How to address an envelope

Hi everyone! We are so sorry for the delay in our posts--everything gets a little crazy when there's snow on the ground and then your 11 month old gets sick for the first time (overreaction city) and then gets you sick.  We're all better now, and ready to share some insight on addressing envelopes! Our last post focused on the dreaded guest list. We provided you with helpful tips to stay organized and as stress-free as possible. But what do you do once your invitations are supposed to be mailed? Today we wanted to focus on the proper way to address the envelope.

Envelope addressing can be a little finicky at times--should I address it to just our friend, is it okay to say "and guest", should I include both names if the couple is married? Regardless of your question, we are here to help! Today, we are going to go step-by-step through each possible option!

To a Married Couple

For a formal wedding invitation, most couples choose: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Want to include both couples? It is always okay to include the names of both individuals--it's kind of like formal meeting informal. To do this, you would want to address the couple as Mrs. Sarah and Mr. John Smith.

Want something a little more informal? Try going with Sarah and John Smith. If you want to go this route, you will want to include the name of the husband and the wife. Fun fact: the man will always go last because she should never be "removed" from his last name!

To a Married Couple that Uses Different Last Names

But what do you do when the couple is married but have separate last names? Easy: Mrs. Sarah Matthews and Mr. John Smith. Just like with a married couple, if you want to not use Mr. and Mrs., then simply say Sarah Matthews and John Smith.

To an Unmarried Couple Living Together

Just with married couples. both names should be written on the envelope. Here's the catch: the names should be on separate lines. Way back when, some etiquette guru (most likely Emily Post) developed the do's and don'ts of envelope addressing, and it was seen as improper for a married couple to be "tied" together by the word 'and'. So with this in mind, most couples write:

Mr. John Smith

Ms. Sarah Matthews

To a Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors

If you are inviting a female doctor, you would want to make sure to include her title on the envelope. For example: Dr. Sarah Smith and Mr. John Smith. If she uses his last name then it simply would be Dr. Sarah and Mr. John Smith.

What if one of your guests are both doctors? It would be Doctors Sarah and John Smith.

You may be asking yourself, what about the other individuals with titles? If you know your guest prefers to go by their title, then use it for addressing (for example, you would want to say The Honorable _____ if one of your guests was a judge). Just like with doctors, if the woman has the distinguished title, then she goes first and you would write her name.

To Children and Families

Younger children can be included on the envelope. When you choose to do this, then you would put the children on the second line.

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Lucy, Parker and James

Have a family with a lot of kids or don't want to go this formal? You could always put The Smith Family.

To Children 18 and Older

Technically, children who are 18 or older should receive their own invitation. However, if they are still living at home save the money and include them on their parent's invitation. For individuals, you would write Ms. Lucy Smith or Mr. James Smith.

Got all of that? We know that we threw a lot at you, so here is a little cheat sheet for you :)


Didn't see an example for address that you are stuck on? Just ask us!

See you all next week with a brand new blog post!