How to Address Wedding Invitations

Five Methods:Putting the Parts of the Invitation TogetherAddressing the Outer EnvelopeAddressing the Invitation and Response CardsSample Wedding InvitationsSample RSVP Cards

Your big day is approaching quickly and the invitations have yet to go out. What's worse, you don't even know how to properly address them. Don't worry! Put your best bridal foot forward and follow these steps to set up your invitations and address them.

Method 1
Putting the Parts of the Invitation Together

  1. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 1
    Select the stationery. Visit a quality stationery store to browse through the wedding invitation selections. Keep in mind the price you are willing to pay for your cards, as well as the wedding color theme, time of year, and particular details important to you.
    • If you are having the invitations created by a printer, browse their paper selection. Stationery printers will have sample books you can browse through to get ideas
  2. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 2
    Understand what makes up a wedding invitation. There is the outer envelope, invitation card, reply card, and reception card.[1]
    • The outer envelope: This is where the stamp, guest address, and return address go for posting.
    • The invitation card: The invitation is the centerpiece of the invitation set--it includes all of the most important information about your wedding, including location, time, and date. The invitation will also generally list whether or not attire is formal or casual and gives your guests an idea of the theme and color choices of the wedding.[2] You can choose to place the invitation in its own envelope. While this is not necessary, it is a nice touch.
    • The reply card: This is a pre-prepared RSVP card that will let you know how many of your invited guests are coming, and if they are bringing dates or plus-ones. The reply card can either be its on separate card with a self-addressed return envelope or it can be printed like a postcard. Generally the couple sending out the invitations will put postage on the return envelope or postcard so that their guests are more likely to quickly send it back.[3]
    • A reception card: A reception card is useful for when the reception will be at a different location than the wedding. Put the address, time, and any other details specific to your reception on this card. Generally the reception card is smaller than the invitation card but printed on the same stationary and written in the same style.[4].This can also be printed on the invitation if you would prefer to save paper.
  3. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 3
    Decide whether you'll use handwriting or pre-printing. Generally the items within the invitation (the invitation itself, reply card, and reception card) are pre-printed, while the outer envelope and names on the invitations are handwritten. Handwriting the addresses and names adds a personal touch. However, there are some factors to keep in mind.
    • If your handwriting is elegant and legible, you should address the envelopes yourself. Choose a blue or black ink and stick with the same pen for the inner and outer envelopes. Handwriting the names and addresses allows for a more personal effect.
    • To save on time, particularly if you are planning on having a very large ceremony, you should probably choose to pre-print your envelope addresses. Select a fancy font and have a printer address the labels for you. Make sure that the print is legible for the mail carrier and recipient.
    • You also have the option to have a printer print address labels, which you will have to attach to the envelopes yourself. You will have the option to choose from clear, colorful, or white labels. You might consider making up some return address labels so that you do not have to write your own address on each envelope.

Method 2
Addressing the Outer Envelope

  1. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 4
    Use the wedding guest list. Reading names off of the wedding guest list will allow you to make sure you are spelling names correctly, and will help you to give each person his or her proper title.
  2. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 5
    Determine the relationship of the guests that you are sending each invitation to. Is the invitation being sent to a family, a married couple, an unmarried couple, or a single guest? This information is important to know when you are addressing the envelope.
  3. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 6
    Write the name(s) of the guest(s) in the middle of the envelope. Keep in mind their titles and marital status.[5]
    • Addressing a married couple with the same last name: Write Mr. Firstname and Mrs. Firstname Lastname. Example: Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith.
    • Addressing a married couple with different last names: Write the name of the person you are closer to first. If you are equally acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order. Write Mr. Firstname Lastname and Mrs. Firstname Lastname (or switch the order). Example: Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith.
    • Addressing an unmarried couple: You can choose to format the names however you like, but generally the names are either separated by a comma or given their own lines. Write Mr. Firstname Lastname, Ms. Firstname Lastname. Example: Mr. John Smith, Ms. Jane Doe.
    • Addressing a family: Write the word ‘The’ followed by the family’s last name. Example: The Smiths. You could also write The Family Lastname. Example: The Family Smith.
    • Addressing a single individual: Write the title and first and last name of the individual. Example Ms. Emily Emerson or Mr. Jack Jones.
    • Addressing a doctor or doctors: If you are addressing a couple where one of the people is a doctor, list his or her name first preceded by ‘Dr.’. If both people are doctors, write Doctors Firstname and Firstname Lastname. Follow the same principles for anyone with a distinguished title, such as Rev. or Captain. Example of one doctor: Dr. Amanda and Mr. Nolan James. Example of both doctors: Doctors Amanda and Nolan James.
  4. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 7
    Write the address below the names on the outer envelope. This should be the address of the family or the person you are most familiar with in a couple (if the couple is not living together).
    • Do not abbreviate or use initials in the street address of the recipient.
    • Add post office box numbers if needed.
  5. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 8
    Ensure that your return address is on the outer envelope. The return address is important for knowing which guests did not receive their invitations.
    • If an invitation is returned to you unopened, it means that you probably have the wrong address. Call up your guest and confirm the correct address.

Method 3
Addressing the Invitation and Response Cards

  1. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 9
    Write individual names on the inner envelope or invitation. If you are not going to put your invitation in its own envelope, leave a space at the top of the invitation so that you can write each individual guests name.[6]
    • Invitations to married couples who are elders or you are not on first name terms with: If the couple consists of your elders, or you want to show respect, always remember to put titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr. You do not necessarily need to put their first names. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
    • Invitations to friends and people with whom you are on a first name basis: If it s a married couple, write both of their first names. If it is an individual person, write his or her first name. Example: John and Jane.
    • Invitations to families: List out all the names of the family members who are invited to the wedding so long as they live under the same roof. You can choose whether or not to add their last name.Example: John, Jane, Bobby, Betsy, and Billy Smith.
  2. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 10
    Do not use initials as a substitute for names. Suffixes such as Jr. & Sr. are an exception.
  3. Image titled Address Wedding Invitations Step 11
    Address the return envelopes. These are the envelopes that your guests will send their responses in. You should put your names, house number and street, town, state, and zip code in the center of the address.
    • To save a whole lot of time, get pre-printed envelopes. Doing this will save time because you won’t have to write your address over and over again on all of the envelopes.

Sample Wedding Invitations

Sample Family Wedding Invitation

Sample Wedding Invitation from Parents

Sample Wedding Invitation from Bride and Groom

Sample RSVP Cards

Sample Formal RSVP Card

Sample Informal RSVP Card

Sample Funny RSVP Card


  • Mailing your invitations is a much more realistic and time-saving way to get your invites out--hand delivery is not an option.
  • Use a foil initial sticker to seal the outer envelope.
  • Seal the outer envelope, but leave the inner envelope unsealed.
  • Begin preparing the invitations early. They should be mailed six to eight weeks before the event.

Article Info

Categories: Wedding Planning