The good news: the etiquette police are not looking at your envelopes!
The maybe not-so-good-news: you are not going to be able to please everyone.
The solution: make yourself and your guests feel comfortable.
Addressing Wedding Invitations Etiquette: The Envelope
When considering addressing wedding invitations etiquette and specifically the envelope, there are always questions about how to list certain people or how to write someone’s name. The easiest answer is to do what makes you happy. However, if you want to follow etiquette guidelines, here are some tips for you.
Married couples and their children. List only the adults’ names on the outer envelope. On the inner envelope, list the children’s first names on the second line. Traditionally, young boys have been addressed as “Master” and young girls as “Miss,” but neither is necessary (and may actually be offensive to some).
Married couples with one spouse who has a professional title such as Doctor. The spouse who is the doctor is listed first. If the doctor is the husband, list the couple as “Doctor and Mrs. John Smith.” If the doctor is the wife, list the husband separately afterwards, “Doctor Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith.” If both are doctors, list them as “Doctors Smith.”
Couples with different last names. If the couple is married, list the woman first and then the man, and join their names with “and.” If they are not married, list them on separate lines, with the woman on the first line and no “and” between their names.
Same-sex couples. The guidelines are similar for same-sex couples. If they are married and have different last names, list them separately connecting their names with “and.” If they are not married, list them on two separate lines, not connected by “and.” If they are married with the same last name, list them on the same line with “Mr. and Mr.” or “Mrs. and Mrs.” and both of their first names. Example: “Mrs. and Mrs. Jane and Sally Smith” or “Mr. and Mr. John and James Smith.”
Nicknames. Too many people feel the need to address everyone formally on wedding invitations. If you have a favorite uncle that you’ve always known as “Uncle Jack,” but whose real name is Jonathan, you can certainly address him as Uncle Jack on your wedding invitation. You and he both will feel more comfortable with the familiarity, especially if he is someone who has always been close to you.
It’s your wedding, your party. Follow the guidelines for proper etiquette or do what is comfortable for you. Talk to your future spouse, your family, your wedding planner, and your calligrapher (of course!) to find out what works best for you and your celebration! All the above are what’s trending for addressing wedding invitations etiquette.