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How To Address Wedding Envelopes

We know that when planning a wedding there are a million and one things to plan, prep and do. Couples have found our ‘Wording Your Perfect Wedding Invitations‘ a really handy guide so we thought we’d offer you a helping hand and put together a simple guide on wedding envelope addressing etiquette. Not a good idea to upset the receiver of your gorgeous invitation before they’ve even opened the envelope!

Just when you think you’ve done the tricky part getting the invitation wording perfect, reflecting you, your day, the time has come to pop your little lovelies inside their envelope,  add a stamp and send them on their way! But now there’s another decision, looking at your guest list with a random mix of singles, couples, families, a Doctor, what do you write on the front of the envelope? This isn’t going to be as simple as you first thought, with so many different options to consider (married couples, unmarried couples, singletons, those with plus ones) and titles to get right (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr. etc).

So here it is; a quick and simple guide to addressing your wedding invitations. Of course, there are old-fashioned traditional rules, but you may feel that the contemporary style suits you better, so we’ve put together examples of both! If you are holding a formal wedding, using the appropriate social titles (Mr, Mrs, Ms) is always recommended. The names of your wedding guests should be written in full (given and surname) on the envelope, while on the invitation just the given name in full (it’s not recommended to use your guest’s nicknames).

A Single Male

If the person is over 18 use ‘Mr’, if not name only.

Traditional: Mr Clarke or Mr Benjamin Clarke

Contemporary: Benjamin Clarke

A Single Female

Traditionally, ‘Ms’ is used by women regardless of their marital status and ‘Miss’ for unmarried women, under 18.

Traditional: Ms Sophie Westbourne or Sophie Westbourne

Contemporary: Sophie Westbourne

A Single Person With A Plus One

The envelope should only be addressed with the name of the person you know, with only the invitation including their name or ‘and guest.’

Traditional: Ms Sophie Westbourne or Sophie Westbourne

Contemporary: Sophie Westbourne

A Married Couple

You should use Mr. and Mrs. followed by the husband’s first name and then the last name.

Traditional: Mr & Mrs Smith or Mr & Mrs James Smith

Contemporary: James & Charlotte

A Married Couple Where the Woman Has Kept Her Maiden Name

 Write the wife’s name first and then the husband’s name on the same line.

Traditional: Mrs H Beaumont & Mr N Brown

Contemporary: Hannah Beaumont & Nathan Brown

Same-Sex Couple

It is up to you which name you put first on the envelope but most often it is best to list them alphabetically.

Traditional: Ms R Booth & Ms L Harris

Contemporary: Rebecca Booth & Linda Harris

An Unmarried Couple

For unmarried couples, living at the same address, include both names on one line, listing the person closest to you first. If you know the couple equally well, add the names in alphabetical order.

Traditional: Mr Benjamin Clarke & Ms Sophie Westbourne

Contemporary: Ben & Sophie

A Family With Children Under 18

Traditional: Mr & Mrs Stephen Fletcher, Daisy, Charlie & Mabel

Contemporary: The Fletchers

Children Of Friends Or Family 18 And Older

For the children of friends and family, who are over 18 and who may or may not live at home with parents, should receive their own invitation

Traditional: Ms Rebecca Forbes

Contemporary: Rebecca

A Married Person With A Title

Traditional: Dr George Murphy & Mrs Maria Murphy

Contemporary: Professor Danielle Keats & Mr Lucas Blyth

If you are addressing a married couple and they are both doctors you can address them by using The Doctors Murphy or Drs Luke & Hannah Parrish.

If the wife is the doctor, you should list her first; Dr Jill Smith and Mr Jack Smith.

Single Person With A Title

Traditional: Doctor Jessica Nichols

Contemporary: Dr Wordsworth

A Couple In Which The Man Is A Judge

Traditional: The Honourable & Mrs Harry Cleave

Contemporay: The Honourable & Mrs Harry Cleave

If the woman is a judge, you should list her first, The Honourable Emily Cleave and Mr Harry Cleave

Divorced Women

Many divorced women will keep their ex-husband’s last names, while others revert to their maiden names, so unless you know for sure it’s always worth asking her or someone close to her which name she prefers before sending an invitation.

A Widow

If you do not already know you should check with someone close to her what is most appropriate. When addressing an invitation to a widow, it is appropriate to use either her deceased husband’s first name or her own first name, depending upon which you feel most comfortable with.

Envelope Address Etiquette

In our opinion, it looks good to address an envelope in a formal manner, even if you decide on a less formal option for inside the invitations.

Use current addresses, and take care not to use abbreviations for street names, cities, or states, and if you are sending internationally always check the correct layout of an address, not all are the same.

The rear flap of the outer envelope can be printed with the sender’s address. The sender’s name is not included here, just the address.

Handwriting the envelope is always acceptable, especially if your writing is neat, though you might prefer to have the addresses printed in the matching font to your invite or hire a calligrapher to write the envelope for a truly professional look. They should be addressed in black ink to match the invitations.

Our Envelope Addressing Service

At Hummingbird, we offer an envelope printing service. Send us your guests’ names and addresses as you would like them to appear and we’ll print them for you. It’ll add a beautiful finishing touch to your invitations and save you hours of handwriting, the heartache of spelling mistakes and leaking pens!

Wax Seals & Extra Protection

You may need or want to pop your wedding invitation and its envelope inside an outer envelope to protect it from getting marked, bent or a wax seal getting lost in the post. If this is a good idea for your style of invites, the outer envelope tends to be more formal, with your guest’s full name and their full address. The inner envelope can be more informal with just first names, or perhaps given titles Grandma & Grandad, Auntie & Uncle.



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