Tuesday Tips and Trends – Addressing Invites


I’m rolling out a new blog post series by reaching back into my old wedding planning brains!  Every Tuesday, we’re going to post some wedding tips, trends, and have some guest bloggers hop in to share their expertise with you as well!

I’ll kick off the series with one of my favorites!  Invitation etiquette – most specifically addressing the invites.

When you order your invitations, you’ll notice that they give you two envelopes.  Did you ever wonder why?

Back in the time of horse ridden messengers, this idea of double envelopes emerged.  The outer envelope would have the family name with the address so the messenger would know where to deliver it.  Once he brought it to the house, the servant that answered the door would then remove the outer envelope (it would be muddy, dirty, or wet from the delivery) to show a clean inner envelope to present to the woman of the house.  This envelope would have just the first names of the people being invited.

In our current day, the double envelope remains – despite the fact that our mail (hopefully) doesn’t get muddy, dirty, nor wet!  😉  And with the double envelopes remains the proper etiquette for addressing these envelopes.

OUTER ENVELOPE – the outer envelope is the family name with the mailing address.  For example, if you were inviting my husband, myself and our children – the outer envelope would be addressed to “Mr. & Mrs. David Parsons” (please note that I used his given name…wedding invitations addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Dave Parsons grates on my nerves!  Never use a nickname!!!)

INNER ENVELOPE – the inner envelope would be written as this:

David, Diane
Alexandra, Evanthea

If the children are not invited, then they would not be listed.  Do not write “and family” (it’s pretty insulting to your guests that they are taking the time to come and celebrate your big day and you can’t take the time to write out their children’s names).  If you do not know the names of the children, it is then acceptable to write out “and family” – that is the only time!

That is the basic outline of addressing invites, here are some little tidbits to keep in mind:

~ all children under the age of 18 are listed under their parents’ name – they are listed in order of age
~ children over 18 (despite whether they live with parents or not) receive their own invitation
~ “And Guest” should only be included if you want a single guest to bring someone (anyone).  If they have a significant other, do your best to list their name (their names are written under the invited guest’s name).  Put yourself in their place, you wouldn’t want to be an “and guest” when you’re engaged!
~ Same sex couples – if they have not changed their names, then they are listed in alphabetical order.  Women are listed as Ms. (unless otherwise noted)
~ Medical doctors, Military officers, and other people of title – list their titles!  Dr. and Mrs. or Mr. and Dr., Major and Mrs….etc.

I hope this helps you clear up some of the confusion on addressing invitations!


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