Formal vs. Informal: How to Address Your Envelopes

Updated: Aug 16, 2018

A quick guide to addressing wedding invitation envelopes correctly.. or incorrectly. Whichever you prefer.

After you've put together your invite list (and hoping the hard part is over), it somehow gets even more tricky. Figuring out the best way to address your envelopes can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. I've put together all the situations I've come across (including what to do with Children - leave 'em or invite 'em).

First and foremost: Inner & Outer envelopes

Inner envelopes seem to be less common these days. When it comes to their invites, couples are choosing to forego the inner and stick to just the outer envelopes. This is perfectly OK, but keep in mind if you are looking to distinguish who exactly is invited, then it's probably a good idea to do both. It's also a more formal way of presenting your invitation if you're wanting to go that route.


Married Couples

The classic and traditional way of addressing married couples is to begin with "Mr. and Mrs." followed by a single name. Informal, and the more modern template, has both the husband and wife following "Mr. and Mrs."


Mr. and Mrs. Scott Fitzgerald


Mr. Scott and Mrs. Zelda Fitzgerald


Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Couples with Different Last Names (married or not)

Start with the name of the person you are closest with regardless of gender. Formal etiquette says to separate names with a line if they are not married, but modern addressing will have them on the same line (up to you!)

Formal (if married) / Informal (not married)

Mr. Scott Fitzgerald and Ms. Zelda Sayer

Formal (not married)

Mr. Scott Fitzgerald

Ms. Zelda Sayer

Families & Households

Family with Children Under 18

If you are using an inner envelope, you can include the children on the inner invite only and just address the outer to the parents. A fun fact in formal etiquette: Boys do not get a title until they are 18, until then they are just addressed by their name. Girls are "Miss".



Mr. and Mrs. Scott Fitzgerald


Scott, Zelda, Robert, Daniel, Miss Catherine


Mr. and Mrs. Scott Fitzgerald

Robert, Daniel, Miss Catherine

Children Over 18

If these children are not living with their parents, then they should receive their own invitation - they are technically adults! If they are still living at home, then the family with children etiquette applies, only now these children now have adult titles (Mr./Ms.)

Unit & Apartment Numbers

All words in the address should be spelled out, including single-digit street numbers. These are also expected to be on a separate line. A cleaner and more informal look will have the numbers without "unit" or "apartment"


123 Main Street

Apartment 20


123 Main Street

Apartment One


123 Main Street, #20

Whenever in doubt, go with what YOU prefer. Mix and match styles, try something new, or stick to the basics; There's no right or wrong way as long as your guests clearly know they are or are not invited.

© 2018 by Letterlee