How To Address Wedding Invitations

If you’re searching for etiquette on how to properly address your wedding invitations, you’ve come to the right place. Traditionally, wedding invitations are mailed in two envelopes:

Inner Envelope

Your inner envelope holds your wedding invitation suite and includes the names of each person who is invited to your wedding.

Outer Envelope

Your outer envelope, or mailing envelope, holds the inner envelope and is formally addressed.

Addressing your wedding envelopes may sound like a straightforward task, but since your guest list will be filled with many different people in many different living and family situations, it can quickly become a bit complicated – you’ll have married couples, unmarried couples, single friends who you want to bring a date and single friends who you absolutely will not want to bring a date. Plus, you’ll need to consider how to invite or not invite children.

Addressing Envelope Etiquette

The guide below is designed to give you examples of various scenarios you will come across when addressing your wedding envelopes. We've included a column with examples for addressing both inner envelopes and outer envelopes since most traditional wedding invitations still come with both.

Inner and Outer Envelope Etiquette

If your wedding invitation did not come with an inner envelope, you will follow the outer envelope examples but you will want to clearly state who is invited to the wedding.

For example, if you're inviting a family of five, write the parents' names as shown above and then write all three of the children's first names like mentioned in the inner envelope column (or write "and family" for a more informal approach). If you are encouraging single friends and family members to bring a guest, be sure to write "and guest" on the outer envelope.

Here are some other helpful tips for addressing your outer envelopes:

  • Do not abbreviate except for Mr., Mrs. or Ms.
  • Do not use symbols.
  • Spell out the word "and."
  • Do not use initials.
  • Use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes.
  • Write out the words "Street," "Boulevard," "Avenue," etc.
  • Do not abbreviate state names.

Return Address Etiquette

There are just a few things to remember when it comes to writing your return address on the wedding invitation envelopes.

  • The return address can be placed on the front of the envelope in the upper left corner or it can be centered on the back flap. Invitations by Dawn will even professionally print your envelopes return address!
  • Proper etiquette states that envelopes should be completely hand addressed. However, we feel it's perfectly fine to use address labels or return address stamps. We highly recommend placing address labels or stamps on the back flap rather than on the front so as not to interfere with the aesthetic of the guest's handwritten address.
  • If one partner is changing their last name, proper etiquette states that he or she should not use their new last name on any stationery until after the official ceremony

That’s it – the complete guide to addressing your wedding invitations. If you have any questions left answered, give us a buzz. Our wedding experts are here to help.

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