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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adcock

How to Address Wedding Envelopes the Right Way

I was asked "with all your experience of weddings how do you address wedding envelopes the right way? After some research and questions to some previous clients I had the answer. It was during my research that I discovered that this was, to some, an important thing to get right but very few know the correct procedure, so here it is:

It’s just 8 weeks before your wedding, by now you’ve probably got your wedding stationery ready. As you sit down to send invitations, the first question in your mind would be how to address wedding envelopes.
Before going to the post office, you would want to properly address the inner and outer envelopes. Who should come first on the invitation list? Should you invite just one person or their family? And what about the children? There is so much to ponder!
We have some points to keep in mind while addressing wedding envelopes. However, before you start, ensure you have enough time on your hands because sending wedding invitations in haste could mean leaving out a guest or two. And you don’t want that to happen. So take time, sit down with the correct guest list, and start addressing the envelopes.

Components of a Wedding Invitation

Generally, there are two envelopes in a traditional wedding invitation: an outer envelope and an inner one. The outer envelope contains the guest’s name and mailing address. The inner envelopes are like keepsakes so your guests can save them. They are also used to tell the guests about who is invited to the wedding. For example, if you are inviting a family, you might not want to invite the children (if it’s an adults-only event). Inner envelopes can let the guests know how many of them are invited.

In some cases, you might want to allow the guest to bring along another person with them. In that case, you might want to mention “plus one” or “and guest” on the inner envelope.

Here are some guests you might like to consider for a plus-one:

1. Engaged or cohabitating guests

2. Single guests if they are currently dating someone

3. Wedding party members

4. Guests who have been with their special someone for long and it would be awkward if the other person isn’t invited

Apart from these people, if you think it’s best to let someone bring an additional guest, you can write “plus one” on their inner envelope.

There are three main types of wedding envelopes:

1. A-style or Announcement envelopes that have a square flap

2. Baronial envelopes with a pointed flap

3. Euro-flap envelopes with a flap that has a deep point

No matter which envelope you choose, wedding stationery is always printed as a suit, which means the design on the invitation, inner envelope, and outer envelope will be similar.

How to Address Wedding Envelopes

There are different rules for inner and outer envelopes. While the outer envelopes are more formal, the inner ones can be informal. While you can go with “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” and “Ms” in most cases, there are also gender-neutral titles such as “Mx.” The basic rule of thumb is to use the full name with the right title. For example, your Uncle Bill will be addressed as Mr. William Leslie Parker. Don’t use initials or abbreviations. For example, don’t use Apts instead of Apartments in the address.

With that out of the way, now let’s discuss how to address guests based on certain criteria.

How to address wedding envelopes to single guests

Begin with the preferred title of the guest. For example, if they are a doctor, you’d want to address them as “Dr.” instead of “Mr.” While it is customary to include the title, if you’re not sure about the preferred title, it’s best to leave it completely.

Write the full name of the person invited. If you know their middle name, mention that as well. If you want to give a plus-one invitation to them, you can invite both people by their names. However, if you don’t know the other guest’s name, you can mention “and guest” on the invitation so they can feel free to bring a friend or a date to the wedding.

For example, on the outer envelope, you might write “Ms. Summer Hirst,” but on the inner envelope, you can write “Ms. Hirst” And if you want to invite one extra guest, you can write “Ms. Summer Hirst” on the outer envelope and “Ms. Hirst and guest” on the inner envelope.

How to address wedding envelopes to married couples

When inviting a married couple, write their names in one line. If they don’t have the same last name, write the name of the person closest to you first. If you are close to both of them equally, place their names in alphabetical order. And if the wife has taken her husband’s name, you can write it accordingly.

For example, you can write “Mr. and Mrs. George Costanza” And if they have different names, you can write “Mr. Jerry Seinfeld and Mrs. Mulva Dolores”

On the inner envelope, you can write in an informal way depending on your relationship with them. For example, if you’re inviting your friend and his wife, “Jerry and Mulva” would be sufficient.

How to address wedding envelopes to an unmarried couples

Addressing a wedding envelope to an unmarried couple is slightly different than addressing it to a married couple. Make sure you include both names in separate lines. As earlier, address the person closer to you first. If you’re close to both of them, list their names in alphabetical order.

