August 22

Addressing Invitations: Today’s Diva Dish

Today’s Diva Dish came from a Facebook fan who’s getting ready to address her wedding invitations:

Hi Divas,

Ladies first, right? (names on the invites, that is).

-Angela


We’re glad you asked, Angela. For most of the addressing that we have seen, this is actually not the case! Here’s what we recommend…

For married couples, it is typical to have the husband’s name first:

Formal (with titles):  Mr. & Mrs. Patrick James

Casual:  Patrick & Alyssa James

For unmarried couples, it is usually suggested that the person whom the couple is closest to is first.

If couple is closest to the male, or if couple is equally close to both people, the male name is usually first:

Formal: Mr. Javier Ramirez & Ms. Melinda Torres

Casual: Javier Ramirez & Melinda Torres

If couple is closest to female:

Formal: Ms. Jamie McGuff & Mr. Tony Pederson

Casual: Jamie McGuff & Tony Pederson

If guest’s name is unknown, then known name is always first:

Formal: Ms. Lindsey Quill & Guest

Casual: Lindsey Quill & Guest

If couple is choosing to include children and/or family, typically they will add the following when addressing the invitations:

Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Jones and family

We hope this helps. Happy envelope addressing!

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and we’ll post an answer for you.

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About Jessy

Hometown: St. Louis, MO Favorite Color: Pistachio Favorite Movie Wedding Moment: The airplane scene in The Wedding Singer Jessy is a Jr. Writer at Tiny Prints. When she was seven, she declared herself "Jessy" (from her given name, Jessica) because she wanted to be a little different. Which is exactly what led her to Tiny Prints-her love for all things unique, memorable and personal! Letterpress printing makes her swoon and she has an affinity for fresh designs with a hint of vintage. In addition to her passion for paper goods, Jessy loves dogs, llamas, autumn, farmers' markets, live music, skeleton keys, extra sprinkles, beating boys in sports, running, antique stores and a book that’s hard to put down.

2 thoughts on “Addressing Invitations: Today’s Diva Dish

  1. Danielle

    Disagree! The man’s first and last names are never supposed to be separated, AND it’s supposed to be ladies first. Alyssa & Patrick James. It’s like splitting the infinitive (i.e. to boldly go is bad grammar) And I have never heard of addressing it to whomever you’re closer too first.

    AND that’s wrong how you have the unmarried couples – the & and having them on the same line implies it’s a married couple where the wife hasn’t taken her husband’s name. It should be:

    Melinda Torres
    Javier Ramirez
    123 State Street
    Anytown CA 12345

  2. Melissa

    I have actually done some research on this too, having just had to address and mail my own wedding invitations. Here are what some of the top wedding etiquette resources say about addressing envelopes:

    The knot.com

    For married couple: “The traditional address wording is “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe”, only using the husband’s first name. It’s completely appropriate to include the wife’s first name as well — it’s not tacky, it’s gracious. “John and Jane Doe” reads a bit more smoothly than “Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe”, but it’s true that the titles make it more formal.”

    Emily Post:

    “The outer envelope is the one that is addressed and stamped, while the inner envelope bears only the names of those people. For example, a married couple’s inner envelope is addressed to ‘Mr. and Mrs. Anderson’”

    For unmarried couples, The knot.com:

    “When you’re inviting a couple who lives together — or a married couple with different last names, or an engaged couple for that matter — list each name on a separate line on the outer envelope, alphabetically by last name, like so:
    Mr. Richard Buxton
    Ms. Ariel Dekovic

    Put the names on the same line on the inner envelope, sans first names:
    Mr. Buxton and Ms. Dekovic”

    Emily Post:

    “Invitations to an unmarried couple who reside at the same address should be addressed to ‘Ms. Nancy Fellows’ and ‘Mr. Scott Dunn’ with each name appearing on a separate line”

    Either resource mentions that the ladies’ name must come first, I think it’s based more upon what you feel more comfortable with when addressing your guests.

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