Addressing wedding invitations is one of those wedding planning tasks that requires extra care and a keen eye for detail. It’s not just about ensuring your invites reach the right people; it’s also about respecting the preferences and identities of your guests. So, whether you’re dealing with traditional, non-traditional, LGBTQ+ couples, or a variety of family scenarios, here’s a guide to help you navigate this tricky task.
Traditionally, when addressing wedding invitations for heterosexual married couples, address to both partners, with the husband’s name listed first. For example:
For same-sex couples, the same rules apply. If the couple is married, their names can be on the same line:
For couples who live together but are not married, include both names on separate lines in alphabetical order:
For same-sex couples, if they are not married, their names should be on separate lines in alphabetical order:
Many people choose to use professional and military titles when addressing wedding invitations out of respect for the individuals’ achievements and roles. Here’s details to help you navigate this area:
In the military, rank and branch of service can be important to acknowledge. Here are some examples:
Again, these are guidelines and should be adapted to your personal preference and the formality of your wedding. If you’re ever unsure of how to address someone with a professional or military title, it’s always a good idea to reach out and ask for their preference.
Addressing wedding invitations with children on them can be a little tricky as different rules apply based on age and gender. Here are some traditional titles and when to use them:
1. Miss: Traditionally, “Miss” is used for girls under 18. Once they reach 18, they can be addressed as “Ms.” So if you are inviting a family with a daughter named Jessica who is 15, you would write:
2. Master: The title “Master” is an old-fashioned way of addressing boys who are under the age of 12. This term is less commonly used today, but some may choose to use it in more formal situations. So if you have a 10-year-old boy named Peter in the family you’re inviting, it would look like:
3. No Title: For teenage boys (13 and over) and up to 18, typically no title is used. Address them by their first and last name following their parents’ names:
4. Mr.: Once a young man turns 18, the title “Mr.” can be used following their parents’ names:
It’s worth noting that these rules mostly apply for formal or traditional wedding invitations. For less formal invitations, or if you prefer a more modern approach, it’s perfectly fine to include children on the invitation without a title, or to list the entire family on one line:
For divorced women who kept their married name, “Ms.” is traditionally used. If they have remarried, use their current spouse’s name:
For guests who identify as non-binary or genderqueer, use their name without a title, or ask them about their preferred honorific:
When addressing for a widow, address using her late husband’s name (e.g., Mrs. John Smith), but it’s becoming increasingly common to use the widow’s first name (Mrs. Jane Smith). When in doubt, it’s best to ask for her preference.
Remember these are just guidelines. Consider the preferences of your guests. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask! After all, the most important thing is that your invitations communicate respect and inclusivity, reflecting the spirit of love and celebration at the heart of your big day.