Although the rules for addressing wedding invitations are not a strict as before there are some basic wedding invitation etiquette rules that you should still follow.
You should start by organizing your invitations and guest list (this includes getting the correct mailing addresses) about one month or so before you intend to send out your invitations.
The send out date of your wedding invitations should be about six to eight weeks before your wedding date. This will ensure adequate time for your wedding guest to respond about two weeks before the date.
By addressing wedding invitations and assembling them correctly show that you care, your guest my not pick up on this consciously but subconsciously they will know.
Unlike years ago, when times were more formal in nature invitations were sent out with an inner and outer envelope. Today this tradition is only kept for more formal and black tie weddings.
The most common practice now for addressing wedding invitations is to use a single envelope to send your wedding invitations and this is a good way to keep the cost of the invitation and postage down.
All your wedding invitations should be either neatly hand written or computer printed or if you prefer have a calligrapher address the invitations.
It should be clear to your guest as to who is invited to your wedding you should not leave them guessing as to who is invited; or you just may have some surprise guests at your wedding.
So, this is where a little knowledge on how to address wedding invitations comes in handy.
When addressing wedding invitations, you should decide if you are going to invite the children of your guests and it is a nice gesture for you invite partners of any single guests
You must remember the wedding envelope will be the first thing that your invited guests will see so special attention to details such as the correct spelling of names and using the correct titles is important this will show them that you care.
You may think that it is simple process addressing wedding invitations but as you go through your guest list you soon realize that you have: family members, married couples with and without children, friends in the military, single females and males, single females who are widowed or divorced, couples living together and so on.
For each of these situations the envelopes must be addressed differently. Use the list below to guide you on etiquette for addressing wedding invitations and if you have a guest that does not fit into the list just use your common sense and it will be fine.
When addressing envelopes to family members you can use their relationship tile and first name on the inner envelope. On the outer envelope, you can either address them as Mr, Mrs etc. or use the relationship title.
Use the husbands middle initial if known on the outer envelope
On the inner envelope, the wife's name should be first. On the outer envelope, the names are traditionally placed on separate lines with the wife’s name above her husbands.
When it comes to titles, the name of the person with the title should alwasy appear first in this case the wife has the professional title so her name would appear first.
The example below show how invitations should be addressed if the wife has a different surname to her husbands. If she has the same surname as her husbands the inner envelope would read Doctor and Mr Ames. The outer envelope would read as Doctor Patrica T. Ames and Mr Edmond M. Ames.
Because this is such a large area you might like go over and have a look at formsofaddress.info this site has a frequently asked section that could help you more specifically
In the case where both couples have a title the husband’s title and name should come before the wife’s.
By tradition only the names of the people that appeared on the inner envelope are invited to the wedding. So if the children’s names are not included this is a good indication that they are not invited.
Please note that not everyone is aware of this rule so it might be wise state that it is a child free wedding. This could be done on the invitation itself, on the RSVP cards or even include a separate card with the invitation stating that it is child free wedding. Just use which ever method you think is appropriate.
If you are inviting children to the wedding, you would include their names only on the inner envelope under the parents. List the eldest child first working down to the youngest. Their names would not appear on the outer envelope.
This only applies for children under the age of 16 years. If they are over the age of 16 years, it is customary to send an invitation addressed to them (see below for examples).
A separate invitation would be sent to children over the age of 16 years. You can group the over 16’s on one invitation if they are living at the same address.
When addressing the outer envelope for the children over 16 years you don’t need to use Mr or Miss except for a formal wedding.
When addressing an invitation to a single woman you use either Miss or Ms. But always go with the title that you know she prefers to use (if you know it).
When addressing an invitation to a divorced woman check to see if she is still using her married name or reverted back to her maiden name - use whichever title is appropriate.
You can address her as Miss or Ms (use her preferred title if you know it). Only use guest if you don't know her guests name, other wise use the guests first and last name on the inner envelope.
Only use the word guest if you don't know the guests name, otherwise use the guests first and last name on the inner envelope.
You would address a widow using her married name.
You should plan on sending your invitations 12 to 16 weeks and no later than six to eight before your wedding date. This will allow enough time for your guests to make plans and respond.
If you are inviting guests from out of town, send the invitations out 16 or more weeks before the wedding or send them a save the date card.
Here are a few tips to help you send your invitations:
Regardless of whether you really don’t want them present at your wedding or just to keep the numbers down. You will have may have some disgruntled friends and family members saying, “Why wasn’t I invited?”
You need to be tactful and be respectful of their feelings, so the nicest possible way to do this is put the blame on the venues capacity limits.
Say, “I would really like to invite you, but unfortunately the venue has a certain capacity, therefore for safety reasons the number of people we can have is limited.”
You can read more tips and ideas by clicking here.
Eco Friendly Tip
Avoid using plastic and paper dinnerware for all your wedding events, instead use reusalbe itmes to reduce landfill.
Make your own wedding centerpieces using recycled items.
There are many wonderful ways to capture your day, use our wedding photography shot list as a guide to help you create a list of lasting memories to include in your wedding album.