To Mrs. or Not to Mrs.
How to Address your Invitation Envelopes
Invitation envelopes have historically been an etiquette nightmare. Do you say Ms. or Mrs.? Do you address it to the husband primarily, or to the family as a whole? Who gets that coveted “and guest” line item??
Luckily for us, living in the 21st century is a bit less etiquette-focused, and how you address your envelopes has more to do with making sure your guests actually receive their invitation, than whether or not they’re offended by what it says on the front.
My philosophy with couples is always ‘do whatever the heck you want!’ but if you’re still unsure about how to go about addressing things, here are some tips:
Only list the names of the people actually invited on the envelope
Sometimes you do want the whole gang there, so a “The Robinson Family” is totally appropriate (heck, is the dog considered a family member? Bring him!) But, more often than not, you definitely want Mom and Dad there, but miiiight not want their adorably hyperactive 5 year old. So, make sure you address the envelope specifically to “Jane and Derek Robinson” (or “Mr. and Mrs. Derek Robinson” if you have a more formal style) and hopefully they’ll get the hint that a babysitter will be in order.
Formal or Casual?
My rule of thumb is: if your invitation design has a more casual vibe, first and last names only are fine. If you want to be more traditional, go with formal addressing and use honorifics (meaning using Mr. and Mrs. and Ms.). If you want to go super formal, kids can be addressed as “Master” or “Miss”.
A mix is also totally ok - if your best man also has a rad nickname, go ahead and address the envelope to “Mr. Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski” so it feels super personal.
Usually it’s visually more interesting to spell out the state completely (so ‘California’ instead of ‘CA’). Pay attention to how the design of the guest addresses is set up and fill out your list accordingly. Sometimes having the zip code on it’s own line can also be a fun visual twist, and I’ll often space the numbers out to make it look a little more intriguing.
Again, it’s ultimately up to you how you want to format your guest addresses. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!