Top 10 Tips for Addressing Wedding Envelopes

by Claire Valenty on February 20, 2011

in Wedding Etiquette

wedding addressing envelopes etiquette

As with every other aspect of a wedding, there is a certain tradition on how your wedding envelopes (and save the dates) should be addressed.  Make sure you do not overlook a thing by reviewing our top ten tips for addressing wedding envelopes!

1)      All abbreviations should be completely written out. For example, instead of “St.”, use “Street”.  Instead of “Blvd.”, “Boulevard”.  The same goes for the state (it is not “WA”, but “Washington”) and “Apartment” or “#” should be used in lieu of “Apt.”

2)      Use your guests’ proper titles (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc. – FYI, widows still use “Mrs.”).   The rules of abbreviation can be bent slightly here.  It is up to you!  Those with a title related to their job (such as “Dr.” or “Gen.”) should be listed first, regardless of sex.

If you are like me, and cannot remember when you should use “Miss” or “Ms.”, here are some pointers:

  1. “Ms.” should be used when you do not know someone’s marital status or to refer to a married woman who has kept her maiden name.
  2. “Miss”, although previously used to indicate any woman who has never been married, is usually reserved today for younger women (still not married).

3)      The outer envelope should be addressed generally, for example:

Mr. James Brown and Ms. Whitney Houston

While the inner envelope will specifically name who is invited:

Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston

Stacey and Jenny

(with Stacey and Jenny being their children)

The etiquette trend these days is to stay away from using two envelopes in order to save the environment (and your budget!).

4)      If you would like the person you are inviting to bring a guest, use:

Outer envelope: Mr. Paul Jones

Inner envelope: Mr. Jones and Guest

5)      If you are inviting a married couple, it is:

Mr. and Mrs. Billy Squire

6)      If you are inviting a couple (not married), you should use (listing the name of the person you know best first, regardless of sex):

Ms. Tina Turner and Mr. Elton John

7)      For same sex couples (if they are married with the same last names, please use:

Messrs. John and Billy Jean

Mesdames Susan and Alicia Smith

If they are not married, the same rules above apply.

8)      Not a single invitation should be hand delivered, even if it is going to your roommate!

9)     Every guest over 18 should get their own invitation.

10)   Do not forget the return address – the post office is not under any obligation to deliver your mail without it!  The bride’s address should go on the back flap of the envelope and traditionally, no names are mentioned.  However, if the bride and groom are living together already, using the bride’s name is acceptable.

Tip: Save yourself some time (and your wrist some exertion) by using a printer to print the addresses.  Print them directly on the envelope, though, as using labels looks a bit tacky.

For tips on actually stuffing your envelopes, please check out:  Top 10 Tips for Stuffing Wedding Envelopes Properly

Photo: flickr/Erik Abderhalden - 728x90 banner

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Bilyeui August 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Good day, thank you so much for all the information on your web page, it has been very helpful. But I have a question about some of the address I am writing, I’m not sure that Im writing out the street address correctly. Several of my guests have addresses that the street names are numbers. So Im not sure that I’m writing the numbers correctly. Example: 72nd Street or 69th street also there is NW attached to some of the addresses so am I supposed to write NorthWest or North West or Northwest? Any help you can offer me on this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kathy Bilyeu

Cindy DeArnab July 6, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Question: If someone has invited only the the husband and wife to the wedding and reception (on the invitation) with an RSVP card because the reception is a sit down dinner but they show up with all their small children….? Bad etiquette!

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