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WONDERING HOW TO address your guests?

this guide will help explain how honorifics work, and when to use them

Addressing your wedding invitation envelopes can be a daunting task. We're here to help! It's critical to address your envelopes only to those who are invited. This will help avoid any confusion for you, or your guests.


This guide will help explain common honorifics (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss, ect.) and when to use them. An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. It's traditional to use honorifics when addressing your wedding envelopes. It sets a tone of formality and respect when inviting your guests to celebrate with you!

Who is Invited?

Who gets an invitation?

It can be difficult to figure out the nuances of who is sent an invitation to your wedding. It is critical to list only those who are invited to the wedding to avoid any confusion for your guests. 

  • Married couples get a single invitation

  • Couples with children under the age of 18 can also get a single invitation

  • Couples who are dating but not living together can be invited together by sending the invitation to the person you are closest to, but you may also choose to send each person an invitation

  • Children under 18 can be listed on their parent's invitation 

  • Children over the age of 18 who live on their own get their own invitation

  • Children over the age of 18 who live in a multi-generational home get their own invitation

  • Children invited with a guest get their own invitation 

Formal vs. Informal

Formal vs. informal addressing

Using formal addressing is traditional, and recommended. Unless your event is very relaxed, err on the side of formality. For married couples it is traditional to only list the man’s name, however many couples opt for a more modern approach and include both names. 

Formal Example:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith 

Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith
1234 Street Road
New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938


Informal Example:

John and Jane Smith
1234 Street Road
New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938


Addressing Married Couples

Common honorifics for married couples

A Married Couple

Mr and Mrs. John Smith
Or Mr. and mrs. John and Jane Smith
Or Mrs. and Mrs. Jane and Judy Smith

A Married Couple with Different Last Names

The person you are closer with should come first in this situation 
Mrs. Jane Smith and Mr. John Doe

A Hyphenated Last Name is always listed last
Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Smith-Doe

A family with children

can be listed as “Family” or by mentioning the couple or parents and the children on a second line. It’s optional to use salutations if the children are under age 18.
The Smith Family
Or Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
Lisa, Jane, and Joe


Married Doctors with Different Last names

Note: the title Doctor is reserved for medical doctors and ministers with advanced degrees

Usually the woman’s name is listed first or in alphabetical order
Doctor Jane Smith and Doctor John Doe

Married Doctors with the same last name

The Doctors Smith

One partner is a doctor

Doctor and Mrs. John Smith
Doctor Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith

One partner is a Judge

The Honorable Mrs. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith
The Honorable and Mrs. John Smith

A distinguished title

Clergy, rabbis, miliarty personel, ect. The person with the title is listed first, if both have a title the person with highest rank is listed first.
Rabbi and Mrs. John Smith
Captain Jane Smith and Major John Smith, US Army


Addressing Single Guests

Common honorifics for single and un-married guests

An un-Married Couple

List both guest’s  names, you can list the person you are closer with first. If you are equally close with both guests, you can list guests alphabetically by last name.
Mr. James Doe and Mr. John Smith

a single man

If above 18 use “Mr.”
Mr. John Smith

If younger than 18, a salutation is optional
John Smith

a single Woman

If above 18 use “Ms.”
Mr. Jane Doe

If younger than 18, use Miss
Miss Jane Doe

A widow

Mrs. or Ms. is appropriate and depends on their preference, you may also list her late husabnd’s full name. 
Mrs. John Doe 
or Mrs. Jane Doe 
or Ms. Jane Doe

A divorced woman

Ms. Is usually appropriate. 
If they use their married last name us Mrs. 
If they use their maiden name use Ms.


Addressing Non-Binary Guests
Addressing Plus-Ones and Clergy

Common honorifics for non-binary guests, plus ones, and others

plus ones

“Guest” will be lower case on the envelope
Mr. James Smith and guest

Priest or deacon

Father James Smith
Deacon and Mrs. John Smith


non-binary guest or couple

And/or prefers they/them pronouns
Use Mx. 
Mx. John Smith
Mr. John Smith and Mx. Jane Smith
Mx. and Mx. John and Jane Smith
Mr. and Mx. John and Jane Smith

Download this guide!

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