Is it Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Doe, or Mr. and Mrs. Jane Doe? What if you are allowing your single cousin to bring a date? Should all your cousins’ six kids’ names go on the envelope? What about married couples with different last names?
The last thing you want to do when addressing your wedding invitations is to inadvertently offend one of your guests by not following proper envelope addressing etiquette. A reliable wedding stationer will know how to navigate every possible guest scenario, but to give you some peace of mind so that you know what to expect, read on for our expert insights.
Wedding Invitation Naming Convention Etiquette
A Married Couple with Same Last Names
Include both names but list the male’s name first.
Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe; or Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
A Married Couple With Different Last Names
List the guest you’re closest with first. If you’re similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.
Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Smith
An Unmarried Couple Living at the Same Address
Include both names on their own line. Use “Ms.” for the female’s name if she is over 18.
Mr. John Doe
Ms. Jane Smith
An Unmarried Couple Living at Different Addresses
Send to the guest to whom you are closest.
Ms. Jane Smith
Children and Families
Girls under 18 should be addressed as “Miss.” Boys do not receive a title until they’re 18. Then they’re addressed as “Mr.”
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
Michael, Robert, Miss Megan and Miss Rebecca
Young Adults 18 and Over
Unless living at home with their parents, they should receive their own invitations. Use “Ms.” for young unmarried ladies over 18.
Ms. Melissa Johnson; or Mr. Steven Jones
A Same-Sex Couple
Follow the rules above for married or unmarried couples. List the couple’s names alphabetically by last name.
Ms. Jane Smith and Ms. Mary Thomas; or Jane Smith and Mary Thomas
A Married Couple Who are Both Doctors
Use the title “Doctors” but place the female’s name first.
Doctors Jane and John Doe
A Married Couple Where Only the Female is a Doctor
If she uses her maiden name, then use the following naming convention. Note that the female’s name will appear first.
Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Doe
If she uses her married name:
Dr. Jane and Mr. John Doe
Couples Where One or Both have a Distinguished Title
Use the same conventions that apply when one or both are doctors. If both titles don’t fit on one line, indent the second line. Use “The Honorable” for judges. Use “The Reverend” for Clergy. Use “Doctor” for those with PhDs. For members of the military, use their title, and follow their name with their service branch.
The Honorable Jane Smith and Lieutenant John Doe, US Navy; or Captains Jane and John Doe, US Navy
Single Guests – Unmarried Females
Use “Ms.” if she is over 18. If invited to bring a guest, include “and guest” in parentheses
Ms. Jane Doe (and Guest)
Single Guests – Divorced Female Who Uses her Married Name
Mrs. Jane Doe
Single Guests – Divorced Female Who Uses her Maiden Name
Ms. Jane Smith (and Guest)
Envelope etiquette can feel overwhelming, especially when you are worried about changing your own name! Rely on your stationer to help you navigate naming conventions to ensure your guests focus on the most important part of the package—the details inside.