One question I get a lot from couples is, "How in the world do I address our wedding invitations?!". The answer is most definitely not a simple one, but when you have our tips, tricks and guides, you can be on your way to creating the address spreadsheet of your dreams in no time hand over to your calligrapher! (Okay, maybe not your dreams, but a pretty handy spreadsheet you'll make!)
Formal vs. Informal Addressing
There are two basic ways to address your envelopes - formal or informal. Depending on the level of formality in your wedding, you'll want to know how to address them right!
Formal - We're gettin' wordy here! Add in all the salutations (Mr., Mrs. Miss, etc.), include professional titles (Ph.D., MD, etc. - more on these below), and spell most everything out. Here is an example of a formally addressed envelope:
So, that being said,
- Include salutations (Mr., Mrs., Miss)
- Spell out all numbers twenty and below
- Do not abbreviate anything (with the exception of salutations); "ave" becomes "avenue", "apt" becomes "apartment", but Mrs. stays as-is.
Informal: Ditch the salutations, numbers are numbers, and abbreviations are allowed. Here is an example of an informally addressed envelope:
Marriage, Dating, & Plus Ones
Married couple, shared last name: Salutations + Husband's first name + last name
i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Powell
Married couple, different last names: Mr. Matthew Powell and Ms. Rosanna Copas (same line)
Dating couple living together:
First line - Mr. Matthew Powell
Second line - Miss Rosanna Copas
Individual plus an unnamed guest: Mr. Ethan Powell and Guest
Families & Children
This one's fun! Where do the little munchkins go? For children 17 and younger, their names are on the line below the parents names. List them separately with commas, and use first names only. If the child is 18 or older and still living with mom and dad, do not list them under their parents' - they get their own invitation addressed to themself! The same goes with aunts, uncles, and grandparents living with their siblings or children. Here's an example:
William and Katherine English
George, Charlotte, and Louis
1459 Manhattan Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
Got some Ph.Ds and honorable judges on your guest list? Formal invitation wording says to include their titles, but they may be abbreviated! For instance, Ph.D., M.D., but for judges, "The Honorable" is spelled out. Note: If you are addressing an envelope to a couple where one person has a title and the other does not, the titled guest gets listed FIRST, regardless of gender. See here:
Mrs. Penelope Desai, M.D. and Mr. Anand Desi
Informal invitation wording says "Who cares about the professional titles?!". They are not needed!
Apartments, Condos, Suites, Etc.
Formal: Write out the numbers into words (4th = fourth) and dear goodness, don't use pound/number signs.
Informal: "You can write numbers as numbers. But which line should it go on? My personal preference is to include the apartment/condo number, suite number. etc., on the next line after the address. It looks cleaner, and doesn't make the second line with the street address insanely long.
Again, this is personal preference, but I like zip codes centered and dropped below the address. Traditionally, zip codes are listed right after the state, if you want to abide by formal addressing.
This one bites me in the butt sometimes! Please have your guests email you their written out non-US address as they would have it written on an envelope, line by line. You don't want to send a beautiful invite to your cousin in Perth, Australia to only have it return to you a month later!
Here is our Songbird Envelope Addresses Template for your big day! This is the spreadsheet I send to all of my envelope calligraphy clients, and it can be yours too! It'll be a great help to you and whoever is addressing your envelopes (hopefully me!)
Hopefully this post helps! If you have questions, please comment below and I will answer you as soon as I can!