Addressing Wedding Invitations and Envelopes

Wedding Invitations and Envelopes


Addressing your envelope is just as important as your invitations and is wrought with its own set of etiquette. Your envelopes should be handwritten unless your printer can duplicate handwriting. These need to ‘look’ handwritten. Please refrain from computer generated labels. Many couples choose to hire a calligrapher for an elegant appearance.

Current addresses, including zip codes, is particularly important as all of your invitations should be mailed, even those addressed to parents. These should be mailed six to eight weeks before your wedding date-at least eight weeks for out of town guests. However, before mailing all of your invitations assemble a test sample, including all of your enclosures. Have it weighed for correct postage.

wedding invitations



  • Please do not abbreviate streets, cities, and states-DC is one exception.
  • Saint and Mount can be written optionally in full or abbreviated as St. and Mt.
  • Do not seal the outer envelopes until all envelopes are ‘stuffed’. If any enclosures were forgotten, it will be an easy fix.
  • is an extremely helpful site for finding proper zip codes.
  • Ask for hand canceling of your invitations. It will preserve the look of your envelope.

Traditionally, especially for formal weddings, two envelopes are used, the inner and outer envelopes. An inner envelope is not necessary, but is very helpful. This is the best method to inform your guests exactly who is invited and who is not so as to avoid confusion. If you have decided not to use the inner envelope and you want to include an entire family, you may write “and family”. Please use this same style if you wish to give your guest the opportunity to bring an escort. You may write “and guest” on the outside of the outer envelope.

wedding stationary


The main reason why this is not the preferred method is because your guest might bring more people than you expect. “And family” to your guests may include parents who do not live with them.  

Traditional address for married couple

Outer Envelope Inner Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. James Maurice Mr. and Mrs. Maurice
3790 Happy Lane *(Joshua, Aaron, and Cole if children are invited)
Davis, California 95616
  • *This is the best method to inform your guest that their children are invited.
  • Children are listed by age, older to younger.
  • Children over the age of 18 should be sent their own invitation.
  • Children are not mentioned on outer envelope.

A couple who live together, but have different last names:

Outer Envelope Inner Envelope
Mr. James Maurice Mr. Maurice and Ms. Stone
Ms. Shannon Stone


  • If the couple is married, there would be an “and” between the names on the outer envelope.
  • Notice also that the names are written in alphabetical order-gender is not an issue.

Siblings or other adults living at the same address

Outer Envelope Inner Envelope
Mr. James Maurice Mr. Maurice (and guest)
Ms. Shannon Stone Ms. Stone (and guest)
  • List names alphabetically.
  • Unmarried females can be listed as Ms. or Miss.
  • Divorced women can be listed as Ms. or Mrs.
  • All men over the age of 18 should be addressed as Mr.

Married woman using a professional title  

Outer Envelope Inner Envelope
Dr. Shannon Maurice Dr. Maurice and Mr. Maurice
Mr. James Maurice


  • The ‘and’ is not used on the outer envelope.
  • If they are both doctors, the outer and inner envelopes would read, The Doctors Maurice.

Close Family and Friends

Outer Envelope Inner Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. James Maurice Shannon and James Maurice

Note – You may use familiar titles or nicknames on the inner envelope, such as Auntie, or Tim instead of Timothy.


  • Use labels
  • Use nicknames on the outer envelope
  • Use abbreviations for cities, states, and streets
  • Write first name and addresses on the inner envelope
  • Glue the inner envelope
  • Hand deliver invitations


  • Handwrite envelopes
  • Use an initial if you do not know the full name.
  • Use only these abbreviations: Mr, Mrs, Ms, Jr, Dr.
  • Write titles and last names on the inner envelope
  • Mail children over the age of 18 their own invitation

 Forms of Address  

Outer Envelope Inner Envelope

Clergy member The Reverend Carroll Smith The Reverend Smith

(With degree) The Reverend Doctor Carroll Smith The Reverend Doctor The Reverend Carroll Smith, Ph.D. Smith

Rabbi Rabbi Carroll Smith Rabbi Smith
(With degree) Rabbi Carroll Smith, D.D. Dr. Smith

Physician Shannon Stone, M.D. Dr. Stone

Professor Professor Shannon Stone Professor Stone
(With degree) Shannon Stone, Ph.D. Dr. Stone or Professor …

Judge The Honorable Carroll Smith Judge Smith

Army Officer Captain Shannon Stone, Captain Stone
United States Army  

Navy Officer Commander Carroll Smith, Commander Smith
United States Navy

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About the Author
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  1. Keith Reynolds

    How do you address a wedding invitation to a couple where the husband is a medical doctor and the wife is a reverend?

  2. donna

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