When it comes to wedding invitations, what goes on the outside of the envelope is just as important (and can require just as much thought) as what goes on the pretty paper inside of it. To help you on your quest for wedding stationery clarity, then, today we’re breaking down exactly how to address your wedding invitations. From married couples with different last names to guests with distinguished titles, read on for proper addressing tips for every (and any) case you can imagine.
In the case of a dating or unmarried couple living together, both names should be included on the envelope. If you’re opting for the formal option, each name should get its own line (as opposed to a married couple, where both names would be on the same line). If you’re opting for something more casual, the names can go on the same line without the last names included.
Mr. David Luceras
Ms. Melanie Marx
David & Melanie
There are a few options for addressing wedding invitations to married couples with the same last name. You can either use the man’s full name (referring to them as Mr. & Mrs. Mario Bryant)—or, you can include both first names, with the male’s name coming first (Mr. Mario & Mrs. Jill Bryant). If you’re opting for something more casual, you can simply call them Mr. & Mrs. Bryant (omitting first names) or call them both by their first names (omitting the last name).
Mr. & Mrs. Mario Bryant
Mr. Mario & Mrs. Jill Bryant
Mr. & Mrs. Bryant
Jill & Mario
When it comes to how to address your wedding invitations, this one can throw people for a loop—but it’s really pretty simple. You’ll use both first names, but, rather than automatically listing the male first (as you would with a married couple who shares a last name), you’ll list the person you’re closest with first. If you’re equally close with both parties, list the names in alphabetical order.
Mrs. Melanie Combs & Mr. Sean Hilton
Mrs. Combs & Mr. Hilton
Melanie & Sean
Titles are yet another thing to consider when it comes to how to address your wedding invitations—and no title is trickier than doctor. If one of the spouses is a doctor, etiquette rules state that their title and name should come first (so either “Dr. & Mrs” or “Dr. & Mr.”)—but the rules don’t stop there. We break down the many different instances you might come across with the title of “doctor” below.
PRO TIP: “Dr.” offers a less formal feel while “Doctor” offers a more formal feel.
Husband is a doctor; wife is not:
Dr. & Mrs. Bill Giovani
Wife is a doctor; husband is not—same last name:
Dr. Jill and Mr. James Hersch
Wife is a doctor; husband is not—different last names:
Dr. Jill Lucento and Mr. James Hersch
Both spouses are doctors—same last name:
Doctors Jill and James Hersch
Drs. Jill and James Hersch
The Doctors Hersch
Both spouses are doctors—different last names:
Dr. Jill Lucento and Dr. James Hersch
You didn’t think the fun stopped at “doctor”, did you? From judges to military personnel, there are a number of instances where guests hold titles that call for special attention when working out just how to address your wedding invitations. The good news? You’ll simply follow the same rules we listed above for doctors (the spouse with the distinguished title always comes first).
PRO TIP: If both titles can’t fit on the same line, be sure to indent the second line.
Husband is a judge (formal):
The Honorable Mark Walford & Mrs. Lucy Walford
The Honorable & Mrs. Mark Walford
Wife is a judge (formal):
The Honorable Lucy Walford & Mr. Mark Walford
Husband is a judge (informal):
Judge Walford & Lucy Walford
Wife is a judge (informal):
Judge Walford & Mark Walford
Both are captains in the military:
Captains Lucy & Mark Walford, US Navy
The Captains Walford
One spouse is a lieutenant in the military—same last name:
Lieutenant & Mrs. Mark Walford, US Navy
One spouse is a lieutenant in the military—different last name:
Lieutenant Mark Walford, US Navy & Mrs. Lucy Bryant
If you’re inviting a couple’s children along to the party, you’ll want to note that on the envelope as well. If you don’t include the child’s name, it’s implied they’re not invited.
PRO TIP: Children 18 and over should receive their own invitation unless they’re living with their parents. Tradition says to include only the parents’ names on the outer envelope (following one of the above rules, depending on which category they fall under) and then include the child’s or children’s names on the inner envelope; however, if you’re not including an inner envelope in your invitation suite, options include:
Mr. & Mrs. Mark Combs and Family
Bryan, Miss Brittany, Josh, James
The Combs Family
Overall, when it comes to how to address your wedding invitations, there are a few things to keep in mind: start by knowing the marital status and any relevant titles each party may hold—and then make the decision about how formal (or informal) you want the invitation to feel. Use the above outline as a guide as you go and, remember—the way you address the outside of your invitation sets the tone for what’s inside (and what’s to come on the day of!), so pay close attention to detail.
Want even more pro wedding stationery tips? Browse the rest of our blog for advice and inspiration—or head to our stationery store to start customizing your suite today. Cheers, brides, to a seamless celebration!
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