Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
I think this is one of the big questions/struggles for couples when it comes to wedding planning. How to address the infamous wedding invitations correctly . . . With my help, we will work through this together. Don't fear shooting me a comment at any time to address an issue not mentioned in this article. I've tried to find every situation possible to explain but might have missed one.
When a couple uses the appropriate titles, spells names correctly, and writes out the address in the correct way, it really shows that they've put a lot of thought and consideration into their invitations. I want you to be one of those couples.
Addressing individuals correctly on the invitation is just as crucial as those on all of your outer envelopes. Therefore, please use all of these tips for addressing the hosts of your wedding on your actual wedding invitation as well as taking the time to address each of your envelopes correctly.
Addressing Your Outer Envelopes
With all of the different variations of last names, titles, and even living arrangements nowadays, couples getting married are challenged like never before to respect those they are inviting and address them correctly on their wedding invitations. One big thing to remember, on formal (not necessarily fancy but politically correct) invitations, titles are used, marriage is respected and full names are spelled out, along with addresses and locations. Spell out all words, using no symbols.
In my article Proper Etiquette for Your Wedding Invitations we discussed the etiquette basics for writing out your invitation addresses. Now we are going to focus on correctly writing all of the variations on names.
Married couple: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
Couple married but wife kept her maiden name: Mrs. Jane Davis and Mr. John Smith
Unmarried couple: Miss Julie Striker (Next line) Mr. James Roden
Divorced women (unless using maiden name, use former married name): Mrs. Jane Smith
Widowed women (use late husband's name): Mrs. George Brown
(Rule of thumb - Married couples get an "and" and are on the same line together, but non-married couples do not and are listed on different lines. If a married woman chooses to retain her maiden name, etiquette dictates that her name comes first on the invitation, but the "and" shows that they are married. For unmarried individuals, the person that you know best should be listed first. If you are equally close to both individuals, simply list them in alphabetical order.)
Unmarried same-sex couple: Mr. John Smith (Next line) Mr. James Roden
Married same-sex couple: Messrs John and James Roden OR Madames Jane and Julie Smith
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- What percentage of couples are allowing kids at their weddings?
- 80% of couples are having kids at and in their weddings
- Only 50% of couples are allowing kids at their weddings
- About 30% of couples are still having kid-friendly weddings
- Only 50% of couples are allowing kids at their weddings
Married one doctor: Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Tim Barker
Married two doctors: Doctors Tim and Anne Barker
Other titles: The Honorable John Davis and Lieutenant Jane Davis OR EVEN
Captains John and Jane Davis, (Next line) U.S. Navy
(Rule of thumb - Make sure to take the time to find out the correct titles and their usage in addressing them on invitations. Reverend, Rabbi, Imam, Commander, Major, Colonel, etc. If only one person in the couple has a title, make sure to list the one with the title first on the invite.)
It is never appropriate to put the words "and Guest" on formal wedding invitations. If you are allowing your guests to bring plus-ones, please take the time to find out the guest's name. Etiquette actually states that this individual should get their own invitation to your wedding. However, if you don't know if they wish to bring someone with them, or cannot find out their name, simply write the name of the individual you are inviting. You can then include a personal note, or can give them a call, letting them know that they are welcome to bring someone, but to let you know.
By no means should children under the age of 18 be included on the outer envelope. Simply follow the directions outlined above for addressing the adults in the household, and then feel free to include the names of the children, preferably in order from the oldest to the youngest, on the inner envelope.
For children ages 18 and older, etiquette states that these individuals should receive their own invitations. You should simply write their names with the correct title and address them, even if these individual still live at home with their parents.
For some examples of how to take these tips for wording your invitation card, visit theKnot.com.
Creative Wording Options
I know true wedding invitation etiquette can be a little overwhelming at times, especially when you are trying to manage a guest list of 100 or larger and are trying to remember all of the different titles, last names, ages, and current marital status of each and every individual, much less how to write them correctly.
There's no reason your wedding invitations should be all work and no play. This is your wedding! Wedding planning should be fun and should be a time to be creative, imaginative, and inventive in your ways to express yourself and create the wedding of your dreams!
If you're willing to step out of your comfort zone a little, creative invitation wording is a great way to really inject some fun and personality into your wedding. Just like all invitations don't have to look the same, they all don't have to say "request the honour of your presence," and read like every other wedding invitation at every other wedding. Let's look at some unique ways to word your invites now that we've got the etiquette down.
True love is eternal and infinite
Victoria and Timothy
warmly invite you to a part of their wedding day
Come share in our joy
Convention isn’t really our thing.
This proposal didn’t need a diamond ring.
Our story is a little different, you see,
I asked him to marry me!
We would be honored if you could join us
On the happiest day of our lives
As autumn leaves
turn their brilliant hue
two lovers will join and say I do
Timothy Jordan Van Ness
will be joined together in a holy union
Girl met boy.
Girl fell in love.
Boy was slow, but finally came to his senses and fell in love too.
For the rest of the story…
Victoria Kathleen Kelly
Timothy Jordan Van Ness
Invite you to share in a new chapter of their love story.
Greens wrapped with ribbons and bows,
and candles all aglow . . .
The warmth of the holidays in our hearts
will be shared with those we know.
You’re invited to a festive Holiday Wedding!
There are so many great options for your wedding invitation wording. The sky is the limit. Chose favorite poems, sayings, bible verses, an inside joke, or just something that sounds like the event you are planning, sweet, fun, creative, unique, etc. Check out some of these great websites for creative wedding invitation wording ideas! And then head over to How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue to get started on the rest of your planning.
More Articles You Might Like
- How to Stuff Wedding Invitations
Knowing how to stuff wedding invitations isn't common knowledge. Instructions, if you get them, are in print and don't have pictures or video. Not anymore...Now you can have video, pictures and step by step directions on how to stuff your wedding inv
- Saving Money on Your Wedding Invitations
So you've decided on a theme and a direction, created your guest list, and set your wedding budget. Now it's finally time to start spending some money. This may be the first time you've tried to ...
- Choosing the Right Wedding Invitations
Choosing your perfect wedding stationary is more about typing out some traditional words onto cards and sending them out to friends and family. The stationary you choose will set the tone and theme...
- Proper Etiquette for Your Wedding Invitations
Your wedding invitations are such a huge part of your wedding, and there are so many misconceptions about what is okay and what is not, that I would like to clear some of them up for you.