Wedding Addressing Etiquette

by Becca Hadley

Getting ready to address your gorgeous wedding invitations but not sure where to begin?  Worried about all the different do's and don'ts & addressing etiquette?  Well don't worry, we've got you covered here with our addressing 101!  So sit back and relax while we answer some of our most common addressing questions!

Remember, how you address your envelopes plays a crucial role in presentation!

  • Do I need 2 envelopes? 

It depends!  Inner and outer envelopes have their origin in the days of the horse & buggy!  Mail would often get dirty en route to it's destination so two envelopes were used to protect the invitation.  Now days several couples still decide to use inner & outer envelopes to follow with tradition.  It comes off and very elegant and proper.  The outer envelope is for mailing.  It is addressed using titles, first, (middle), and last names.  The inner envelope is where you get to specify who is invited.  It typically bears the title and last names of who you are inviting.  This way you can be very clear who is invited (and by omission who is NOT).  If you would like to invite children their names can be written on a separate line below their parents names.  Another benefit of having an inner envelopes is there you can specify a plus one without it looking tacky.  Ie: Mr. James Fields & Guest

  • What are the addressing rules for different types of households?  IE married, unmarried, single etc.

TO A MARRIED COUPLE: Even if you don't know both people it is proper to address the invitation to both members of the couple IE: Mr. & Mrs. Eliott Green


TO AN UNMARRIED COUPLE LIVING TOGETHER: If you are mailing an invitation to an established couple living at the same address then include both of their last names on the same line alphabetical by last name IE: Mr. John Frank & Mrs. Sarah Smith

TO AN UNMARRIED COUPLE NOT LIVING TOGETHER: Send to the friend you are closest to. IE Mr. Joe Nelson {if you are doing inner and outer envelopes on the inner envelope you can include both of their names IE: Mr. Joe Nelson & Ms. {OR Miss} Mallory Oliver

TO AN UNMARRIED FEMALE: Miss {OR Ms.} Natalie Hansen


TO A JUDGE: The honourable Michael Gray

TO A DOCTOR: Dr. Todd Shields

  • Is there a specific order for stuffing invitations?  

Yes!  Typically the order goes:  Map card on top, RSVP below that with the envelope flap over it, that goes on top of the reception/details card and all of that goes on top of the invitation {with all cards facing up}.

  • Can I use abbreviations when addressing? 

No.  It is proper to write out all names IE: do not use St., use Street.  Rd. -> Road, Etc.

  • Will I be able to use standard postage on my invitation envelopes?  

Once again it depends, it's better to be safe than sorry, take an invitation to the post office to have it weighed and figure out what postage it will require.  Keep in mind odd sizes such as 5x5 squares usually require more postage.  Trying to save a little money on postage?  Turn your RSVPs, thank you cards or save the dates into postcards!  Typically postcard postage is a little cheaper!  We also get asked a lot if you are suppose to provide the postage for people to return you RSVP reply cards and yes it is common courtesy that you do!

  • How do I let people know if they can or cannot bring a guest?

As we mentioned above this is very simple when you are using inner & outer envelopes because you can specify guests on the inner envelope but avoid doing this on your mailing envelope, it's tacky!  If you are using a single envelope you can make guest invitations known by how you word your RSVP, email us for details!

Remember, how you address your envelope {and the color of your envelope!} plays a crucial role in presentation!  Ask us about our upgraded color & specialty envelopes & addressing services today!  We offer several different styles of envelopes {standard, european, pockets etc} as well as different colored envelopes and liners.