How to Address Wedding Invitations

You have chosen the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You have selected the best wedding date. You have chosen a beautiful wedding venue. The entire time you are engaged, you have been making choice after choice, and now you are sitting at a desk with a blank envelope in front of you. All of the other options were so straightforward, but the decision to put pen to paper now involves much more freedom. Those envelopes waiting for a name and address to be written on them seem like a blank canvas. What you write in that space and how you write it will set the tone for your wedding. When people look down at that invitation, you want them to instinctively know that they will be joining you somewhere luxurious for your special day. How you address those invitations should match the elegance of the environment your wedding guests will soon be a part of. Following a few simple guidelines can appropriately address your wedding invitations.

Use Formal Names (Not Nicknames)

The formality with which you use names in your invitation should reflect the level of formality you hope to achieve on your wedding day. A black-tie event in a unique outdoor setting should be preceded by an invitation that avoids casualness or any deficit in decorum. Use formal names even with close family and friends. Placing a formal name on an invitation may seem awkward initially, especially when you have always used a nickname when interacting with someone, but using a proper name sends a message to your guest. They will soon be joining you for an intimate occasion at a beautiful venue, and you want them to understand how special that day is to you.

Avoid Middle Names

You set the tone for your wedding by using formal names on the invitations, but you also want to be concise by avoiding middle names. Be proper when you place names on the invitation but not so proper that you are taking up a lot of space by using a middle name.

Do Not Abbreviate the Address

Just as you are trying to be formal but concise when writing the name on the invitation, you also want to be formal and concise when writing out the address. Your guests live on streets, boulevards, roads, and so on. Take the time to write out all those words rather than abbreviating them.

Do Abbreviate Honorifics

Honorifics such as Mr. and Mrs. should be abbreviated. Do not get so carried away in the formality of names and spelling out addresses that you write out Mister or Missus.

Do Not Abbreviate Professional Titles

Professional titles should not be abbreviated. Many of your guests worked hard for those titles. Make sure they receive the proper respect they deserve by writing out the full title.

Observe Household Address Etiquette

This is the part of the process that many people overthink. Take a deep breath. You have made it this far, and there is no reason to worry. Use your common sense when considering how best to address the envelope and invitation inside. When addressing men, you will use Mr. and for women Mrs. or Ms. As a rule of thumb, you will use the first and last name on the envelope. Then on the actual invitation, you can use the first name but on both the envelope and invitation, use the proper honorifics. Take care when addressing an invitation to a married couple with different or hyphenated last names.

Start Early

Count backward to avoid rushing to get the invitations done and not giving your guests enough notice. You know the wedding date and want to give your guests four to six months’ notice or even more if you are having a destination wedding. Once you have counted four to six months back from your wedding to when your guests need to be notified, consider how long it will take you to put the invitations together and then add that into your calculations. To be safe, add an extra week or two to the time you think it will take you to put the invitations together. You never know what will come up and interrupt your life, especially when you are engaged.


Close family and friends already know about your engagement, and others may have also heard the news, but a wedding invitation is the first formal step towards a magical day. Go ahead and let your happiness and excitement be infectious. Specific guidelines you will want to follow, but determining who will attend your wedding and inviting them can be fun and enjoyable. With each invitation you send, you can begin to imagine that specific person seated at the beautiful wedding venue you have chosen.

If you would like more help with your wedding invitations, or if you are interested in exploring more wedding possibilities more broadly, then visit our website here.