So you send out the save the dates, found the perfect wedding invitation, and are now ready to send the invitations out. This is when it hits you that you have no clue what the proper way to address your envelopes. A good rule of thumb is to make the outer envelope formal and the inner envelope is either informal or casual. Here is a helpful guide that will help you learn the proper etiquette for addressing the outer and inner envelopes for most of your guests. 

How to Address Your Envelopes

Single Guest Over 18 Years Old

For females it is proper to have the title Ms. and for males, Mr. 

On the outer envelope:

Ms. Angie Holmes

Or

Mr. Ed Young

On the inner envelope:

Ms. Holmes or Angie

Or

Mr. Young or Ed

Single Guest Under 18 Years Old Not Living At Home 

For guest not living with their parents and are under 18 years old, it is proper for females to receive Miss and males require no title until they are of age.  

On the outer envelope:

Miss Lela Stevenson

Or

Patrick Mccoy

On the inner envelope:

Miss Stevenson or Lela

Or

Mccoy or Patrick

Married Couples 

It is common to address married couples are Mr. and Mrs. husband's first and last name. An alternate version includes both names as Mr. husband's first name and Mrs. wife's first name and last name.

On the outer envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Julius Klein

Or

Mr. Julius and Mrs. Tracey Klein

On the inner envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Klein

Or

Julius and Tracey

Married Couples with Different Last Names 

The best way to address this couple to list the person you know best first. If you know the couple equally well, you can address them alphabetically. 

On the outer envelope:

Mr. Richard Mann and Mrs. Olivia Lawrence 

Or

Mrs. Olivia Lawrence and Mr. Richard Mann 

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Mann and Mrs. Lawrence 

Or

Richard and Olivia

Unmarried Couples Living Together

Just like with married couples with different last names, you will address the person you know best first or address them alphabetically. 

On the outer envelope:

Mr. Alex Chandler and Mrs. Sidney Ramsey

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Chandler and Mrs. Ramsey

Or

Alex and Sidney

Married Couples with Hyphenated Last Name 

On the outer envelope:

Mr. Clayton Wolfe and Mrs. Kendra Hart-Wolfe 

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Wolfe and Mrs. Hart-Wolfe

Or

Clayton and Kendra

Distinguished Titles

If one person in the couple has a distinguished title, it is proper to write their title and name first. If the wife has the distinguished, be sure to know whether or know she uses her maiden name professionally.

On the outer envelope:

Dr. Angelina Chapman and Mr. Sean Lambert

Or 

Dr. Angelina and Mr. Sean Lambert

On the inner envelope:

Dr. Chapman and Mr. Lambert

Or

Dr. and Mr. Lambert

Another example

On the outer envelope:

The Honorable Judge Douglas Warren and Mrs. Warren

On the inner envelope:

The Honorable Warrens

Or

Mr. and Mrs. Judge Warren

Divorced Female 

The best way to address a divorced female is to use Mrs. or Ms. and use her maiden name. 

On the outer envelope:

Mrs. Lindsay Coleman

Or

Ms. Lindsay Coleman 

On the inner envelope:

Mrs. Coleman

Or

Ms. Coleman

Or 

Lindsay

Families 

When addressing people with families the question is how clear do want your invitation to be. If you address only the father and mother in both the outer and inner envelope, it makes it clear that you are not inviting the children. If you are inviting the kids, address the parent in the outer envelope and include the everyone's name in the inner envelope or address the whole family on the outer envelope. 

On the outer envelope:

Mr. Terrance and Mrs. Isabel Harper

Or

Mr. and Mrs. Terrance Harper

Or 

The Harper Family

On the inner envelope:

Terrance, Isabel, Glenn, and Julian

 

Tips to Writing Out Invitations 

Use a Pen that You're Comfortable With

There are many kinds of pens and brushes that you can use to address your envelopes. Some popular choices are, ball point pens, dip pens, and brush pens. Ball point pens are the easily to use because you have use them since the 4th grade. Because you are comfortable with the grip and feel of these kinds of pens, it may allow you to be more creative with your design and styling of invitation. Dip pens, or calligraphy pens, can be a fun DIY project, but takes a lot of practice. Beginners should know have grand expectations starting out, but with some practice can make some simple and beautiful invitations. Brush Pens are great for getting a sort of dip pen feel without having to practice as much. You have more control over the pen like a ball point and do not have to deal with inks and accidental messes. 

Lettermate

If you are like me, you can't write in a straight line to save your life. So instead of using a ruler to mark lines on every envelope and having to ease the lines when you are done, this awesomely amazing tool with save you so much time. Lettermate will help you keep everything straight. Its perfect for addressing standard size envelopes and for $10 it will save your life and your hands. You can check them out here.