Your Guide to Addressing Wedding Invitations

modern elegant wedding invitation

According to Think Splendid's Global Wedding Study, 80% of brides and grooms are paying for the wedding themselves. So what does that mean for the traditional wedding invitation where the bride's parents are hosting? How do you word a invitation when you're parents aren't “requesting the honor…” Or when you;re addressing your envelopes to send out those invitations, it's easy for grandma and grandpa: Mr. and Mrs James Jerome. But how do you handle your best friend from college who is in a same-sex marriage? Or what about partnerships where the woman is a doctor and the man is not. Or here's a curve ball: some women (like me) prefer the title Ms. rather than Mrs. even though I'm married. Below is a rundown of all the combinations for wedding invitation wording and addressing wedding invitation envelopes that will help you navigate the landscape of modern relationships for traditional celebrations. If you still have a question, check out the Ultimate Guide To Wedding Invitations or leave a question in the comment area at the end of this post.

rock candy wedding invitation suite

Your parents are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Fuller
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Christina Elizabeth
to Dustin Craig Osgood
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

Both your parents and his are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Fuller
and
Mr. and Mrs. John Osgood
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Christina Elizabeth
and
Dustin Craig
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

copper and coral wedding invitation

When your parents are hosting but you want to include his

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Fuller
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Christina Elizabeth
to Dustin Craig Osgood
son of
Mr. and Mrs. John Osgood
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

When divorced parents are jointly hosting

Charlene Fuller
[or Mrs. Michael Geary if remarried]
and
Richard Fuller
[or Mr. Richard Fuller]
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Christina Elizabeth
to Dustin Craig Osgood
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

elegant contemporary wedding invitationelegant embossed wedding invitation wording

When your mother and stepdad are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Geary
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Geary’s daughter
Christina Elizabeth Fuller
to
Dustin Craig Osgood
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

When you and the groom are hosting

The honor of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Miss Christina Elizabeth Fuller
to
Mr. Dustin Craig Osgood
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

When a widow hosts

Mrs. Richard Fuller
requests the honor of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Christina Elizabeth
to
Dustin Charles Osgood
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Saint David’s Church
Cullowhee, North Carolina

modern stylish wedding invitation

When you and the groom are hosting just the reception

This one is great for multiple weddings or a reception after an elopement. It doesn't say you;re getting married; it says you're celebrating your marriage.

Please join
Miss Abigail Elizabeth French
and
Mr. Dustin Charles Osgood
as they celebrate their marriage
Saturday, the twenty third of May
at four o'clock
Zachary Tolbert House
Cashiers, North Carolina

Modern Brides’s Guide To Addressing Envelopes

teal and pink wedding invitation inspiration

Married couple

Traditional: Mr. and Mrs. Dean McPherson
Modern Update: Catherine and Dean McPherson

Married couple when one is a doctor

Traditional: Dr. and Mrs. Steven Craig (if he’s the doctor). Dr. Lauren and Mr. Michael Craig (if she’s the doctor).
Modern Update: If she hasn’t changed her name Dr. Lauren Graves and Mr. Michael Craig

calligraphy wedding invitation address

Married Couple with Different Last Names:

Traditional: Mr. and Mrs. Michael Craig (some modern women may be mildly offended by this)
Modern Update: Mr. Michael Craig and Ms. Lauren Graves

Children under 18 invited with parents:

Traditional:

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Craig
Miss Lucy Craig
Master Peter Craig
Modern Update: Eliminate the children’s titles. Avoid using “and family” because you may not be aware of another relative staying in the household, and you want to be clear and precise about who is invited.

same sex wedding-invitation address label

Same-sex couple:

Traditional: Send separate invitations, even if they are living together.
Modern Update: If they are unmarried, write their names of separate lines. If they are married write their names of one line: Nicole and Jessica Smith

Widow:

Traditional: Mrs. Richard Fuller
Modern Update: Mrs. Charlene Fuller. Some women continue using their husband’s first name, some do not. Try to find out what she prefers.

Divorced woman who uses her ex’s name

Traditional: Mrs. Anna Klein
Modern Update: Ms. Anna Klein. Using the Ms. title separates her from her ex’s new wife.

lettered life wedding invitation address

Friend and her date:

Traditional: Separate invites. Be sure to track down his name. “Ms. Sarah Strathmore” would receive one invitation and “Mr. Jason McKenna” would receive separate one.
Modern Update: For serious relationships, whether living together or not, send an invitation to your friend with her significant other’s name on a separate line. If the relationship is new, “Ms. Sarah Strathmore and guest” is fine.

hand addressing wedding invitations

Additional Tips

  • Spell out addresses. Street, Post Office Box and Apartment should all be written out in full. House numbers smaller than 20 and cities and states should also be written out. The only abbreviations on your invitations should be Mr and Mrs.
  • Titles really do matter. Remember, if the wife is a doctor, her full name comes first.

Image Credits

Invitation #1: Envelope Calligraphy: Shannon Kirsten; Invitations by BellaFigura.com via Once WedInvitation #2: Stationery by Minted via The Classic Bride Invitation #3: Stationery: Idieh Design via 100 Layer Cake  | Invitation #4a:  via Style Me PrettyInvitation #4b: via Style Me Pretty Invitation #5: Paper Goods & Calligraphy by Cottonwood South via Style Me Pretty | Invitation #6:  Stationery by Tie That Binds via The Bride Link | Invitation #7: via From Up NorthInvitation #8: via The Wedding Bee Invitation #9: via Etsy Seller The Lettered Life | Invitation #10: via Etsy Seller Mint Maple Designs