Invitation Etiquette: Return Addressing

You’ve figured out the complex nuances of wording your wedding invitation, and you’re ready to submit your order (finally!). And then you’re asked something you haven’t considered: What mailing address would you like printed for the invitation’s return address and for the reply card envelope?

Brides call us frequently for help with this question, wondering what is standard, appropriate, and if using Great Aunt Harriett’s address is (or is not) okay.

Typically, whomever is hosting the wedding is the one sending out the invitations, and therefore the one who’s address should appear as the return address on the envelope. For example, if the bride’s parents are the wedding’s hosts, the bride’s parents’ mailing address would appear as the return address.

However, practically speaking, the return address is used for the postal service to return the invitation if it is undeliverable. So it makes the most sense for the return address to be that of whomever will be handling getting a correct address for the guest and sending out a new invitation. This may be the wedding’s hosts, or may often be the bride herself – or even Great Aunt Harriett! Consider how you plan to manage the mailing of invitations and base your decision on what makes the most sense for you.

For your reply card envelopes (or reply postcards), the thought process is the same. Typically, whomever is hosting the wedding is the one receiving RSVPS, and therefore the one who’s address should appear on the response card envelopes. But again, the RSVP cards should be sent back to whomever will be keeping track of guest responses. Whether this is the bride, the groom, or another family member is entirely up to those planning the wedding!

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