Wedding Etiquette: How to Address Your Envelopes

Crane & Co. envelopeOnce upon a time, wedding invitations were delivered by hand. If you were a bride, your footman delivered your invitations to your guests’ homes. Their servant received the invitation and removed it from its mailing envelope (an envelope much too pedestrian for your guests to handle themselves).

The servant then presented the invitation to your guests in its pristine inside envelope. Because the invitation was already at its destination, the inside envelope had only the names of your guests written on it. The address was no longer needed. It just had to be directed to the appropriate members of the household.

Though footmen have since been replaced by postmen, the inside envelope is still de rigueur. It gives something as important as your wedding invitation a certain je ne sais quoi. As for how you should address both the inside and outside envelopes, here is a perfectly proper guide for how to do so.

Single Woman & Date
Single Man
Single Man & Date
Unmarried Couple Living Together
Diplomatic Leaders
Married Couples
With Children Under 18 Living at Home
With Two Daughters Over 18 Living at Home
With Two Sons Over 18 Living at Home
With a Son & Daughter Over 18 Living at Home
In Which Wife Kept Maiden Name
In Which Wife is a Doctor
In Which Husband is a Doctor
In Which Both are Doctors
In Which Husband is a Judge
In Which Wife is a Judge
In Which One or Both are Lawyers
Divorced or Widowed Woman
Military Titles
In Which a Man is a Junior

SINGLE WOMAN 

Outside Envelope

Miss Page Beacham or Ms. Page Beacham

Inside Envelope

Miss Beacham or Ms. Beacham

SINGLE WOMAN & DATE

Outside Envelope

Miss Carolina Estevez or Ms. Carolina Estevez

Inside Envelope

Miss Estevez and escort or Miss Estevez and guest

OR

Ms. Estevez and escort or Ms. Estevez and guest

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SINGLE MAN

Outside Envelope

Mr. Brent Habitz

Inside Envelope

Mr. Habitz

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SINGLE MAN & DATE

Outside Envelope

Mr. Brent Habitz

Inside Envelope

Mr. Habitz and guest

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UNMARRIED COUPLE LIVING TOGETHER

Outside Envelope

Miss Brooke Siegel
Mr. Daniel Murphy

OR

Ms. Brooke Siegel
Mr. Daniel Murphy

Inside Envelope

Ms. Siegel
Mr. Murphy

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DIPLOMATIC LEADERS

Outside Envelope

The President and Mrs. Freeman

Inside Envelope

The President and Mrs. Freeman

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MARRIED COUPLES

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Edgell

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Edgell

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WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 LIVING AT HOME (and invited)

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Tietig

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Tietig
Oliver and Violet

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WITH TWO DAUGHTERS OVER 18 LIVING AT HOME (separate invitation)

Outside Envelope

The Misses Randall

OR

Miss Charlotte Randall
Miss Olivia Randall

Inside Envelope

The Misses Randall

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WITH TWO SONS OVER 18 LIVING AT HOME (separate invitation)

Outside Envelope

The Messrs. Brady

OR

Mr. Maxwell Brady
Mr. Errol Brady 

Inside Envelope

The Messrs. Brady

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WITH A SON & DAUGHTER OVER 18 LIVING AT HOME (separate invitation)

Outside Envelope

Miss Eva Wilde
Mr. Theodor Wilde

Inside Envelope

Miss Wilde
Mr. Wilde

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IN WHICH WIFE KEPT MAIDEN NAME

Outside Envelope

Ms. Maria Barros
and Mr. Peter Dempsey

Inside Envelope

Ms. Barros
and Mr. Dempsey 

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IN WHICH WIFE IS A DOCTOR

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Newell

OR

Doctor Christina Newell
and Mr. Victor Newell

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Newell

OR

Doctor Newell
and Mr. Newell

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IN WHICH HUSBAND IS A DOCTOR

