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How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes

The wedding invitation envelopes should never be an afterthought. You will want to put just as much time into addressing your envelopes as you put into personalizing and assembling the invitations. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes

Step 1. Identify the Inner and Outer Envelopes
Some invitations come with just an outer mailing envelope and some come with an inner envelope and outer mailing envelope. The inner envelope is slightly smaller with an un-gummed flap and it’s used for indicating exactly who is invited to the wedding. See examples for addressing both the inner and outer envelopes below.

Step 2. Decide the Formality of Your Wedding
A formal wedding calls for formal addressing of the invitations but informal wording is perfectly fine for a casual wedding. See below for examples of each style of wording.

Step 3. Choose Who Will Address the Envelopes
Some couples choose a calligrapher for an ultra sophisticated look. Some couples choose an envelope addressing service through the invitation printer, which saves a lot of time and always looks nice. Many couples will address the envelopes themselves or enlist some help. Remember, whoever handwrites the addresses needs to have good handwriting.

Step 4. Take Your Time!
Using the envelope addressing service through your invitation printer is the fastest and easiest option. Calligraphers can need a few weeks or more depending on how many invitations they’re addressing. If you’re addressing your own envelopes, give yourself a couple days to a week. Do not cram 200+ invitations into a day! Your hand will get tired, you’ll get bored and the addresses will start to get sloppy.

Step 5. Test Your Writing Utensils
Make sure you order extra envelopes with your wedding invitations, and use at least one of those extra envelopes to test the pen(s) you’ll be using. Choose the color and thickness you like best, make sure the pen doesn’t bleed through the paper and buy at least 2 of that same writing utensil. If you’re using paint pens or gel pens, buy several.

Now get writing! Check out the guidelines below for addressing your invitations formally or informally.

Standard Addressing Etiquette Rules:

  • Do not spell out the state. U.S. Postal Service prefers two-letter abbreviations
  • Address envelopes to both members of a married couple, husband first.
  • Address envelopes to unmarried couples with each of their names on a separate line. List the family member or closest friend first.
  • Send separate invitations to children over 18.
  • Write “and Guest” if a guest is allowed.

Formal Addressing Etiquette Rules:

  • Use formal names (no nicknames).
  • Middle names aren't necessary, but must be spelled out if used (no initials).
  • Spell out all words such as Apartment, Avenue, Street, etc.
  • Do not spell out the state. Use the two-letter abbreviation.
  • Abbreviate Mr., Mrs., Ms. and Jr.
  • Address envelopes to both members of a married couple, husband first.
  • Address envelopes to unmarried couples with each of their names on a separate line. List the family member or closest friend first.
  • Write out professional titles such as Doctor or Professor.
  • Avoid using “and family” on formal invitations.

Inner Envelope Addressing Examples:
Single Guest
Formal – Ms. Anderson
Informal – Samantha or Aunt Samantha

Married Couple
Formal – Mr. and Mrs. James
Informal – Anthony and Sara

Married Couple with Different Names
Formal – Ms. Sara Trent
Mr. Anthony James
Informal – Anthony and Sara

Unmarried Couple at Same Address
Formal – Ms. Sara Trent
Mr. Anthony James
Informal – Sara and Anthony

A Family
Formal - Mr. and Mrs. James
Clay, Jonathon and Mildred

Informal -  Anthony and Sara
Clay, Jonathon and Mildred

Outer Envelope Addressing Examples:
Single Guest
Formal – Ms. Samantha Anderson
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, California 28495

Informal – Sam Anderson
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, CA 28495

Married Couple
Formal – Mr. and Mrs. Anthony James
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, California 28495

Informal – Anthony and Sara James
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, CA 28495

Unmarried Couple at Same Address
Formal – Ms. Sara Trent
Mr. Anthony James
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, California 28495

Informal – Sara and Anthony
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, CA 28495

Family
Formal – Mr. and Mrs. Anthony James
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, CA 28495

Informal – Anthony and Sara James
and Family
56 North Ridge Drive
Hartinger, CA 28495