Addressing Wedding Invitations

Guidelines on addressing your wedding invitations.

Writing your guest list for your wedding can be a lot of fun. However, creating the mailing list for your invitations can prove to be a time consuming task. So, it is never to early to get started.

The first thing your will want to decide is whether or not you are going to be using double envelopes (outer and inner envelope). These days, there seems to be a trend toward not using the double envelopes, except in the case of a formal, black tie wedding. So, we will start with the guidelines of addressing your invitation, when not using double envelopes.

You will want to start by creating an excel spread sheet with 6 columns
Column 1. Guest Name(s)
Column 2. Street Address
Column 3. Unit or Apartment Number
Column 4. City
Column 5. State
Column 6. Zipcode

Column #1 – Guest Name(s)

In this column, you will enter your guests names as they should be addressed. There is quite a bit of etiquette to follow, so I have outlined many scenarios including; married couples with different last names, professional couples, couples living together, but not married, how to address children, and so on. I have included a sample under each scenario.

Married Couples

Married couples with the same last name:

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith

Married Couples where the woman has a different last name:
Ms. Julia Brennan and Mr. Robert Jones
The woman is addressed as Ms. when she does not use her husbands last name

Married Couple when the woman is a Doctor, Judge or other official title
Doctor Carly Jones and Mr. Robert Jones (Woman’s Name First)

Married Couples when both are Doctors
Doctors Robert and Carly Jones

Families with children
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones
Marsha, Lisa, Samuel
 Children under 18 are listed from oldest to youngest. Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation-even if they are still living at home. 

Unmarried Couples

Unmarried Couples Living together
Ms. Charlotte Finnegan
Mr. James Brown
The ladies name typically goes first, unless you know the man foremost, and the names are
written on two separate lines.

Single Male or Female and guest
Ms. Charlotte Finnegan and guest
guest should be in lower case

Note– Titles should be spelled out, not abbreviated: Doctor, The Honorable, Senator.
junior and senior can be spelled out or abbreviated: Jr., Sr.

Column #2 – Street address

All words should be completely spelled out in the street address; Street, Venue, Boulevard, North, West, Northwest, etc.
Numbers One through Twenty should be spelled out
example: Twelve Rainbow Avenue not 12 Rainbow Ave.
If the Street is a numbered street, such as 1st Ave. it should also be spelled out
example: 128 West First Avenue

Column #3 – Unit or Apartment Number

Unit, Suite, Apartment should be spelled out, as well as numbers One through Twenty
example – Apartment Fourteen

Column #4 – City

The City name should be spelled out completely

Column #5 – State

The state name should also be spelled out; Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina. The only exception to this rule is DC. It is not necessary to spell out District of Columbia.

Column #6 – Zip Code

The 5 digit zip code is acceptable and preferred.

If using an inner envelope

You will want a 7th column on your spread sheet
Inner Envelope for married couple with same last name
FormalMr. and Mrs. Jones (no first names)
Informal – Charlotte and James (you can also use Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jim)
Families with Children – Mr. and Mrs. Jones
Caroline, Jonathan, William
Jim and Mary
Charlotte, Johnnie and Bill
Using inner envelope to invite guest.
In this case, you would not include “and guest” on the outer envelope, just on the inner envelope.

And there you have it!

A few additional tips.
– Be sure to order extra envelopes – in case of errors. 10% more should suffice
– Before putting postage stamps on your invitation, be sure to bring a completed invitation suite to the post office to -have them weigh it, and confirm the required postage.
– Square invitations cost more to mail than standard rectangular invitations.