How to Guest Address Your Wedding Envelopes

March 06, 2017

How to Guest Address Your Wedding Envelopes

HOW TO GUEST ADDRESS YOUR WEDDING ENVELOPES

 Address book, stamps, cup of coffee and invitations at the ready, you start compiling your addresses for your invitations. All of a sudden you realize you are in a potential etiquette minefield. Sue and Sam are married, but she does not want to be addressed as “and Mrs. Sue Kelly;” Donna and Dave are not married, but live together; and Laura is separated but not yet divorced. What are the correct forms of address for each of these invitations?

With all the addressing etiquette questions we receive we thought to gather all of our information and create a handy list to make addressing your social correspondence correctly.

ADDRESSING - WOMEN

MAIDEN NAME
  • Ms. Sue Johnson
  • Miss Sue Johnson*
    *Usually ‘Miss’ is for girls under 18
MARRIED BUT KEPT MAIDEN NAME

Ms. Sue Johnson

MARRIED, USES HUSBAND'S NAME SOCIALLY

Mrs. Sam Kelly
Mrs. Sue Kelly*
*Nowadays this is acceptable
Ms. Sue Kelly

SEPARATED, NOT YET DIVORCED

Mrs. Sam Kelly
Mrs. Sue Kelly
Ms. Sue Kelly

DIVORCED

Mrs. Sam Kelly
Mrs. Sue Kelly
Ms. Sue Johnson (maiden name)

WIDOWED

Mrs. Sam Kelly*
*If you don’t know the widow’s preference, this is the traditional and preferred form
Mrs. Sue Kelly
Ms. Sue Kelly

wedding invitation, botanical, address, envelope, rose, vintage

ADDRESSING A COUPLE

MARRIED, USES HER HUSBAND'S NAME SOCIALLY

Mr. and Mrs. Sam Kelly

NOTE: Traditionally, a woman’s name preceded a man’s on an envelope address, and his first and surname were not separated (Sue and Sam Kelly). Nowadays, the order of the names—whether his name or hers comes first—does not matter and either way is acceptable. The exception is when one member of the couple ‘outranks’ the other—the one with the higher rank is always listed first.

MARRIED BUT PREFERS MS.

Mr. Sam Kelly and Ms. Sue Kelly
Ms. Sue Kelly and Mr. Sam Kelly
*Do not link Ms. to the husband’s name:
Mr. and Ms. Sam Kelly is incorrect

MARRIED, INFORMAL WAY TO ADDRESS

Sue and Sam Kelly
Sam and Sue Kelly

MARRIED, BUT USES MAIDEN NAME

Mr. Sam Kelly and Ms. Sue Johnson
Ms. Sue Johnson and Mr. Sam Kelly

If you can’t fit the names on one line:
Mr. Sam Kelly
and Ms. Sue Johnson
*Note the indent, either name may be used first

UNMARRIED AND LIVING TOGETHER

Mr. Sam Kelly & Ms. Sue Johnson
Note: Use one line

WOMAN WHO OUTRANKS HER HUSBAND IN MILITARY, ELECTED OFFICE
The Honorable Sue Kelly and Mr. Sam Kelly

If you can’t fit both names on one line (note indent):
The Honorable Jane Kelly
and Mr. John Kelly

WOMAN WHO OUTRANKS HER HUSBAND IN
PROFESSIONAL OR EDUCATIONAL DEGREE

Dr. Sue Kelly and Mr. Sam Kelly

Both are doctors (PhD or medical) and use the same last name

The Doctors Kelly (omit first names)
Drs. Sue and Sam Kelly / Drs. Sam and Sue Kelly
Dr. Sam Kelly and Dr. Sue Kelly / Dr. Sue Kelly and Dr. Sam Kelly

Both are doctors (PhD or medical) and use her maiden name


Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Sam Kelly
Dr. Sam Kelly and Dr. Sue Johnson

wedding invitation, botanical, address, envelope, rose, vintage

We hope our guest addressing guide is handy and helpful!