Today's Bride

Addressing Your Invitations

Addressing envelopes is one invitation element that has some hard-and-fast guidelines. If you address your envelopes according to the following etiquette, you’ll be well on your way to beautiful – and proper – stationery styling.

Addressing Invitations | Alicia Lucia Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com
Alicia Lucia Photography

OUTER ENVELOPE

This is where you write the recipients’ full names, official titles, and address. There should be no cutting corners with abbreviations like Dr., NY, or St. (Mrs., Mr., Ms., and Jr. are the only acceptable shorthands). Here’s a complete set of rules:

  • Do not abbreviate titles such as Doctor, Reverend, etc.
  • Mister and Misses should be abbreviated to read Mr. and Mrs.
  • Do not use initials or nicknames. Use full names only.
  • List names of a couple living in the same house alphabetically by the last name on separate lines.
  • Do not add “and family.” List children’s names on the inner envelope.
  • Junior and senior can be spelled out (junior or senior – not capitalized) or abbreviated (Jr. or Sr. – capitalized)
  • North and South are written in full if it proceeds the street name (123 South Main Street). A comma is added after the street name and an abbreviation is used if it comes after the address (123 Cherry Street, N.W.).

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Addressing Invitations | Sabrina Hall Photography and Brittney Nichole Designs | As seen on TodaysBride.com
Sabrina Hall Photography | Brittney Nichole Designs

INNER ENVELOPE

Formal invitations are slipped into an unsealed inner envelope to be placed inside the outer envelope. They are also addressed in a more informal fashion – typically only title abbreviations and last name. List the names of all invitees at the address, including children. Here are some guidelines:

  • Exclude the first names of the recipients
  • Write the first names of children to be invited below the parents’ names in order of age, oldest first
  • Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation
  • Omit children’s names if they are not on the guest list
  • If an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your friend’s name followed by “and guest” (guest should not be capitalized)

When addressing your invitation envelopes, be sure to use your most elegant penmanship. Or try hiring a professional calligrapher to pen the names of your invited guests. In the end, you’ll be left with a beautiful invitation suite to show for it.

Get some inspiration by checking out these examples we love!

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