Addressing the Inner Envelope

Historically, the footman would deliver the wedding invitations, set inside an outer envelope. A servant would receive the package and remove the inner envelope from the outer. They would then deliver the invitation to the appropriate member of the household to whom the inner envelope was addressed.

Today, many brides continue to use both an inner and outer envelope, as it has become part of traditional wedding invitation etiquette. The inner envelope is smaller than the outer envelope and has traditionally been marked only by the titles and last name(s) of the guest(s).

Here are some guidelines (both traditional and contemporary) for addressing your inner envelopes. Either format is acceptable and will depend on your personal style and the level of formality of your event.

Married Couple (same last name)

Formal:
Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin

Contemporary:
James and Heather

Married Couple (different last names)

Formal:
Ms. Swift and Mr. Brookes

Contemporary:
Sandy and George

Single Woman

Formal:
Miss Cartwright and Ben (only if you do not know the name of the guest should you write "and guest")

Contemporary:
Cynthia

Single Man

Formal:
Mr. Anderson

Contemporary:
Ben

Unmarried Couple (at same address)

Formal:
Ms. Smith and Mr. Green

Contemporary:
Colleen and James

If children or families are invited, their names are listed under those of the parents:

Formal:
Mr. and Mrs. Brown or Kevin and Katrina

Contemporary:
Andrea, Steve and family or Andrea, Steve, Kevin and Katrina

Judge
if single: Judge Brown
if married: Judge Brown and Mrs. Brown

Doctor (Medical)
if single: Doctor Grimes and Guest
if married: Doctor and Mrs. Grimes

Doctor (PhD)
if single: Dr. Henry Skinner and Guest
if married: Dr. and Mrs. Skinner

Married Woman Doctor
Doctor Strokes
Mr. Miller

Married Couple, Both Doctors
The Doctors Kelly

Clergy
The Reverend White

Officer- Male, active duty or retired from service
Captain and Mrs. Greene

Officer- Female, active duty or retired from service
Captain Hart
Mr. Carl Waters