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Wording Envelopes

Wedding Invitation Etiquette: how to properly word the envelopes

It can be a difficult task, addressing the wedding invitations and it is of the utmost importance, that they are correctly addressed so that they reach who you intend them to reach. The wording of the envelopes has its own set of rules and these should be carefully followed.

No matter whether invites are formal or informal, they should always be addressed by hand only. Under no circumstances should you use labels that are printed to address your wedding invitations. If you do insist on using labels however, be sure that they look like they have been handwritten. This is incredibly important as many couples go as far as to hire a calligrapher to help them address their wedding invites.

Use the current address of the guest you are sending the invite to and be careful not to use abbreviations for street names, cities or states. The full name of the recipient should be written out, without missing out the middle name. If you are unsure about a guest’s middle name, it is safest to not write anything at all, rather than simply using an initial.

You will need to use an inner and an outer envelope. The outer envelope will be used to mention the name and the address of the recipient and the inner envelope can mention anyone else who is included in the invitation, such as children. It is seen as rude to write ‘and family’ or ‘and guest’ on the outer envelope of the invitation.

Below, we have provided some examples of how to word the outer and inner envelopes properly.

Guests Outer Envelope Inner Envelope

Married Couples
(with children)

Mr. and Mrs. John Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Brown
Children, if invited, should be listed from eldest to youngest. All children above 18 years of age should get a separate invitation, even if they still live at home.

Married Couples
(wife kept maiden name)

Mrs. Mary Jones
Mr. John Brown

Mrs. Jones
Mr. Brown

Unmarried woman or Divorced woman using maiden name

Miss Mary Jones

Miss Jones and Guest

Unmarried Man

Mr. John Brown

Mr. Brown and Guest

Divorced woman keeping married name

Mrs. Carly Wright

Mrs. Wright and Guest

Couples who live together and same sex couples should be addressed alphabetically by their last name. For professionals, such as judges, doctors, officers etc you should use their titles instead of Mr. or Mrs. Use full words like Doctor, not abbreviations such as Dr.