Wedding InvitationS: Address Etiquette
I remember being a bride, sitting down to create my address list and thinking to myself... "Man, when was the last time I addressed an envelope?" I had no idea where to start, especially when it came to formality. After completely giving up (or not fully caring, to be honest), I opted to just casually address my invitations. Looking back now, I wish I put more time and effort into it, but between work and planning the rest of my wedding (PSA... this was BEFORE I professionally planned weddings! Wedding planning is seriously an art, DO NOT attempt to go at it alone) correctly addressing my wedding invitations just wasn't a priority. But... it's SO important y'all! In this new age world of breaking wedding traditions, this is one of the very few things that SHOULD keep it's formality when it comes to weddings. It's something that really isn't hard to do either. Or at least it won't be after you're done reading my list of tips and tricks to creating your invite address list! Make sure to download my address list guide when you're done!
Like I said previously, when I addressed my invitations I went the more lax route. And if that's more your thing, PERFECT! But keep reading (pretty please!)...there will be tidbits here and there for you, promise! First, let's go through some examples of different groups of people you may come across, depending on your family!
First, MARRIED COUPLES.
If you're going the super formal route, never separate the male from his last name. For example, you would put Mr. & Mrs. Jessica and Justin Timberlake.
A little less formal and probably the format I see and do most: Mr. & Mrs. Justin Timberlake.
Same sex couples are a little more tricky because the order you put them in will depend mostly on who you know best. If you can't decide or know them both equally, I would suggest putting the names in alphabetical order. For example, Mrs. Wanda Skyes & Mrs. Alex Sykes OR Mrs. & Mrs. Skyes (if the last names are the same) OR Mr. Neil Patrick Harris and Mr. David Burtka (if the last names are different.)
Next! UNMARRIED COUPLES.
This category applies to ANYONE that will be attending with an unknown guest or someone with a boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance. If you do know the name of the guest, formality rules says the male's name will go first.
A couple of examples: Mr. Ryan Gosling and Ms. Eva Mendes; Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio and Guest; Miss. Emma Watson and Guest.
If you're going casual... Justin & Jessica Timberlake OR Ryan & Eva will do! :)
Formality rules say that if there are any single people living in the house that are over the age of 18, they should receive their own invitation. If there are children under 18, their names will go on the INNER envelope (stay with me here) and the parents' names will go on the OUTER envelope, like this:
Outer: Mr. & Mrs. Victoria and David Beckham
Inner: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper
Don't have inner envelopes?...
Mr. & Mrs. David Beckham
Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper
For my super casual folk... The Beckham Family, is all you'll need!
Remember that anyone over the age of 18 should get their own invitation, regardless of if they have the same address. If that's the case, this section doesn't matter a whole lot. BUT, if the roommates are siblings, you can put both names on ONE envelope, but separate lines (and save postage!) like this:
Ms. Dakota Fanning
Ms. Elle Fanning
Mr. Jaden Smith
Miss. Willow Smith
If females are under 18, they are referred to as "Miss" but after 18 they are "Ms." and men have no title until the age of 18, when they become "Mr."
Any DOCTORS in the bunch?
If either person is a doctor or has a distinguished title, but their spouse does not, then the person with the title is listed first, regardless of if it's a male or female. Titles should not be abbreviated in the most formal setting, but can be if needed.
For example: Doctor Mayim Bialik and Mr. Michael Stone
If both couples are doctors, the title is plural and applies to both people.
The Doctors Karev (yes, I love Grey's Anatomy. Alex is my favorite character)
OK, TWO more everyone. Bare with me.
WIDOWED or DIVORCED
This can be tricky because you never want to offend someone. The best thing that I can suggest when it comes to this is STAY FORMAL. It'll keep you out of trouble.
A widowed woman usually keeps her husband's last name and her title. For example: Mrs. Jackie Kennedy Onassis (poor thing was widowed twice, so she kept both men's last names).
A divorced woman can really be referred to either Mrs. or Ms., but since most people associate Mrs. with a married woman, I would go with Ms. Use whatever last name she decided to keep after the divorce. For example: Ms. Angelina Jolie (RIP Brangelina).
Well y'all. I really hope this helped! If you're still confused or have questions, you're out of luck. No, I'm totally joking! Leave me a comment below with your question(s) OR if I missed anything. Any feedback is MUCH appreciated. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks, behind the scenes, or anything I think of along the way. Again, I'm always open to suggestions :) Oh! Don't forget to download the address list guide on your way out.
It's been fun, friends! Chat with you again soon!
Photos by the beautiful, Ashley Strong Photography