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Addressing Wedding Invitations

Aug 17, 2007
When it comes to addressing wedding invitations, a simple "Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so" will not do for every invited guest. The task of properly acknowledging each and every invitee is one that can pose a terrible challenge for bride and groom. With all of the living arrangements and different kinds of titles one may consider themselves, careful attention is needed to avoid offending family and friends.

With the responsibility of addressing wedding invitations, there is more than just the outside of the envelope to worry about, as the inside envelope is also addressed in a different manner. Below you will find a few reminders on the proper way to address wedding invitations according to the circumstances:

When addressing wedding invitations to a married couple, the outside of the envelope should include: Mr. and Mrs. John W. Jones, while the inside envelope displays Mr. and Mrs. Jones. When inviting a married couple and their children, the outside envelope remains the same, but the inside envelope will showcase the children's first names underneath Mr. and Mrs. Jones.

When inviting an unmarried couple that lives together, the outside of the envelope should be addressed as Miss Amy Smith and Mr. Tommy Jackson, while the inside of the envelope should display Miss Smith and Mr. Jackson. When inviting an unmarried male or female to a wedding with acknowledgment that they will bring a date, the outside of the envelope should read Miss (or Ms.) Debbie White or Mr. Tony Thompson, while the inside of the envelope should display Miss White and Guest or Mr. Thompson and Guest.

Divorced women and widows will also need special attention when addressing their wedding invitations. The outside envelope for a divorced female should read Mrs. (or Ms.) Stephanie Wilson Jenkins, while the inside envelope is addressed to Mrs. (or Ms.) Jenkins. An example of an outside envelope for a widow includes Mrs. Troy Walker, while the inside envelope is addressed to Mrs. Walker.

When addressing wedding invitations to relatives that you usually speak to on an informal level, you may sway from traditional approaches. For instance, when addressing to your favorite uncle and aunt, the outside envelope may read Mr. and Mrs. Homer Simpson, while the inside envelope may display Aunt Ruby and Uncle Homer. If your grandmother is a widow, you may address the outside envelope, Mrs. Steve Jones, while the inside envelope may affectionately read Grandma Jones.

There is also a wide range of special circumstances where you may need to tweak the way you address certain wedding invitations. Guests who lead careers in the medical, educational, military, religious, and judicial professions are often treated in a different manner. For example, when both guests are medical doctors, you may address the invite as Doctor and Mrs. Brown, The Doctors Brown, or Doctor John Brown and Doctor Kristine Brown.

When a male invitee is a judge, the outside of the envelope should read The Honorable and Mrs. John Smith, while the inside envelope displays Judge and Mrs. Smith. When the woman is a judge, you may address the outside envelope as The Honorable Christina Watson and Mr. Tom Watson with the inside envelope reading Judge Watson and Mr. Watson.

Keeping in mind the different titles and relationships that your family and friends are represented by, will make addressing wedding invitations a much easier task. Properly handling this aspect of inviting guests will also let invitees know who is actually asked to attend the wedding event. For example, your cousin and her husband may receive an invite, but you may not want children to attend the ceremony; therefore, this desire should be made quite clear.

You should also keep in mind that a wedding is a formal occasion where abbreviation has no place in the addressing of invites. Spelling out full addresses and titles is a must. Overall, your invitations should illustrate one of the most heartfelt, special moments in time that a couple may share with family and friends.
About the Author
Jim Ecklund is an ordained Deacon in the White Robe Monks of St. Benedict.
If you are interested in finding more help with addressing your wedding invitations,
you can go to my website at http://www.wedding-savings-for-bride-groom.com
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