Properly addressing your envelopes is such an enormous task, and for most brides, they often have no idea where to start and thus can become overwhelmed. I thought it might be helpful to include some tips on some of the most common envelope addressing situations.
There are many ways to address your envelopes appropriately based on the marital status, family status or living arrangements of your guests. Please keep in mind that these “etiquette” tips vary by the source, and only you can decide how you want to address your envelopes. For a comprehensive guide you may want to take a look at Crane’s Blue Book of Stationery, Crane’s Wedding Blue Book, or the latest editions of Emily Post’s Etiquette and Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette.
Here are several examples to get you started:
Common Addressing SituationsMarried couple formal: Outer:
Mr. and Mrs. Micah Cohen
Inner: Mr and Mrs. Cohen
Married couple informal:
Outer: Loren and Dina Nelson
Inner: Loren and Dina
Married couple formal/Children under 18 living at home:
Outer: Mr. and Mrs. Karl Carter
Inner: Mr. and Mrs. Karl Carter
Miss Zoe Carter
Married couple informal/Children under 18 living at home:
Outer: Aaron and Caycee Polun
Inner: Aaron and Caycee
Married couple, different last names:
Outer: Ms. Ariana Rothstein Fisch-Field
(and) Mr. Greggory Field
Inner: Ms. Rothstein Fisch-Field
(and) Mr. Field
Married couple, both are doctors, different last names:
Outer: Doctor Christina Yang
(and) Doctor Preston Burke
Inner: Doctor Yang
(and) Doctor Burke
Married couple, both are doctors, same last name:
Outer: Doctor Derek Sheperd
(and) Doctor Meredith Sheperd
Or: The Doctors Sheperd
Inner: The Doctors Sheperd
Married Couple, wife is a doctor (with or without different last names):
Outer: Doctor April King
(and) Mr. Arthur Flores
Inner: Doctor King
(and) Mr. Flores
**Note** It is never EVER correct to write Mr. and Dr. King if both spouses share a last name.
Married Couple, Husband is a Judge (same rules apply for the woman as above with the Doctor scenario)
Outer: The Honorable and Mrs. Edward Adams
Inner: The Honorable and Mrs. Adams
Wife is a Judge:
Outer: The Honorable Jocelyn Stone and Mr. Edward Stone
Inner: Judge Stone and Mr. Stone
Single woman, with or without guest:
Outer: Miss/Ms. Nichole Lewis
Inner: Miss/Ms. Nichole Lewis
Or Miss Lewis and Guest
or Miss Lewis Mr. Cordero
Outer: Mr. George Eddington III
Inner: Mr. Eddington
Or Mr. Eddington and Guest
Or Mr. Eddington
(and Ms. Hooper)
Outer: Mrs./Ms. Pamela Higgins
Inner: Mrs./Ms. Higgins
Outer: Mrs. Robert Louis Schreck
Inner: Mrs. Schreck
Couple living together
Outer: Ms. Diana Gelberg
Mr. Alan Dabach
Inner: Ms. Gelberg
(List first whomever in the couple you know better, if you know both equally well, list the woman first)
Two adult males living together as a couple (alphabetically in this case, or by personal preference) Adult male roommates should each get their own invite.
Outer: Mr. Ryan Alvarez
Mr. Michael Stevens
Inner: Mr. Alvarez
Two adult females living together as a couple(alphabetically, or by personal preference in this case) Adult female roommates should each get their own invite.
Outer: Miss/Ms. Rachel Michaelson
Miss/Ms. Marybeth Adams
Inner: Miss/Ms. Michaelson
More Addressing Tips:
Courtesy titles may be abbreviated, such as Mr., Mrs., but Doctor should be spelled out (unless they are a Ph.D.–In that case abbreviating is acceptable).
Initials should not be used for middle names. Leave them in or out. However, if a guest never uses his or her first given name, do not use it in the address. An initial is acceptable here.
Remember if you choose to include middle names on your envelopes there may be an extra charge from your calligrapher as the extra word does take more time to write.
For formal invitations, abbreviations should not be used for Street, Drive, Avenue, Apartment, or for cities and states. Abbreviations can be appropriate for informal invitations. Street numbers under 10 should be written out.
Numbered street names should only be spelled out if they are under ten. If it is your preference to spell out numbered street names over ten there is most likely going to be an added charge so do inquire about this with your calligrapher.
Children and guest escorts should not be mentioned on outer envelope, unless you are using single envelopes only. If you know who your guest will be bringing, include their name in your address. Children over the age of 18, still living at home, should each receive their own invitation. Adults not romantically involved, living in the same household, should each receive their own invitation.
It is not appropriate to address envelopes as “Mr and Mrs John and Jane Adams.” If you feel the need to include both man and woman’s names, address as Jane and John Adams. To receive an entire list addressed this way does take a considerable amount of extra time to write and may often increase the fee for your calligraphy.
Remember when ordering from any calligrapher, read their guidelines carefully and ask questions if needed. My own personal policy is to write everything as you provide it to me to prevent miscommunication. Therefore, if you abbreviate, your envelopes will be abbreviated and so forth….even state names, so spell it all out!
There are so many different ways to address your envelopes so if you ever have any questions, feel free to inquire!