rules:

• The inner envelope is addressed in a less formal manner than the outer envelope.
• List out the individual family member names that you are inviting. Husband and wife names can be simply written Mr. and Mrs. John Jones. If you are including their children, then list out the names such as Sara, George and Emily. If you are restricting attendance of children, you would not list the children’s names.
• For single guests, you can simply write Mr. Johns and Guest.

Addressing the outer envelope rules:

• The inner outer envelope is addressed formally.
• Address the envelope to the adults only, such us Mr. and Mrs. John Jones. Your inner envelope will let your guest know if their children are invited.
• For single guests, you can simply write Mr. John Johns. Your inner envelope will let your guest know that they are welcome to bring a guest.


• If you have people helping you with your invitations, be sure the same person does the writing on the inner and outer envelope.
• Make sure to include those professional designations that your guests have earned.
• Addressing wedding invitations can be done neatly by using a guide that you can place inside the envelope when you are addressing it to help you write in a straight line.

Tidbit: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your female wedding attendants to help you!

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Useful books to help you with your wedding plans:

Wedding planning guide
Planning a theme wedding Wedding speeches
Marriage and wedding vows

Budget Busters:

Guide to wedding savings
Create your own wedding flower arrangements
Cake decorating