Struggling to understand the finer points of wedding invitation etiquette? Today’s Diva Dish covers that all-important topic: how to address wedding invitations.
Hi Divas, Ladies first, right? (names on the invites, that is). From Angela
We’re glad you asked, Angela! The answer is: it depends on the situation. In general, it’s proper etiquette to list the person you’re closest with first on the invitation, whether they’re male or female. If you’re equally close with both guests, follow tradition and name the male first. Things get complicated from here; for plenty of tips on how to address wedding invitations for unmarried couples, families, or single ladies, read on!
Addressing Wedding Invitations to a Married Couple
The most traditional way to address an opposite-sex married couple is using the male’s first and last name. This traditional salutation reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Rodriguez
For same-sex couples, list whomever you’re closet with first, and be sure to include first and last names. Another option is to bypass salutations and use a simple last name.
Mr. David Gonzalez and Mr. Jorge Gonzalez
465 Gardenia Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90041
For a couple with different or hyphenated last names, list whomever you’re closest to first and when in doubt, list the male first. Examples:
Mrs. Sarah Maddox and Mr. James Billings
Mr. Pete Hopkins and Mrs. Monique White
Mr. George Press and Mrs. Denise Thompson-Press
Mrs. Angela Bartley-Cox and Mr. William Cox
Mrs. Kylie Baxter and Mrs. Pam Baxter-Franklin
Addressing Wedding Invitations to an Unmarried Couple
When addressing unmarried couples, the same rule applies. List your loved one first and their guest second, unless you’re equally close to both, in which case it is proper etiquette to list the male first. For same-sex couples, list whomever you’re closest to or when in doubt, whomever comes first alphabetically.
Ms. Mary Garcia and Mr. Matthew Clemson
Mr. Bart Novak and Ms. Patricia Avery
Mr. Cameron Baker and Mr. Walter Scott
Addressing Wedding Invitations to a Single Female
Addressing to single females can be tricky, as it’s necessary to indicate and respect status. Young women, married women, divorced women and widows have entirely different salutations. See below for clarification!
Ms. Elizabeth Montgomery
Miss Emily Parker (under 18)
Mrs. Jenny Forsyth or Mrs. James Forsyth (use her deceased husband’s name if appropriate. Use your best judgment depending on individual)
Ms. Marian Baumgartner
Ms. Marian Collins (use guest’s maiden name if she prefers)
Addressing Wedding Invitations to Families
Traditional etiquette suggests addressing wedding invitations for families to the parents on the outside envelope and including children’s names inside. You’ll never go wrong with this rule, however it’s also appropriate to address the family as a unit. Whatever you choose, it’s essential to indicate or include children’s names on the invitation, or most parents will assume kids are not invited.
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Orlov
To Alex, Betty, Preston and Miss Katrina (use ‘Miss’ to address girls under 18 at your discretion)
The Orlov Family
To Alex, Betty, Preston and Katrina,
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