General Guidelines for Addressing Wedding Invitations
Learning how to address wedding invitation the right way will assure that no one gets offended and the proper tone is set. Your wedding invitation deserves to be created elegantly with the right tone to match. No matter how luxurious your wedding invitation is, it may not be received amicably if etiquette guidelines are omitted. Some rules are not made to be broken, especially in terms of wedding invitation addressing.
Rules that Should Not be Broken
Addressing the wedding invitation should be done by hand, with elegant calligraphy or formal writing. The outer envelope and the self-addressed stamped reply card envelope should be addressed. The guest’s full name (including the middle name) should be spelled out. If the middle name is unknown, the middle name should be completely omitted. Do not include a middle initial if the middle name is unknown.
Abbreviations should not be used in addressing wedding invitations. All words should be spelled out. This includes the time of day, hours, year, names and addresses. Street numbers may be used but full words for road, street or avenue should be spelled out. There are only two exceptions to the rule, which include the words mount and saint, which may be abbreviated Mt. and St.
Name titles, such as Dr. should also be spelled out to read, doctor or esquire. For those guests with numerals in their names, the number should be addressed as a roman numeral. For example, John Doe the second should read John Doe II. Junior and senior should never be abbreviated and always spelled out.
If the ceremony is held in a place of worship, the wording “request the honor of your presence” should be used. For a non-religious or more casual location, an informal tone may be used. These words may include “please join us” or “the pleasure of your company is requested.”
How to Address the Invitation
Different rules apply when addressing the outer wedding invitation envelope and the inner invitation envelope. The outer envelope should include the guest’s full name and mailing address while the inner envelope should not include the first name, unless the invite is being issued to a child. All wording must be spelled out on the outer envelope and all abbreviations omitted.
The format for addressing the wedding invitation envelopes is done systematically. The outer envelope should include the title and name written on the first line, and street number and name included on the second line. For addresses with an apartment number or suite, the wording must be spelled out and included beneath the street name and number. The last line of the address should include the city, state and zip code.
The inner envelope should be addressed with only one line that includes the guest’s name. For example, Mr. John Smith and Guest reflect a single person’s outer envelope. A married couple’s inner envelope may read, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. For unmarried or same-sex couples, the inner envelope should include two lines with the couple’s names on each individual line. The inner envelope may read:
There should not be an adjoining “and” unless the couple is married.