First things first. Exactly what is a save the date? Your save the dates are different than your actual wedding invitations. They come before you officially invite guests to your wedding—usually about 6-8 months before the ceremony is scheduled (8-12 for a destination wedding).

You can think of save the dates as a pre-invitation card that gives your guests time to think about whether or not they will be able to attend your wedding.

We’re often asked if sending a Save the Date card is necessary if you’re already sending a formal wedding invitation too. We highly recommend you send both. Your wedding invitation should be sent just 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. By sending Save the Dates months ahead of time, you give your guests time to make necessary travel arrangements and clear their calendars.

Before we show you how to address your Save the Date envelopes, let’s talk about what information the cards themselves should have on them.

In your save the date wording, make sure to include:

  1. Your Names
  2. The Phrase “Save the Date” (or some other way of saying that you’re engaged)
  3. Your Wedding Date
  4. Wedding Location (city and state is fine)
  5. Optional: The words, “Formal Invitation to Follow” or “Invitation to Follow”

As for choosing a save the date theme or style, you might not have finalized a wedding color scheme and style yet. If that’s the case, don’t worry about matching your save the dates to anything. If you do know the color scheme and style you’d like, you may choose to match the save the date with your wedding style. However, it’s not necessary. It’s common for couples to have a little more fun with save the date cards than formal wedding invitations.

Once your beautiful cards are in your hands, it’s time to address them! Here are six guidelines for addressing those save the date envelopes flawlessly:

  1. Address the guests with “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Ms.”
  2. Write the full names of your guests (no nicknames or abbreviations)
  3. Add kids’ names right after their parents
  4. Spell out the addresses completely (write out “Street” instead of writing “St.”)
  5. Spell out the city but use proper postal abbreviations for the state
  6. Provide your return address on the envelope, either in the upper left-hand corner or on the back flap

Here are some samples of how to address envelopes for different types of situations:

Single Person with Guest
Ms. Jessica Freedman and Guest
813 North Center Street
San Diego, CA 91911

Married Couple
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Smith
714 Applewood Lane, Unit 4
Orlando, FL 32789

Unmarried Couple (list the person you’re closest to first)
Ms. Kaylin Connors and Mr. Phillip Scott
18 East Luther Avenue
Fargo, ND 58102

Children Included
Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Scott, Nora and Henry
414 Lilac Street
Bend, Oregon 97701

As for your return address, include both your names if you’re living together, but just one if you’re not.

Living Together
Ms. Megan Dale and Mr. Hank Forrester
919 South 5th Street, Apartment 917
Chicago, IL 60106 

Living Separately
Ms. Megan Dale
919 South 5th Street, Apartment 917
Chicago, IL 60106

Now you’re all set to address and finally do the best part of all – dropping your save the dates in the mailbox and watching the compliments and well-wishes flood in!

31 thoughts on “How to Address Save the Date Envelopes

  1. I know there are several ways to do this, but I have never been taught to lead with the female’s name, is this new?

    • Hey Steph,

      Thanks for the question! Traditionally, the pre-wedding stationery always leads with the bride’s name. This includes the save the dates and wedding invitations. After a couple is married, the husband’s name will then appear first. Couples can word their save the dates and wedding invitations however they like but we like to give the traditional style as an example first and couples can take it from there.

      • I might be wrong but Steph’s question was not in regard to the bride and groom names on the save the date. Instead, she was asking about addressing the married couple who is being invited. Mrs. Jane and Mrs. Joshua Smith…..really? Lead with the female’s name? At least, that was my question.

        • Good catch, ladies! That is definitely an error on our part. I have corrected those statements. They should update within the next day or so. I’m not sure where the confusion came from but changes have been made. So sorry for not understanding the original question but we appreciate your comments!

  2. Can someone please answer this question for me:

    If you know one spouse and not the other so well (for example, you are friends with the wife and only know the husband as a result), do you still use the husband’s (of wife) name when addressing the envelope, or just address it to the person you know most.

    • Since the couple is married, you would address the invitation to both the husband and wife. The husband’s name would typically come first even if you don’t know him very well, although if you feel more comfortable listing the wife’s name first, go for it. Rules are meant to be broken 😉

  3. What do you do if there are children invited to the ceremony but not the reception? put their name on it or no?

    Ps the parents of these children are fully aware of this

  4. How would you word save the dates being sent to people who regretfully cannot be invited, but you would still like for the to know? i.e. Co workers, older family friends, friends of parents but not the bride or groom but that have known them a while, and so on.

    • It has been my understanding that you should never send a save-the-date to anyone who isn’t being invited to the wedding. Perhaps a wedding announcement would be more appropriate? A save-the-date is considered a “pre-invitation” so that your guests will reserve that time to be able to attend.

  5. We are not having children at our wedding, but are inviting some of the older siblings of families, for instance I have 20 & 18 year old cousins that have a 6 year old brother, we are only inviting the 20 & 18 year old to the wedding, would we have to send separate save the dates to their parents and to each of them (we will send them separate wedding invites) or can we just address the save the dates to the family and clear up who’s actually invited come invite time?

    • Casey –
      Typically/traditionally anyone 18 years of age and older should receive their own separate invitation even if living at the same address as their parents. I would recommend following this with save the dates as well to avoid any confusion early on as to who exactly is invited. It can help to avoid awkward conversations later on.

  6. How do you address an envelope to a couple with only one child? For example:

    Mr. and Mrs. John Doe


    Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
    and Jane

    Please help!

      • In the example you gave above can you not address it as The Doe Family or is this considered too informal?

        Also, for friends our age and single it would still be correct to use the Mr. or Ms. for these guests, right?

    • I am wondering the same thing. Also, is it appropriate to use a return address stamp or should the return address be hand written like the send to address?

    • Jamie –
      For the save the dates, if the bride and groom live together you can use the brides first and last name on line one, the groom’s first and last name on line two, and the address on line three. If they live separately, use the person who’s been designated to handle any return/deliverable mail. For the wedding invitations, the return address is traditionally the host of the wedding. Or, you can again designate one individual who will be handling the response cards and any return/deliverable mail.

  7. Is it okay to address the envelopes to a married couple with mister and Mrs. then both of their first names and then the last? For example: Mr. and Mrs John and Linda Jones

  8. My daughter sent a save the date to my single friend who’s been dating a man for quite awhile but they don’t live together. She addressed it in her name and guest. My friend called me after she received the invite stating she was extremely upset that she didn’t mention her boyfriend’s name. I apologized but she says she’s angry. Can you uninvite someone after they can’t see the mistake?

  9. Is it okay to hand write the address’ instead of printing them or having it done professionally. Additionally hand writing the return address?

  10. Hi! Should the bride and groom use their name and address as the return address on ‘save the date’ cards or should the parents use their name and address? Thank you for the help.

  11. I have a divorced friend that now has a fiance’. They do not live together, and her daughters do not know that a marriage is coming in a few years. How do I address her save the date card? Do I address to her and add “and guest”?

  12. How do I complete a Return Address label for a graduation invitation if I am single and my son is 21. Do I may for the Smith family? Jane Smith and Joe Smiths? or The Smith’s

    • Hi Jackie! We would suggest “The Smiths” to keep it simple! Good question. Thanks for reaching out! Congrats on the graduation!

    • Hi Joni! Thanks for your question. Traditionally, you do not send a response card or envelope with your Save the Date cards because the Save the Date is simply announcing the date to your guests and your formal invitation with response cards will follow. We hope you have found a Save the Date card that you love on our site! Happy wedding planning!

    • Traditional etiquette is to have the return address from the bride’s family so their last name would be the traditional choice. Thanks for your question!

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