How to address wedding envelopes

A handy guide to wedding envelope etiquette

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.

Inner envelope & outer envelopes

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.

To a single person

Outer envelope: Mr. Joel Harrison

Inner envelope: Mr. Harrison , Joel, or JH

To a single person with a plus one

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

To an unmarried couple

Outer envelope: Mr. Ed Parsons & Ms. Kara Morgan

Inner envelope: Ed. and Kara or Mr. Parsons & Ms. Morgan

To a married couple

Outer envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton or Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Hamilton

Inner envelope: Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton, Carlos and Maria or C&M

To a married couple with different surnames

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

To a family with children

Outer envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Underwood

Inner envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Simon Underwood, Lola, Charles and Eva.

To children of friends/family 18 and older

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

To a single person with a title

Outer envelope: Doctor Erica Smiles or Dr. Erica Smiles

Inner envelope: Erica, Dr. Smiles or ES

To a married person with a title

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

Our envelope addressing options

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.

Recipient addressing – it’s free!

You can upload your recipient addresses by downloading and completing our handy spreadsheet, or add them manually one by one.

Add your return address – $0.60 per envelope

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.