ADDRESSING invitations

We've included some tips and etiquette guidelines that are traditionally observed when writing invitations. Today's weddings are highly personalized so depending on the level of formality and tradition, you may choose to make exceptions or bend the rules, especially if planning a casual or creative event.


As with the invitation wording, Street, City and State should be completely written out when addressing the outer envelopes.

  • 11555 Main Street
  • Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428

The outer envelopes are typically addressed with full names, avoiding nicknames or abbreviations. A formal exception to the rule is if a guest uses their middle name as their full name, and their given name as an initial.

  • Ms. (or Miss) Emily Palmer
  • Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Coleman
  • Mr. and Mrs. E. Thomas Welsh

In addressing clergymen, military officers and medical doctors, use their titles in full.

  • Reverend and Mrs. George Harris
  • Rabbi and Mrs. Jacob Cohen
  • Doctor and Mrs. Lawrence Jones
  • Doctors Jones (if both are doctors)
  • Major and Mrs. Edgar Prescott

In the case of a married couple where the wife has kept her maiden name, or an unmarried couple living together use this format, with the woman's name appearing over the man's.

  • Ms. (or Miss or Mrs.) Ashley Smith
  • Mr. James McCormack

The inner envelope typically carries last names only with no address. This is where you would include the invitation of a guest

  • Ms. Palmer and Guest
  • Mr. and Mrs. Welsh

If the couple's children are invited, include their first names on a second line of the inner envelope, according to their ages.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Welsh
  • Evan and Elizabeth

If you are not inviting children to your event, you may want to call the parents to let them know in advance. It is not appropriate etiquette to write "No Children" on an invitation or envelope.