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

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


    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


      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

        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


          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.


            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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