Envelope Etiquette 101

Are you wondering what to do when addressing an invite to someone who kept their maiden name? Or if a couple is living together but unmarried? Addressing envelopes is probably one of the questions that I answer over and over again.



Married couple with the same last name

Outer: The husband’s full name (no nicknames), preceded by “Mr. and Mrs.”
Inner: Don’t use first names; in this case, it would read Mr. and Mrs. Harbin

Example:
Mr. and Mrs. William Harbin
9319 Oak Bluff
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Married couple with children under 18 living at home

Outer: Children’s names are left off the outer envelope
Inner: “Mr. and Mrs. Burleson” on the first line; children’s first names on a line below

Example:

    Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Burleson
    125 Magnolia Circle
    Birmingham, Alabama 35213


    Married couple in which the woman has kept her maiden name

    Outer: The wife’s name appears first, on its own line; “and” indicated marital status
    Inner: Place “Ms. Olsen” on the top line; “and Mr. Hayes” is written below

    Example:

      Ms. Olivia Olsen
      and Mr. Ethan Hayes
      62 Waterfront Road
      Seattle, Washington 98118


      Married couple in which the woman is a doctor

      Outer: The woman’s name is placed first, if the husband is also a doctor, the address is either “The Drs. Werner” or “Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.”
      Inner: “Dr. Werner” is written first; “and Mr. Werner” appears second
      Example:

        Dr. Barbara and Mr. Robert Werner
        3747 Valley View
        San Francisco, California 94107


        Unmarried couple living together

        Outer: The guests’ names (ladies first) are written on two lines, without “and”
        Inner: Write “Miss Stein” on the first line, with “Mr. Richmond” below

        Example:

          Miss Christine Stein
          Mr. Joshua Richmond
          43 East 92nd Street
          Apartment 6D
          New York, New York 10128

          Single person with a date

          Outer: Address this envelope to only the guest you know personally
          Inner: The words “and guest” are added. For example, “Mr. Paris and guest”. And never capitalize Guest.

          Example:

            Mr. Matthew Paris
            1686 Stanhope
            Dallas, Texas 75225


            Final Tips and Tricks:


            • Never use first names on the inner envelope, except for children’s
            • Spell out state names, plus words and terms such as “Street,” “Road,” “West,” “Place,” “Post Office Box” and “Apartment”
            • Whenever a woman’s name appears independently – no matter the reason – it always goes on the first line
            • Include titles such as “Doctor” or “Judge” only if guests use them both socially and professionally

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