Addressing your invitations

Sharon shares her tips on applying the social titles and
addressing your invitations correctly

How to write out your guest names

If you are holding a formal wedding, using the appropriate social titles (Mr, Mrs, Ms) is recommended.

The names of your wedding guests should be written in full (given and surname) on the envelope, while on the invitation spelling out just the given name in full will suffice. It is also recommended that you use your guest’s given names and not their nicknames.

How to use Social Titles

While not compulsory using the appropriate social titles is considered the most traditional and formal way to invite your guests.

Mr, Mrs and Ms of course are the most common titles however there are some particular etiquette guidelines on how to refer to guests with different circumstances. For instance single female guests should be referred to as Ms, if they are over the age of 16 or 18, any younger and Miss should be used.

In the case of a married couple it is appropriate to write Mr and Mrs followed by the husband’s name (Mr and Mrs Jack Smith). However you might instead prefer to write Mr Jack and Jill Smith which is also acceptable. Similarly if the wife has chosen to hyphenate her last name, you can address them as follows Mr Jack Smith and Mrs Jill Thomas-Smith.

You should also use Doctor when appropriate. If you are addressing a married couple and they are both doctors you can address them by using The Doctors Smith or Drs Jack and Jill Smith. If the wife is the doctor, you should list her first; Dr Jill Smith and Mr Jack Smith.

Addressing divorced women

When it comes to inviting a divorced woman many will keep their ex-husband's last names, while others revert to their own maiden names, so unless you know for sure it would be wise to ask her or someone close to her which name she prefers before sending an invite.

Addressing a widow

When addressing an invitation to a widow, it is appropriate to use either her deceased husband's first name or her own first name, depending on what you feel most comfortable with. You might like to confirm with someone close to her what is most appropriate.

Addressing unmarried couples

Families and unmarried couples who either live together or have been in a relationship for a significant amount of time need only one invitation between them.

Inviting Plus ones

While each circumstance is different, generally speaking you should invite all couples who are married, engaged or living together regardless of whether you know their partner or not.

Some couples choose to grant anyone over 18 a plus one, others allow plus ones for anyone in a relationship while others invite plus ones based on how long the couple have been together or whether they know the partner.

It is purely a judgement call on who you invite however whatever you do inevitably decide on, remember that consistency is key.