Wedding Invitation Address Etiquette

Etiquette: a dreaded word for some couples when it comes to invitation and invitation address wording and layout. We get questions about it often. But before we dive in, we want to share Birdhaus’ take on etiquette. We believe it’s your call. It’s your wedding. It’s up to you, your level of formality of the wedding, your style, and/or your level of caring.

That said, we are still going to give you our tips and recommendations to make your addresses look and sound nice. After all, this is your wedding and not a backyard barbecue (unless of course your wedding is a backyard barbecue, in which case, refer to point stated above.) Let’s do it.


Address Format

  • Lose the abbreviations

    • P.O. Box → Post Office Box

    • Apt. → Apartment

    • St. → Street

    • OH → Ohio

  • ZIP should be on a separate line

Types of Couples

  • Unmarried female

    • Ms. / Miss Doe (and Guest)

  • Unmarried male

    • Mr. Smith (and Guest)

  • Married couple

    • Traditional: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

    • Modern: Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Smith

  • Married couple with different last names

    • Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Doe

  • Unmarried couple with different last names

    • Mr. John Smith and Ms. / Miss Jane Doe

Children over 18 but still living at home

  • Should receive their own invitations

    • Mr. Jason Smith

    • Miss Donna Smith

Children under 18 and families

  • Traditional: Names of couple with children listed on the second line, oldest to youngest

    • Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Smith
      Ava, Emily, Andrew

  • Modern: Name of the family if same last name (and everyone is invited)

  • The Smith Family

Same-sex couples

  • Mr. John Smith and Mr. James Doe

  • Ms. Jane Doe and Ms. Ann Doe

Married couple when one/both is/are a doctor

  • Different Last Names: Dr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Doe

  • Same Last Name: Dr. and Mrs. John Smith

  • Both Doctors, Different Last Names: Drs. John Smith and Jane Doe

  • Both Doctors, Same Last Name: Drs. John and Jane Smith

Unmarried couples who don’t live together

  • Send the invitation to closest friend and list their name first

    • Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith

When to use Ms./Mrs./Miss

  • Mrs.

    • Married woman (who may or may not have taken her husband’s last name)

  • Miss

    • Children

    • Younger, unmarried woman under 30

  • Ms.

    • Unmarried woman over 30

    • A divorcée

    • A safe choice if you’re not sure of someone’s chosen title

Return address etiquette

Which address?

  • Whoever is in charge of receiving responses – bride, groom, maid of honor, parents of bride or groom, wedding planner, etc.

  • Listing the return address name is optional. You can include the address only, especially if the response is going to a wedding planner’s address.

Where to put it?

  • Back flap of the envelope

Annette FurioComment