For example, here is how you address an unmarried couple on the outer envelope:

“Mr. Joseph Blanch

Ms. Samantha West”

And on the inner envelope:

“Mr. Blanch

Ms. West”

How to address wedding envelopes to families

If you want to send an invitation to a family that has young kids, the outer envelope should mention the parents’ names. The names of the children could be on the inner envelope. For girls, you can use “Miss” and for boys, you can use “Mr.” However, if the kids are under 16, you don’t need to address them with titles.

If you don’t write the kids’ names, it will be implied that you don’t want to invite them. Unless you’re planning to have an adults-only party, make sure you mention each child’s name. If you don’t remember the children’s names, it’s best to make a phone call to the parents and politely ask for the kids’ names.

How to address wedding envelopes to children

If you want to invite a child from a family but they are over 18, they should receive a separate invitation. However, if they are still living with their parents, you can mention their names in the invitation sent to the parents.

And if they are living separately, you need to send an invitation to them. The rules for sending the invitation to them are the same as sending invitations to single persons.

How to address wedding envelopes to guests with distinguished titles

People like doctors, lawyers, military personnel, etc. have distinguished titles. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to address them by their proper titles on the wedding invitation. If you’re sending the invitation to the couple, mention the name with a distinguished title first. And if both of them have these tiles, you can write their names in alphabetical order.

For example, if both of them are doctors:

“Doctors Katherine and Christopher Jenkins” on the outer envelope and “The Doctors Jenkins” on the inner envelope.

If only one is a doctor:

“Doctor Katherine Jenkins and Mr. Christopher Jenkins” on the outer envelope and “Dr. Katherine and Mr. Christopher” on the inner envelope.

How to address wedding envelopes to friends with known guests

If you know the plus-one guest of your friend, you can write their name on the invitation. Make sure you mention your friend’s name first, followed by the guest’s name.

For example, if your friend Samantha is dating Ryan for the last two years and your family knows about the relationship, it’s best to mention his name on the card.

You can write on the outer envelope:

“Ms. Samantha Moore

Mr. Ryan Lawrence”

And on the inner envelope:

“Ms. Moore

Mr. Lawrence”

How to address wedding envelopes to divorced men and women

If you’re sending the wedding invitation to a divorced woman who still uses her married name, it’s best to go with a neutral “Ms.” Instead of “Miss”. For example, you can write “Ms. Anne White” on the outer envelope and “Ms. White” on the inner envelope. And if you want to add another guest to the invitation, you can write “Ms. White and guest” on the inner envelope.

However, if the divorced woman is not using her married name, you can address her as “Miss” on the outer envelope.

For a divorced man, the rules are the same as those for a single man. Use his full name on the outer envelope and title and last name on the inner envelope. You can also add “and guest” on the inner envelope if you want him to bring an additional guest.

What if there’s no inner envelope
These days, many people want to leave out the inner envelope when inviting guests. It saves money and it’s a more contemporary style.

The problem is if you don’t have an inner envelope, how do you mention the number of guests? It’s simple, you write it on the outer envelope.

For example,

“Mr. James Johnson and guest,
12, Fortis Green,

Or you can include a line in your RSVP card. You can add a column where the guest will indicate how many members will be attending the wedding.

As more people move towards a contemporary invitation style with pocket invitations, you can use the pocket as an inner envelope. Write the guests’ names on the pocket on the side that doesn’t have a flap. Place it in the outer envelope so the names can be seen when the envelope is opened.

Finishing Touches (now you know how to address wedding envelopes the right way)

Now that you have addressed all your wedding invitations, it’s time to add some finishing touches. You can get custom stickers made that will seal the envelope securely while also adding a personalized touch to your invitation.

Or you can go for wax seals. These seals were used by royals and they can add a majestic touch to your invitations. However, since wax seals can get messy and they take longer, many people prefer custom stickers.

Typically, you’d want to send the invitations out about 6-8 weeks before the wedding so guests can be prepared accordingly. And if it’s a destination wedding, it’s best to send invitations three months before your big day. Your guests will need to make travel arrangements, which is why it’s best to let them know on time.

Received a wedding invitation? Make sure you RSVP politely. When you visit them on their special occasion, it’s best to take a wedding card along with a gift to add a warm touch to your presence. Here are some wedding card quotes you might enjoy.

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