Your big day is coming, and it’s time to spread the word! Get tips on how to artfully address your wedding invitations.
Your wedding wouldn’t be the same without the people you love most there to witness your commitment. Figuring out the right style and assembly for your wedding invitations is a major checkbox on your wedding planning to-do list, but all the options and advice out there can make the whole process pretty confusing.
There are a range of conventions around wedding invitation etiquette, but ultimately — like every detail of your special day — how you address and assemble your invitations is a personal decision. We put together this short guide to help you create the perfect wedding invitations for your unique ceremony.
Read on to learn all the things you should consider before sealing the envelopes.
How To Address Wedding Invitations
First thing’s first. There are a few basic conventions for addressing wedding invitations based on the person or party you’re sending it to.
For An Individual
The simplest standards apply to invitations sent to a single individual. Use the appropriate courtesy title, such as Mr., Mrs. or Ms., followed by the person’s first and last name. For individuals with professional, military or religious designations, for instance Dr., Gen. or Rev., use the correct title in place of the generic courtesy title.
For A Couple
For married couples, the traditional method is to use “Mr. and Mrs.” followed by the husband’s first and last names. Alternately, you could include both first names, as in “Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith.”
If a couple (married or unmarried) uses different last names, include both names fully on the envelope, such as “Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Doe.” In cases where you list two names individually like this, list the person you know best first. For example, suppose Jane Doe is a coworker, and John Smith is her husband, you may address the invitation as “Mrs. Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith.”
The rules for couples get a little more complicated when one or both people have earned professional or honorary titles. In these cases, the person with the honorary title is listed first. For example, if one half of the couple is a doctor, that person’s name should be listed first. So, you might address an invitation to “Dr. Jane and Mr. John Smith.” What if they’re both doctors? In that case, you would address the invitation to “The Doctors Smith.” You are welcome to include their first names, as well. Have fun with it!
For A Family
The first (and more formal) option is to address the envelope to mom and dad, following the rules for couples outlined above, with the kids’ names listed only on the invitation card. You can also simply address the invitation to “The Jones Family.” This implies that the invitation includes the Jones’s children, as well.
Writing A Formal Address
Writing out the address portion of your invitation envelopes is fairly straightforward. Generally, you should avoid abbreviations such as “St.” or “Apt.” on wedding invitations. Instead, spell each word out, as in “Street,” “Apartment,” etc. Doing so will elevate the entire look and feel of the invitation, making the moment it arrives even more special for your recipient.
Note: These conventions also apply to the return address on your wedding invitation envelopes. The return address should also match the one included on your RSVP cards. (More about RSVP cards below.)
While there are certainly plenty of traditional approaches to addressing an important piece of mail like a wedding invitation, remember to do what feels comfortable or matches the style you’re going for. The event itself and how you choose to celebrate is what matters most.
What To Include In Your Wedding Invitations
Using a checklist can be helpful once you decide how to assemble wedding invitations for your guests. Here are a few of the basics to keep in mind:
- Your formal invitation.
- An RSVP card with a self-addressed, stamped return envelope (you can also use a self-addressed, stamped postcard).
- Optional: An additional, interior envelope (blank or inscribed with the names of your invited guests) to protect the invitation from potential damage in the mail.
When To Send Your Wedding Invitations
Send your wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the big day. Ask that guests RSVP within two or three weeks of the event. Your save-the-date cards should go out approximately four months before your wedding date. (If you’re wondering how to address those save-the-dates, it’s simple — the same way you address your invitations!)
If you order custom invitations, you may want to plan for additional time to proof them and make any necessary changes. Make sure that you’re able to get a sample invite before you place your order to make sure everything looks just the way you imagined.
To help speed up the process of assembling your invites, consider a personalized address stamp for the envelopes and response cards.
Find the style that suits your ceremony and start personalizing your wedding invites today!
[ Gorgeous wedding invitation photos courtesy of 4 Love Polka Dots ]