Addressing the wedding invitations can sometimes be a tricky job. It is important to properly address the invitations so that they reach who they are meant to. Wording the envelopes is governed by its own set of rules, which should be followed strictly.

All wedding invitations, whether formal or informal, must be addressed by hand. Do not use labels that are printed to address your wedding invitations. If you must, make sure that they look like they have been handwritten. This is so important that many a couple actually hire a calligrapher to help them address their wedding invitations.

Use current addresses, and take care not to use abbreviations for street names, cities, or states. Use the full name of the recipient on the envelope, including their middle name. If you do not know someone’s middle name, it is best not to write anything at all, rather than use an initial.

Use an inner and outer envelope. The outer envelope mentions the name and address of the recipient and the inner envelope can mention anyone else who is included in the invitation, such as children or guests. It is considered rude to write ‘and family’ or ‘and guest’ on the outer envelope of the wedding invitation.

Here are some examples of how to properly word the outer and inner envelopes of your wedding invitations.


Outer Envelope

Inner Envelope

Married Couples
(with children)
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Smith Mr. and Mrs. Smith
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. Jane Walker
Mr. Mark Smith
Mrs. Walker
Mr. Smith
Unmarried woman or Divorced woman using maiden name Miss Jane Walker Miss Walker and Guest
Unmarried Man Mr. Mark Smith Mr. Smith and Guest
Divorced woman keeping married name Mrs. Carol Evans Mrs. Evans and Guest

Live-in couples and same sex couples should be addressed alphabetically by last name. For professionals, such as doctors, judges, officers etc. use their titles instead of Mr. or Mrs. Do not abbreviate Dr. or Col. But use full words like Doctor and Colonel.