How to Address Wedding Invitations the Right Way
Choosing Your Wedding Invitations
So you’ve chosen the dress, reserved the venue, selected the caterer and finalized the guest list. Most of the hardest parts of your wedding planning process are over -- we promise! -- but you still have at least one big item to check off your to-do list: invitations.
Though it seems simple, selecting, addressing and mailing out your invitations can be a pretty major task, so it’s best to be prepared and give yourself plenty of time to take care of it. Your invitations will set the scene of your wedding to your guests and should evoke your unique personality as a couple. It’s worth the time and effort to get these just right, so read on for our complete guide to wedding invitations.
It’s most important to know when to send wedding invitations. Generally, they should be mailed six to eight weeks prior to the wedding, ensuring that your guests will have enough time to make their travel arrangements and prepare.
Wedding Invitation Etiquette
Your invitations should make an impression before they’re even out of the envelope. Using colored envelopes and finishing the back with a stamp or seal are ways of dressing up your invitation; most couples also have the envelopes addressed in ornate hand-done calligraphy. Taking such care with your invitations is a great way of communicating to your guests that you value them and their presence on your big day.
To further show respect to your guests, it’s also important to understand wedding invitation address etiquette. Here’s how to address your envelopes properly to each type of invitee.
Married couples: Both first names and their shared last name with “Mr.” and “Mrs.”
Mr. Jacob and Mrs. Alice Baker
Alternatively, to save space you may skip one of the spouses’ first name.
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Baker
Married couples with different last names: Use the full name of each guest.
Mr. Jeff Hunt and Mrs. Jill March
To save space, skip both first names.
Mr. Hunt and Mrs. March
Unmarried couples living together: Use the full name of each guest on a separate line with “Mr.” and “Ms.”
Mr. Paul Krasinsky
Ms. Roxanne Holt
A spouse with a distinguished title: Use the individual’s full title, first and last name, then add “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to the other person’s full name.
Dr. Jessica Freier and Mr. David Crouse
Judge Seth Linwood and Mrs. Allison Linwood
Include both honorary titles, if they each have one.
Dr. Nicole Fromm and Lieutenant Nicolas Cruz, US Navy
Dare to DIY?
If you decide to save money by making DIY wedding invitations, be prepared for a time-consuming project! Wedding invitations should have multiple parts -- an outer envelope, an inner envelope, the main invitation card, an RSVP card, and potentially another with information about the hotel and your wedding registry. A decorative paper “belly band” should be included to hold them all together attractively. This means each invitation will take at least a few minutes to assemble, which adds up quickly if you have a moderate to large guest list.
The trickiest part of the process is writing the address on the outside. If you already know basic calligraphy or have an interest in learning, go for it. But if you don’t, be realistic about how the finished product will turn out. This is one detail you may wish to leave to a professional.
Ready for those RSVPs?
Request RSVPs about two weeks before the wedding, giving you and your wedding planner ample time to update seating charts and confirm numbers with the caterer. It may be easier to simply instruct guests to RSVP to your wedding website, but many couples and guests appreciate the old-school tradition of supplying a reply card and a self-addressed envelope.
Once your invitations are sent out and the RSVPs start rolling in, you’ll be one major step closer to your big day.