Addressing Wedding Invitations
Addressing your wedding invitations can be a daunting task. There are numerous etiquette rules that come into play, and many brides-to-be fear that inadvertently breaking these rules will cause hard feelings. But the fact is that these etiquette rules are much less inflexible than they once were.
Generally, if your wedding and the invitations themselves are extremely formal, you will probably want to follow addressing rules more closely than you would with a more casual ceremony and invitations. Here are some rules for common addressing situations:
- Unmarried guests are the simplest to address invitations to. Just use the title Miss or Ms for a female and Mr. for a male, plus the guest's first and last name. If using an inner envelope, you can write something like "Ms Doe and Guest" to let them know that they are welcome to bring their date.
- Married couples should be addressed as Mr. and Mrs. (husband's first and last name). For example "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith."
- For children under 18, the first names should be included on the line under the parents' names. Alternatively, if you are using inner envelopes, you can address the outer envelope to the parents only and include the first names of all family members on the inner envelope.
- Children over 18 who still live at home should receive their own separate invitation.
- For unwed couples who are living together, or same sex couples, each name should be on a line by itself in alphabetical order by last name.
- If a title such as Dr. or Esquire is used, the person who bears that title's name should come first.
Inner envelopes can be done less formally. You may choose to use titles and last names, but it is increasingly common to use the name that you call the person by, such as "Aunt Jane and Uncle John."
These are the basic rules of wedding invitation etiquette. How closely you should follow them depends on the formality of your invitations and wedding, your own personal preferences, and consideration of your guests' feelings.
For more information regarding the many different variable there can be in addressing your wedding invitations appropriately see our very detailed instructions entitled: wedding invitation etiquette