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We recommend that you start addressing your envelopes at least three months before your wedding, and preferably four months if you are using calligraphy or if your guest list is above 200. You may want to ask your maid of honor or bridesmaids to help you with this time-consuming task, as this is traditionally part of their responsibilities. Organize a luncheon or late afternoon get-together with hors d'oeuvres and make a party out of it! If you are working with a wedding consultant, s/he can also help you address invitations.


There are typically two envelopes that need to be addressed for wedding invitations: an inner envelope and an outer envelope. The inner envelope is placed unsealed inside the outer envelope, with the flap away from the person inserting it. 


The invitation and all enclosures are placed inside the inner envelope facing the back flap. The inner envelope contains the name (or names) of the person (or people) who are invited to the ceremony and/or reception. The address is not included on the inner envelope. 


The outer envelope contains the name (or names) and address of the person (or people) to whom the inner envelope belongs.


 Don't forget to budget stamps for response cards as well as for invitations!

 Things to Consider: Don't order stamps until you have had the post office weigh your completed invitation. It may exceed the size and weight for one stamp. Order commemorative stamps that fit the occasion.

 Price Range: $0.37 - $1.00

  Use the guidelines on the following page to help you properly address both the inner and outer envelopes.


SITUATION                                        INNER ENVELOPE                 OUTER ENVELOPE

                                                         No first name or address              Has first name & address



Husband and Wife (with same surname)                        Mr. and Mrs. Smith                              Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith

                                                                                                            (use middle name, if known)


Husband and Wife                                            Ms. Banks and Mr. Smith                     Ms. Anita Banks          

(with different surnames)                                   (wife first)                                             Mr. Thomas Smith

                                                                                                            (wife’s name & title above husband’s)


Husband and Wife                                            Dr. Smith and Mr. Smith                       Dr. Anita Smith

(wife has professional title)                                                                                Mr. Thomas Smith

                                                                                                            (wife’s name & title above husband’s)


Husband and Wife                                            Mr. and Mrs. Smith                              Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith                

(with children under 16)                                    John, Mary, and Glen

                                                            (in order of age)


Single Woman                                      Miss/Ms. Smith                                    Miss/Ms. Beverly Smith                                    (regardless of age)


Single Woman and Guest                                  Miss/Ms. Smith                                    Miss/Ms. Beverly Smith

                                                            Mr. Jones (or “and Guest”)      


Single Man                                           Mr. Jones                                             Mr. William Jones

                                                            (Master for a young boy)


Single Man and Guest                           Mr. Jones                                             Mr. William Jones                    

                                                            Miss/Ms. Smith (or “and Guest”)


Unmarried Couple Living Together                    Mr. Knight and Ms. Orlandi                  Mr. Michael Knight

                                                            (names listed alphabetically)                  Ms. Paula Orlandi


Two Sisters (over 16)                                       The Misses Smith                                 The Misses Mary and Jane Smith

                                                                                                            (in order of age)


Two Brothers (over 16)                                    The Messrs. Smith                                The Messrs. John and Glen Smith

                                                                                                            (in order of age)


Brothers & Sisters (over 16)                             Mary, Jane, John & Glen                      The Misses Smith

                                                            (name the girls first,                               The Messrs. Smith

                                                            in order of age)                         (name the girls first)


A Brother and Sister (over 16)                          Jane and John                           Miss Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith

                                                            (name the girl first)                                (name the girl first)


Widow                                                 Mrs. Smith                                           Mrs. William Smith


Divorcee                                                          Mrs. Smith                                           Mrs. Jones Smith

                                                                                                            (maiden name and former husband’s surname)


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