How to Address Wedding Invitations

How to Address Wedding Invitations

Whether you opt for traditional cards or digital stationery, sending out your wedding invitations is a super exciting milestone. But have you thought about the etiquette involved in addressing your guests?

From navigating plus ones, families and kids to setting the right tone for your event, we’re sharing our complete guide to addressing your wedding invitations below!

Photo by Elisa Anne Calligraphy

Let’s Talk About Tone

Before you get started with addressing your wedding invitations, take a moment to think about the overall “theme” of your day. Are you planning a traditional sit-down reception? An informal backyard barbecue? An intimate garden party?

Remember, your wedding invitations are essentially the first glimpse your guests will receive into your upcoming celebration, so use your invitation wording to set the right tone moving forward.

For example: if you’re planning a sophisticated, elegant wedding, you might want to address your guests using formal wording and traditional titles. But, if you’re planning a more relaxed celebration, you can address your guests informally to better reflect your event.

Photo by Koman Photography

Of course, there’s absolutely no right or wrong option – it all comes down to your wedding vision and the kind of impression you want to make! Keep reading as we run you through some of the different invitation scenarios, and how to address each one:

For Married Couples (Shared Surname)

To address a married couple with the same surname, simply list both names separated by the word “and”. Not sure which name to put first? Don’t stress – in today’s modern society, there are no rules or expectations on this. You might want to make a general rule and apply it across all invitations to make the process easier, such as alphabetical order, or the guest you’re closest to.

Refer to these examples from the most formal to least formal:

Mr Harry Smith and Mrs Sally Smith

Mr and Mrs Smith

Harry and Sally Smith

Harry and Sally

For Married Couples (Different Surnames)

Again, you’ll want to follow the same process of listing both guest names, this time with their respective surnames (or simply first name only for a more informal invitation):

Mrs Beverley Jones and Mr Bob Peters

Beverley Jones and Bob Peters

Beverley and Bob

Photo by Anya Kernes Photography

For Unmarried Couples

When addressing couples who aren’t married, simply swap “Mrs” to “Ms” for female guests if you’ve chosen to use traditional titles:

Mr James Workman and Ms Sandra Parks

James Workman and Sandra Parks

James and Sandra

For Families (Kids Invited)

Addressing families can get a little trickier, as guests will need clarification on whether their kids are invited, too. If children are welcome, be specific about this by addressing your invitations to include all family members.

When listing multiple kids names, simply order them from oldest to youngest. Traditionally, anyone over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation. Use these examples as an outline:

Mrs Polly Sue and Mr Christopher Sue

George, Penelope and Michael

Mr and Mrs Sue

George, Penelope and Michael

Polly and Christopher

George, Penelope and Michael

The Sue Family

Photo by Abby Jiu

For Families (Kids Not Invited)

If you’re hosting a child-free wedding, be sure to set the right expectations by only addressing the names of the parents (refer to the relevant “couples” examples above!). 

It’s possible that some guests will still assume their kids are invited, so you might want to respectfully note the child-free nature of your event on the invitations themselves – or better yet, via your wedding website. You can find some great wording examples for tricky situations just like this on the blog!

For Singles (Plus One Offered)

If you’re offering a plus one for single guests, simply add “and Guest” after their name: 

Ms Jemma Watts
(and Guest)

Jemma Watts
(and Guest)

(and Guest)

For Singles (No Plus One)

Simply address your guest by name, either formally or informally.

Again, you might want to make a gentle note on your wedding website to clarify this if you’re worried about unexpected guests showing up. For example: “Due to space constraints at our venue, we are regrettably unable to extend invitations for additional plus ones. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to celebrating with you!”

Photo by Apollo Fotografie

Invitation Etiquette Tips

Ensure your wedding invitations are received seamlessly with these final etiquette tips: 

  • If you’re unsure about someone’s preferred title, the spelling of their name or postal address, just ask! It’s better to clarify the correct details upfront instead of accidentally offending someone, or having their invitations lost in the mail.

Sending your wedding invitations is an exciting part of the wedding planning journey, so take a moment to enjoy the milestone, too! From here, your big day is only just around the corner.