Once you’ve decided on your wedding invitation wording and it’s time to slide your beautiful invitation safely inside its inner and outer envelope, there’s still the matter of what to write on the front. But deciding how to address envelopes for everyone on your guest list isn’t as simple as it sounds. With two envelopes to think about, different scenarios to consider (married couples, unmarried couples, singletons, those with plus ones etc) and titles to get right (Ms. Mr. Dr. etc), it’s easy to forget where to start. So to offer a helping hand when you’ve got a million other things to prep and plan, we’ve put together this quick, simple guide to wedding envelope addressing.
It’s best practice to place your wedding invitation and its envelope within an outer envelope to protect it from getting marked or bent in the post. As a general rule of thumb, the outer envelope tends to be more formal, featuring your guest’s full name with title and their full address. The inner envelope is more informal and can show just a first name, their last name and title, or initials.
Outer envelope: Mr. Joel Harrison
Inner envelope: Mr. Harrison , Joel, or JH
Traditionally, ‘Ms’ is used by women regardless of their marital status and ‘Miss’ for unmarried women, usually those under 18. Of course, these are old-fashioned rules, and today you can go with whatever you like!
Outer envelope: Ms. Lillie Ellis
Inner envelope: Ms. Ellis and guest or Lillie & guest
Outer envelope: Mr. Ed Parsons & Ms. Kara Morgan
Inner envelope: Ed. and Kara or Mr. Parsons & Ms. Morgan
Outer envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton or Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Hamilton
Inner envelope: Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton, Carlos and Maria or C&M
Once again, list the person you're closest with first. If you know both guests equally well, it’s tradition to open with female’s name.
Outer envelope: Mrs. Georgina Evans and Mr. Simon Khan
Inner envelope: Georgina and Simon, Georgina Evans and Simon Khan, or Mr. Khan & Mrs Evans
Outer envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Underwood
Inner envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Simon Underwood, Lola, Charles and Eva.
Children of friends and family who are over 18 and no longer live with their parents should receive their own invitation.
Outer envelope: Ms. Rachel Thompson
Inner envelope: Rachel, Ms. Thompson or RT
Outer envelope: Doctor Erica Smiles or Dr. Erica Smiles
Inner envelope: Erica, Dr. Smiles or ES
Outer envelope: Professor Andrew Jackson and Mrs. Angela Johnson
Inner envelope: Dr. Isabelle and Mr. Josh Steele (if the woman takes her husband’s name day-to-day), or Isabelle and Josh
At Papier, we offer free recipient addressing and return envelope addressing for a little extra. Upload your guests’ addresses and a return address, special date or initials to the reverse of your envelopes, and we’ll print each one neatly for you. It’ll add a beautiful finishing touch to your Papier post and save you tons of handwriting, freeing up precious time so you can get on with planning the rest of your big day.
You can upload your recipient addresses by downloading and completing our handy spreadsheet, or add them manually one by one.
Include a return address or add your name, initials or a special date for a sophisticated touch. Whatever you write will show across the back of all your envelopes.