How to Properly Address a Wedding Invitation

Wedding Invitations

Now that your Save The Date cards are in the mail, it’s time to turn your attention to your wedding invitations. When people receive your invitation in the mail, it’s an opportunity to get them excited about the coming event. This is your chance to let them know about the schedule, to offer information about meals, and to give them an idea about the wedding’s theme.

While all of this information is pretty straightforward for each invitation, it’s important to address the invitations correctly. For many people, being improperly addressed may come off as lazy or careless. While this is usually not the intention, it is still important to get invitation etiquette right to avoid doing any unnecessary harm.

To help with your wedding invitation etiquette, consider this advice to guide you on how to properly address a wedding invitation.

Married Couples

Married couples with the same last name are generally the easiest people to address. There are a few ways that you can write their names on the invitation, either by using both their full names or simply using their last name. For example:

Mr. John & Mrs. Jane Doe

Mr. & Mrs. John Doe

Mr. & Mrs. Doe

Not every couple that you invite will be people that you know very well; your list will likely include people from your partner’s side or, perhaps or friends of the parents. For those couples that you know very well, you may feel comfortable enough to simply address them as John & Jane, but you should save this for the inside of the envelope.

Bride and groom waist down

Married Couples with Different Last Names

This kind of situation doesn’t have to be very complicated; in fact, it’s almost as easy as addressing a married couple. For these married couples, you can address them in a few ways. On the outer envelope, it should say their full names:

Mr. John Doe & Mrs. Jane Deer

On the inner envelope, you might choose to use either:

Mr. John Doe & Mrs. Jane Deer

Mr. Doe & Mrs. Deer

John & Jane

Unmarried Couples

For unmarried couples who are referred to as “common-law” (living together), you will still want to have both of their names on the invitation. However, because they are not married, both names will have their own line. For example:

Mr. John Doe

Ms. Jane Deer

For the inside of the envelope, you can use the above address

Mr. Doe

Ms. Deer

Woman putting ring on mans finger

Couples with Doctorate Status

Individuals who have doctorates should be addressed to reflect this high honor. If you’re going to be addressing a couple where the female is a doctor, then be sure to find out whether or not she uses her maiden name professionally, and whether she uses it socially. If she uses her maiden name both professionally and socially, then it should read as follows:

Dr. Jane Deer & Mr. John Doe

If the doctor only uses her maiden name professionally, then your invitation may say:

Dr. Jane & Mr. John Doe

For a married couple who are both doctors, you can simply address them as:

Doctors Jane Deer & John Doe, or

Doctors Jane & John Doe

Same-Sex Couples

The rules for addressing same-sex couples follow the same guidelines that you would use for straight couples. If the couple is married, list their names on the same line. If they are not married, be sure to give them each their own line. For a married same-sex couple:

Mrs. Jane & Mrs. June Deer

Mr. John & Mr. Jack Doe

For a same-sex couple who are common-law, you may address them as follows:

Ms. Jane Deer & Ms. June Doe

Mr. John Deer & Mr. Jack Doe

As with all other married and common-law couples, if you feel that you know them very well, you can address them by their first names on the inside of the envelope.


For families who have young children, their names do not have to be included on the front of the envelope. The outer envelope should be addressed to the parents, while the children’s names can be included on the inside.

Girls who are under the age of 18 should be referred to as “Miss,” while boys will not receive a title until they are 18 years of age. For example:

Mr. & Mrs. John Doe

James, Jeffrey & Miss Jessica

Children who are 18 years or older should receive their own invitation and be addressed as Ms. and Mr.

Invitations are the first things guests will receive to learn more about your wedding day. Be sure to use this opportunity to get them excited and to share some insight into the day with them! If you’re designing the envelopes yourself, consider using calligraphy pens and lettering to create a classy look that is sure to set the tone for your big day.

Etiquette for Addressing Inner and Outer Envelopes

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