Outside Envelope

Doctor and Mrs. James Lafferty

Inside Envelope

Doctor and Mrs. Lafferty

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IN WHICH BOTH ARE DOCTORS

Outside Envelope

Doctor and Mrs. James Hudson

OR

The Doctors Hudson

OR

Doctor James Hudson
and Doctor Meredith Hudson

Inside Envelope

The Doctors Hudson

OR

Doctor and Mrs. Hudson

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IN WHICH HUSBAND IS A JUDGE

Outside Envelope

The Honorable and Mrs. Charles Attwell

Inside Envelope

Judge and Mrs. Attwell

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IN WHICH WIFE IS A JUDGE

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Sally Jacobs

OR

The Honorable Sally Jacobs
and Mr. Ted Jacobs

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Ted Jacobs

OR

Judge Jacobs
and Mr. Jacobs

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IN WHICH ONE OR BOTH ARE LAWYERS

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Barrett Van Clief

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Van Clief 

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DIVORCED OR WIDOWED WOMAN

Divorced Woman

Outside Envelope

Mrs. Juliette Connors

OR

Ms. Juliette Connors 

Inside Envelope

Mrs. Connors

OR

Ms. Connors 

Who Has Resumed Using Maiden Name

Outside Envelope

Ms. Juliette Tenenbaum

Inside Envelope

Ms. Tenenbaum

Widow

Outside Envelope

Mrs.  Juliette Connors

Inside Envelope

Mrs. Connors

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MILITARY TITLES

In Which Man is an Officer

Outside Envelope

Colonel and Mrs. Robert Powell

Inside Envelope

Colonel and Mrs. Powell

In Which Man is a Noncommissioned Officer or Enlisted Man

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Levy

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Levy

In which Man is a Retired Officer

Outside Envelope

Colonel and Mrs. Brian Doyle

Inside Envelope

Colonel and Mrs. Doyle

In Which Woman is an Officer

Outside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Liam Allen

OR

Captain Charlotte Allen,
U.S. Air Force
and Mr. Liam Allen

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Allen

OR

Captain Allen
and Mr. Liam Allen

In Which Both are Officers

Outside Envelope

Colonel and Mrs. John Nolan

OR

Captain Christina Nolan,
U.S. Army
and Colonel John Nolan,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope

Mr. and Mrs. Nolan

OR

Captain Christina Nolan
and Colonel Nolan

Single Female Officer

Outside Envelope

Captain Danielle McAdams,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope

Captain McAdams

Single Female Junior Officer

Outside Envelope

Lieutenant Arianna Keys,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope

Lieutenant Keys

Singe Female Noncommissioned Officer or Enlisted Woman

Outside Envelope

Miss Emily Rawlins

OR

Ms. Emily Rawlins

Outside Envelope

Miss Rawlins

OR

Ms. Rawlins

Single Male Officer

Outside Envelope

Colonel Luis Vazquez,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope

Colonel Vazquez

Single Male Junior Officer

Outside Envelope

Lieutenant Brandon Grant,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope

Lieutenant Grant

Single Male Noncommissioned Officer or Enlisted Man

Outside Envelope

Mr. David Gutierrez

Inside Envelope

Mr. Gutierrez

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IN WHICH A MAN IS A JUNIOR

Outside Envelope

Mr. Jackson Foster, Jr. 

OR

Mr. Jackson Foster, Junior

Inside Envelope

Mr. Foster

OR

Mr. Foster, Jr. (if Junior & Senior are living at the same address)

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8 thoughts on “Wedding Etiquette: How to Address Your Envelopes

  1. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up + Link Love | Heart Love Weddings

  2. Pingback: Wedding Invitation Etiquette: A Line By Line Guide «

  3. Pingback: Etiquette: A Perfectly Proper Invitation for Every Soiree Style «

  4. Pingback: Etiquette: A Perfectly Proper Invitation for Every Soiree Style | k2sinteractive.com/cranedev

  5. You are missing all the variations of clergy. Husband is pastor or Episcopal priest, wife is such, or what about bishops, archdeacons, deans, etc. etc. And what about couples where both are ordained?

  6. Pingback: ‘Signing’ The Blues & The Ins and Outs of Inner & Outer Envelopes «

  7. Pingback: Destination Wedding Week – DIY Invitation Inspiration

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