Envelope Addressing Etiquette

Envelope Addressing Etiquette


This process can be very tricky. And most of it is based on your preference of formality or informality. 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). Some examples are listed below.


All the variations listed below can be changed to informal by simply getting rid of the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” portion of the title.


Outer Envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith”

Inner Envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Smith Or John and Samantha

Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors

Apply the same rules you use for doctors for military personnel, judges, reverends and so on.

Outer envelope: Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Peter Underwood

If she uses her husband’s name socially: Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Underwood

If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope: Doctors Anne and Peter Underwood

Inner envelope: Dr. Barker and Mr. Underwood Or The Doctors Underwood

Married with Different Last Names

Outer Envelope: Mr. John Holt and Mrs. Samantha Thuente

Inner Envelope: Mr. Holt and Mrs. Thuente Or John and Samantha

With Children 18 and Older

They should receive their own invitations (unless they’re living at home with their parents). Note: If you don’t include each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited.

Outer envelope: Ms. Audrey Abraham Or Mr. Jack Abraham

Inner envelope: Ms. Abraham Or Mr. Abraham

Husband Holds Title

“Title (Doctor, The Honorable, etc.) and Mrs. John Smith”

Unmarried, Living Together

On the outer envelope: Mr. Joseph Hirsch Ms. Rebecca Strecker

On the inner envelope: Mr. Hirsch Ms. Strecker

Wife Kept Maiden Name

“Mr. John Smith and Ms. Anne Rogers”

Single Woman, With or Without Guest

“Ms. Anne Smith” or “Ms. Anne Smith and Guest” or “Ms. Smith” or “Ms. Smith and Guest”

Single Man, with or Without Guest

“Mr. John Smith” or “Mr. John Smith and Guest” or “Mr. Smith” or “Mr. Smith and Guest”

Same-Sex Couple

Outer envelope: Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jacqueline Purcell Or Celine Elgin and Jacqueline Purcell

Inner envelope: Ms. Elgin and Ms. Purcell Or Celine and Jacqueline

Wife Holds Title

“Title (Doctor, The Honorable, etc.) Anne Smith and Mr. John Smith”

Divorced Woman, Gone Back To Maiden Name

“Ms. Anne Smith” or “Ms. Smith”

Widowed Woman:

“Mrs. John Smith” or “Mrs. Anne Smith” or “Mrs. Smith”

With Children Under 18

“Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, Miss Sally Smith”


Married “John and Anne Smith” With Children Under 18 “John and Anne Smith, Sally and Suzie”


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