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9 Tips for Addressing Your Wedding Invitations

You’re getting ready to address your wedding invitations. How are you supposed to know which names go in which order on which envelope? Depending on the outer envelope, the inner envelope, and many other scenarios, these tips should help!

(Remember, these are just tips—guidelines—so feel free to deviate from these if you prefer to make your invitations more personal or more casual.) Do you even have an inner envelope? That’s what I thought. Some of these guidelines are adaptable.

When it comes down to it, there are 9 guidelines I like to follow:

1.)  Same last name, same line. Different last names, different lines. Nobody needs to know if the couple is married or just living together.

2.)  Use the word “and” if they’re married. Use “&” to invite their guest.

3.)  Use your best judgment. Address people as they wish to be addressed. Does she go by Dr.? She earned it. Please use it. Does his grandmother still go by Mrs. John Doe in honor of her deceased husband? Then address her as so. Treat people with the respect they deserve. When in doubt, opt for more formal than less formal.

4.)  I know it’s formal and traditional to use “Mr. and Mrs. Loren Halgerson.” But we’re in the 21st century. It’s perfectly fine to say “Mr. and Mrs. Loren and Marilyn Halgerson.” It’s up to you and how traditional you’d like to be.

5.)  If you’re having an inner envelope, use first names for everyone (unless your guests prefers “Mr., Mrs., Doctor, Dr., Colonel, The Honorable, or Revered) and list the children in order by age.

6.)  Just a tip. You probably shouldn’t include “& Guest” if your relative was recently widowed.

7.)  Remember, a medical doctor should have “Doctor” in front of his/her name, while a PhD should have “Dr.” in front of his/her name.

8.)  If children are 18 years and older, do you have to send them separate invitations? I say yes, if they no longer live with their parents and it makes sense to. Yes, if they are dating someone and would like to bring their own guest. Yes, if you are really close with them.

9.)  If you don’t care to have children present at your wedding, make sure that there is no room for confusion. Do not list “and family” on the invitation. That’s wide open for interpretation. On your RSVP card you could politely say “adults only, please.” You could offer a babysitter or daycare option during the ceremony and reception if it’s necessary that families bring their small children. Be courteous to each situation, but stick to your wishes.

Any professional calligrapher, wedding invitation designer or stationer will be able to help you with the tough ones. Good luck! And if you'd like detailed scenarios and how to address your wedding invitations, click here to see Copper Ink Wedding Design's guideline worksheet.

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