If you missed the lesson in high school on how to write formal letters, addressing your wedding invitations might feel like an overwhelming task. While this essential wedding prep task does require some time and skillful knowledge, don’t fret—addressing your invitations correctly is as simple as following a few key guidelines. Whether you’re getting married in a formal, traditional ceremony or planning a more laid-back event, it’s important to make your guests feel welcome by creating a strong first impression.
To get started, read on to learn how to address wedding invitations.
For Married Couples
There are a few options for how to address wedding invitations to married couples—and while they range in formality and structure, each is correct.
For couples with the same surname, note the following for the outer envelope:
- Mr. Daniel and Mrs. Kristin Miller
- Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Miller
For couples with different surnames, invites can be formatted as follows:
- Mr. Daniel Lee and Mrs. Kristin Miller
For the inner envelope, use only titles and last names:
- Mr. and Mrs. Miller
- Mr. Lee and Mrs. Miller
For less formal weddings, inner envelopes can simply list given names:
- Daniel and Kristin
While it’s most common to put the male’s name first, etiquette is evolving to allow either order, and it’s perfectly acceptable to put the name of the person you’re closest to first. For couples with unique surnames, alphabetical order is also acceptable.
For same-sex couples, use the titles Mr. or Ms., though it’s also acceptable to avoid using titles altogether depending on formality. The same rules of address apply, with couples listed in alphabetical order, by last name if surnames are unique, and by given name if the couple shares a surname.
For Unmarried Couples
Traditionally, unmarried individuals are addressed on separate lines, like so:
- Mr. Alex Martinez
- Ms. Angela Redding
As with married couples, drop the first name for the inner envelope:
- Mr. Martinez
- Ms. Redding
Again, modern rules of letter-addressing etiquette are constantly changing—so it’s best to style the address in the best way you see fit.
The outer envelope should only be addressed to parents, but the inner envelope should include each child in descending order of age. For the most formal addresses, “Miss” is used for girls under age 18, and “Master” can be used (but doesn’t need to be used) for boys up to age 13. Here’s an example:
- Logan, Miss Chloe, and Master Aaron
As a note, if you don’t include the children’s names, the implication is that they’re not invited. (Although it never hurts to clarify whether the wedding is adults only.)
The rules for individuals are essentially the same as for couples:
- Ms. Maria Dorchester
- Mr. Riley Easton
For non-gender conforming guests (and individuals who dread being addressed as Mr. or Mrs.), feel free to drop the title altogether.
Special titles such as “Captain”, “Lieutenant”, and “The Honorable” (for judges) may be used on the letter. When more than one person is addressed, place the higher rank first, for example:
- Dr. Sofia Valdez and Mr. Wayne McAlister
- Doctors Roger and Ellen Lang
Ultimately, your wedding is all about you, so feel free to make choices that authentically reflect you and your partner’s personal style. Now that you know how to address wedding invitations, it’s time to start looking forward to the main event.
Up next, keep reading for our favorite wedding table decorations.