How to Address Wedding Invitations

how to address wedding invitations
Custom envelopes with all-script addressing via Minted

Figuring out how to address wedding invitations seems like it should be a straight-forward process, but once you’re in the thick of it, plenty of questions pop up. Should you write “and guest” if you don’t want your cousin to bring a totally random date? Is it proper to put “Third Avenue”, or will “3rd Ave” do? While online wedding invitations are gaining in popularity, paper still reigns supreme in the wedding world. Here are some tips to keep in mind when figuring out how to address wedding invitations.

Before you start addressing your invites:

  • Gather all your guest addresses in a spreadsheet. If you’re using a site like Minted for your invitations, you can take advantage of their free address collection tool, which will help you gather and keep all your guest addresses in one place.
guest address collection

Start gathering wedding guest addresses with free digital cards from Minted

  • Allow plenty of time for putting invitations together. Depending on the number of invites you’re sending, this particular task could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days! Remember that wedding invitations need to be sent out 6-8 weeks before your wedding, so plan accordingly. Learn more about when to send wedding invitations.
  • Make sure that anyone who needs to approve the guest list (groom, mother-in-law, etc.) has looked it over before you address your wedding invitation envelopes.
  • Decide on who gets a plus one and find out the names of all dates and significant others ahead of time.
  • Double check the spelling of all names and addresses.
  • Make sure your workspace is clean—no dusty countertops or glasses of Diet Coke sitting nearby!

While you address wedding invitations:

  • Decide who your wedding invitation is coming from. Although this used to be the bride’s parents, we all know that today there really are no rules. If you and your partner are paying for most of the wedding and would rather just address the invites from yourselves, go for it! Or even if you’re not paying for it you can choose to send the wedding invitations as well. You can also choose to have the invitation sent from both sets of parents. The return address typically goes on the back of the envelope for wedding invitations. Minted makes it easy to add return addresses to your wedding envelopes that perfectly match your invites.
wedding invitation suite

Don’t miss the latest collection of Minted wedding invites designed by independent artists

  • Depending on your wedding invitation style, you might have both an outer envelope and an inner envelope. The inner envelope should have specific names of those invited, like children and guests.
  • Remember that invitations are always addressed to both members of married couples. And as mentioned above, you may want to be specific and research significant others instead of putting “and guest” to avoid a potentially awkward situation.

Important Tips to Remember When Addressing Your Envelopes:

Depending on whether you are having a formal or more casual wedding, there are some rules to keep in mind when address your wedding envelopes. For an easy guide, be sure to check out our infographic at this end of this article!

1. If you are inviting children, their names go directly under their parents names on the inner envelope only

The outer envelope would just say Mr. and Mrs. John Weasley. An example of how the inner envelope would read:

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley

Rose and Hugo 

WGM Says: Any children 18 and older should receive their own wedding invitation.

2. Spell out street titles, like “Boulevard” and “Avenue” as well as state names

3. Spell out titles like “Doctor” or “Father”

4. For married doctors, you can address them as such together by writing “The Doctors Smith.”

If only one guest is a doctor and uses their maiden name professionally, the outer envelope could read as follows:

Doctor Margo Smith and Mr. Peter Underwood

If she uses her husband’s name socially it could read:

Doctor Margo and Mr. Peter Underwood

If the husband is a doctor, the outer envelope would read:

Doctor and Mrs. Peter Underwood

The inner envelope would read:

Doctor and Mrs. Underwood

5. Mx. is an option for guests who are non-binary or trans

However, if you have a question about how a guest identifies, it’s best to reach out and see what they prefer.

6. For military personnel, you would address the guest using their full title

The outer envelope would read:

Colonel and Mrs. John Smith

The inner envelope would read:

Colonel and Mrs. Smith

For a female officer, the outer envelope would read:

Captain Sarah Smith,
U.S. Air Force
and Mr. John Smith

If both parties have distinguished titles, like military personnel or judges, write the person with the higher title first. For instance, a Sergeant is above a Private in the army, so a military couple with such roles would be written as:

Sergeant Sarah Smith and Private John Smith, U.S. Army

Cloud Blue, Grey Mist, Aubergine, Blush, Spruce, and Navy envelopes via Minted.

7. To a married couple with different last names, include both their first and last names

Either name can come first, unless one outranks the other with a title (IE: Doctor or Officer), in which case the higher rank always comes first. You can choose to do it alphabetically or list the person you are closest with first). An example:

Ms. Leslie Knope and Mr. Ben Wyatt 

The inner envelope should read:

Ms. Knope and Mr. Wyatt


8. Unmarried couples that live together should be addressed by both their first and last name as above, however their names would go on two separate lines.

Ms. Lucy Smith

Ms. Bernadette Jones

Read more about proper wedding invitation wording here.

After you address your envelopes:

  • Take your invitations to the post office to have them weighed. Particularly if you have both an inner and outer envelope, they may require extra postage. You’d hate to get your gorgeous envelopes back with “Return to Sender” stamped on them!
  • Triple check for any misspellings.
  • Remember to add postage to your RSVP card envelopes as well.
  • Consider paying a small fee to have your envelopes hand-processed. Machines can occasionally bend or wrinkle envelopes. Read more tips for mailing your wedding invitations here!
minted wedding invites

Details like these wax seals from Minted make all the difference.

With these guidelines, learning how to address wedding invitations should be a total breeze! If it still seems like too much of a project, just hire a pro—your envelopes will have beautiful calligraphy, and you can trust them to follow the rules of etiquette.

If you are learning to address wedding invitations on your own, use this handy infographic from our wedding planning toolkit to keep everything straight!

P.S.: Not sure if you want little ones at your wedding? Read our etiquette for having a kid free wedding.

How to Address Wedding Envelopes

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