If you are taking a more formal approach on the inner envelope, refer to a boy under the age of 13 as “Master,” not “Mr.” Girls and young women under age 18 are called “Miss.” And since they are young siblings, the word “and” (which implies marriage when used with adults’ names) linking the children’s names is acceptable.
Use the same rules you would for any other unmarried or married couple. If the couple is married, list the names on the same line.
They should receive their own invitations (unless they’re living at home with their parents).
Younger guests can be included on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by their name(s)—they should not be addressed on the outer envelope. For girls under 18, use “Miss.” Boys don’t need a title until they’re 18—then they’re addressed as “Mr.”
As with a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes, but in this case, each name gets its own line.
For an unmarried couple that lives together, names should be written on separate lines without the word “and.” On the inner envelope, both are addressed by their titles and respective last names.
Even when the kids are invited, the outside envelope should be addressed only to their parents. Children’s names should appear on the inner envelope on the line beneath Mom and Dad’s. Start with the oldest, followed by his or her siblings in order of diminishing age.
Whether they’re living together or not, address the female guest first.
Recognize a judge by using “The Honorable,” and list him or her first. It gets a little tricky when both the husband and wife have different professional titles. Generally, list the wife first: “The Honorable Pamela Patel and Lieutenant Jonathan Patel, U.S. Navy.”
Apply the same rules you use for doctors for military personnel, judges, reverends and so on. If both titles don’t fit on one line, indent the second line.
If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope:
Spouses of attendees should always be invited. When it comes to your pals’ significant others or dates, to add or not to add becomes a question. Use your discretion depending on your budget and how long the couple have been together (six months is a good gauge).
Mr. and Mrs. Michael AbrahamDaniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly
There is no need to have the husband’s middle name, but if you do, write it out in full rather than using an initial.
If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the envelopes should read:
Note: If you don’t include each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited. That said, don’t be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are welcome. If you’re concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family and bridal party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only and add the message to your wedding website. In the end, you may have to follow up with guests who don’t get the message via phone to gently explain the situation.
In this case, what’s on the outside counts, too. Here’s how to annotate your envelopes enclosing the invitations to your celebration based on the different attendees who may be joining you.
Determining the appropriate way to address your wedding invitation envelopes can be a tricky process. As a rule of thumb, the outer envelope of your wedding invitation should be more formal, with titles and full names, while the inner envelope is more informal, leaving out first names or titles and last names (if you’re very close to the guest). Find even more ways to address your wedding invitation envelopes below.
Your etiquette cheat sheet, so you can mail the good news using the correct wording.
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List the person you’re closest with first on the outer and inner envelopes. If you’re similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.
If it’s a married couple in which the wife has chosen to keep her maiden name, “Ms.” can be used.
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Not sure where to begin with your wedding planning? Take our Style Quiz and we’ll pull together a custom wedding vision and vendors to match, just for you. After that, create a free, personalized wedding website to keep your guests informed (and excited!) about your plans, and a time-saving Guest List Manager to organize your attendees. Even better? You can sync your Guest List Manager and wedding website to update everything at once.
If you are inviting someone with a plus-one, try to find out the name and address of his or her date and send two separate invitations. If that’s not possible, address the outside envelope to the primary invitee, with the inside envelope reading “Ms. Jane Doe and Guest.” If you know whom he or she will be bringing, it’s more personal to include that person’s name on a separate line.
If the husband is a doctor, the titles will appear as “Doctor and Mrs.”; if the wife is a doctor, her degree “outranks” her husband’s social title of “Mr.,” and the wife should be listed first, with “Doctor” spelled out. If both the husband and wife are doctors, write “The Doctors,” followed by the family name.
The Honorable Jane Kelly and Lieutenant Jonathan Kelly, US Navy
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