Wedding envelope addressing is one area where traditions and etiquette have remained unchanged. There are many different social and mailing situations to consider, so here are a few guidelines when you begin compiling your guest list.


If you're using inner and outer envelopes (formal):

Outer Envelope

  • Write the guest’s complete and formal name along with the complete mailing address. Do not include any children's names. See below for title etiquette.

    Inner Envelope

  • Write the title of the primary guest and his or her last name. No mailing address is needed on the inner envelope.
  • Children under 18 should be included under their parents’ names, from oldest to youngest. Children over the age of 18 and living with their parents should receive their own invitation.
  • If you are allowing a guest to invite their own guest, this is noted by adding ‘and guest’ after the guest’s last name.

    If you're using a single outer envelope (informal):

    Single Envelopes

  • Write the guest’s complete and formal name and complete mailing address. See below for title etiquette.
  • Children under 18 should be included under their parents’ names, from oldest to youngest. Children over the age of 18 and living with their parents should receive their own invitation.
  • If you are allowing a guest to invite their own guest, this is noted by adding ‘and guest’ after the guest’s last name.

    Mailing Address Guidelines:

    Abbreviations

    No abbreviations or numerals should be used on your envelopes, except for numbered street names 101 and higher, house numbers 21 and higher and zip codes. For example:

    Twenty-One Thirty-First Street Northwest, Post Office Box Eight, Washington, District of Columbia, 20015

    Return and Response (RSVP) Address

    The return address is traditionally printed or embossed on the envelope's flap. The wedding hosts’ address is used and their names are not included. The response or RSVP address is the same, although you may choose a more convenient address for collecting the RSVPs.

    Title Situations:

    Females

  • Unmarried: Miss or Ms. Molly Lee
  • Divorced, kept married name: Mrs. or Ms. Molly Paul
  • Divorced, back to unmarried name: Ms. Molly Lee

  • Widowed: Mrs. Molly (or Jon) Paul (Do not use 'and guest' if recently widowed.)

    Children

    List from oldest to youngest
  • Under 18: and Christopher; or Christopher, Jenny and Samantha
  • To add formality, use the title Master for boys under 13 and Miss for girls under 18

    Couples

  • Unmarried and living together: Ms. Molly Lee and Mr. Alex Paul
  • Unmarried and living separately: Ms. Molly Lee (first line) Mr. Alex Paul (second line)
  • Married: Mr. and Mrs. Alex Paul

  • Kept maiden name: Ms. Molly Lee and Mr. Alex Paul

  • Hyphenated last name: Mrs. Molly Lee-Paul and Mr. Alex Paul
  • Same sex: Messrs. Jon and Alex Paul or Mesdames Molly and Jenny Lee

    Titles

    List person with title first, regardless of gender
  • One Doctor: Doctor Molly Paul and Mr. Alex Paul

  • Both Doctors: The Doctors Paul

  • Different last names: Doctor Molly Lee and Doctor Alex Paul
  • Judge: The Honorable and Mrs. Alex Paul
  • Reverend: Reverend and Mrs. Alex Paul

    Military

  • Husband: Colonel and Mrs. Alex Paul
  • Wife: Commander Molly Paul, U.S. Navy, and Mr. Alex Paul
  • Both: Commander Molly Paul and Major Alex Paul (List person with highest rank first, regardless of gender)
  • Retired: Major and Mrs. Alex Paul
  • Non-commissioned or enlisted: Mr. and Mrs. Alex Paul