How to Address Wedding Invitations (for Modern Brides)

 
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Are you ready to knock out those envelopes? Well then roll up your sleeves, girlfriend–let’s get to work on how to address wedding invitations!

As you can see, this post is clearly marked for modern brides who still care about grammar, but don’t want to be too old-fashioned–like dropping the woman’s first name.

Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you can still address wedding invitations formally and include both the husband and wife’s names.

Yep, it’s true! Gone are the days when a woman’s name has to be lumped into her husband’s name, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.  

While you may prefer to use formal envelope etiquette (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith), sometimes modern envelope addressing is necessary for less traditional brides or recipients. 

However, the number one mistake I see is when brides try to include both the husband and wife’s first names on an envelope.

If you’re doing this:

Mr. Brian and Mrs. Valerie Freeman…

Or this:

Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Valerie Freeman…

I’m #sorrynotsorry, but both are incorrect.

I’m a stickler for grammar–can’t help it! English was always my favorite subject, Journalism was my major in college, and now I study wedding etiquette relentlessly so I can help my clients make the right choice for their stationery.

After all, this is the fanciest mail you’ll ever send out. If there’s ever a time to channel your inner Kate Middleton, it’s with your wedding stationery.












    The first option, "Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Valerie Freeman" implies that there is a "Mr. and Mrs. Brian" (with no last name) and that there is also a separate "Valerie Freeman" in the residence with no salutation.

    The second option, "Mr. Brian and Mrs. Valerie Freeman", becomes especially confusing when children's names are listed below. It also appears as if Mr. Brian, again, has no last name. 

    But I understand why you’re making that mistake–it is a bit dated to omit the wife's name and only list the husband. #truth

    And I totally get it. So let's burn our bras and include our first names on the envelopes too. 

    Here's how to do it–the right way. 

     
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    Formal Addressing:

    Married Couple

    If you are hosting a formal wedding–i.e. black-tie, held in a place of worship, etc.–you'll want to address your envelopes formally as well. 

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes:

    Mr. and Mrs. Brian Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    The modern way to address wedding invitation envelopes, with the woman's name included:

    Mr. Brian Freeman and Mrs. Valerie Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    When possible, keep both names on one line. However, if it takes too much space, it is okay to list each name on it's own line using the conjoining "and". If you are hosting a kid-friendly wedding, you may include their first names on the second line. 

    Married Couple with Different Last Names

    You can address this type of envelope the same as you would for a modern married couple.

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes (in this case, you use Ms. instead of Mrs.):

    Mr. Brian Freeman and Ms. Valerie Warrington
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    Again, try to keep their names on one line. However, it is okay to separate them on two lines using the conjoining "and". 

    Married Couple, wife has a Hyphenated Name

    If a woman has chosen to keep her maiden name and hyphenate her married name, they can be addressed using "Ms." or "Mrs.".

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes:

    Mr. Brian Freeman and Mrs. Valerie Warrington-Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    Try to keep the couple's names on one line. However, you may have to use two lines for this option. Be sure to use the conjoining "and" if so. 

    A note on unmarried couples living together:

    This is the most common mistake I see with envelope addressing, and it’s so common now that most people don’t even notice.

    So here goes…

    When a couple is living together (not married), you do not use a conjoining “and” between their names. Their names are written on two separate lines, and you use the woman’s name first (as is appropriate for social correspondence).

    Why no “and” between their names? Because it signifies marriage.

    However, many couples today still use the “and” to signify a union of some sort. The choice is ultimately what you are most comfortable with.

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes (grammatically correct):

    Ms. Valerie Warrington
    Mr. Brian Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes (modern, less formal):

    Ms. Valerie Warrington
    and Mr. Brian Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    Whole Family is Invited

    There are a couple of ways to format envelopes when the entire family is invited. 

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes, Double Envelopes (Recommended):

    Outer Envelope:

    Mr. Brian Freeman and Mrs. Valerie Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    Inner Envelope (which includes names of their children):

    Mr. and Mrs. Freeman
    Anders Freeman
    Sue Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    How to address wedding invitation envelopes, Single Envelopes (Less Formal):

    Mr. Brian Freeman and Mrs. Valerie Freeman
    Anders and Sue
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    Try to keep the husband and wife's names on one line. It is okay to use two lines, as long as you use the conjoining "and". 

    Informal Addressing

    If you are hosting an informal wedding–i.e. laid back, backyard barbecue, etc.–you can use a more casual formatting style. Informal addressing is generally not recommended for weddings, but you can get away with it if your event is more casual.  

    Informal envelope addressing for a married couple: 

    Brian and Valerie Freeman
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    Informal envelope addressing for a kid-friendly wedding: 

    The Freeman Family
    612 Maple Lane
    Fairhope, Alabama 36000

    🌈 And now you know!

    Let’s mark those envelopes one and done. How about a free plug and play guide to help with all that classy correspondence? Sign up to get the guide below. I’ll see ya on the other side.