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Wedding invitation etiquette | part 1

Wedding PlanningMadeline KellyComment

Wedding invitation etiquette

Working in the wedding industry, I seem to run into the same wedding etiquette questions over and over again, and then every once in a while I run into a question I've never even thought of before!

So, to help myself, I decided to write this blog post and hope that it helps you, too! If you have any questions about wedding invitation etiquette, please feel free to message me. I love figuring things out together and assisting couples as they plan their wedding day, aiming to serve their guests as best they can.

Etiquette should be followed in order to give your guests the information that is vital to their travel, planning, and enjoyment of your wedding. If a question comes to mind, ask yourself, "What do my guests really need to know to be comfortable and prepared?"


Commonly, wedding invitations should be mailed 2 months before your wedding date. For destination weddings, mail your wedding invitations 10-12 weeks before your date.

Save the dates provide your guests with location and date information, so they can make travel plans, and can be mailed anywhere from 6-12 months before the wedding day.


Invitation wording varies, depending on who is hosting, where your wedding is held, and how formal or casual it is. Please see this post to read more about how to word your wedding invitations.


For formal or traditional weddings, using titles gives the notion that you hold the importance of the event highly, though it is acceptable to send invitations without titles if your wedding is going to be an intimate ceremony or if the wedding is casual.

If I choose to use titles, who's name do I write first when addressing wedding envelopes?

Traditionally, the woman’s name is written first on an envelope, so that the man is not separated from his surname:

  • Julia and Matthew Johnson

More recently, it has become acceptable for either to come first.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Johnson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Julia and Matthew Johnson

This is unless one outranks the other in their title:

  • Dr. Julia Johnson and Mr. Matthew Johnson

If they are unmarried, and living together, the names go on separate lines, woman's name first:

  • Ms. Emily Barnes and Mr. Matthew Johnson

Same-Sex Couples

  • Mr. Jack Lloyd and Mr. Riley Stone

If they have the same last name:

  • Mr. and Mr. Jack and Riley Stone

There are no formal rules on who's name should be listed first on same-sex addressed invites. You may choose to list the person you are closest to and list their name first.

I don’t know the name of the plus one my guest is bringing, how do I address their envelope?

  • Ms. Stephanie Guzman and Guest

Adding Children to wedding envelope addressing:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Johnson and Family

If you are using an inner envelope, the children’s names are written out there.

If the child is over age 18, and living at home, they receive their own invitation to the same address.

How do I address my envelopes if we are not inviting children to the wedding?

According to traditional wedding etiquette, if children are not mentioned on the invitation envelope, they are not invited. People may not know this as a rule of etiquette, so you may need to ask someone close to that family to mention it to you. It is not proper to write this on the invitation but could include it somewhere on your wedding website, if you have one. 

According to proper wedding etiquette, streets and states should be written out:


  • Boulevard (not Blvd.)
  • Washington (not WA)
  • I also think this should apply to words such as "Apartment" or "Suite" instead of "Apt." or "Ste"


Whew! That was a lot of etiquette...I will have to write and wedding invitation etiquette 2.0 blog post in the future! For now, enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions or any other etiquette tips you'd like to pass on to me!



Maddy Kelly


custom wedding invitations portland



Wedding invitation etiquette