envelope addressing

Web_Addressing-Guide

To help with addressing envelopes, use this helpful Addressing Guide to keep your lines straight.

envelope_addressing guide

To help with organizing addresses for your party invitations, download this guest list spreadsheet:  party invitation guest list

For Wedding Invitation addressing when double envelopes are used, download this helpful guest list spreadsheet: wedding invitation addressing double envelopes

For Wedding Invitations when single envelopes are used, download this guest list spreadsheet: wedding invitation addressing single envelopes

on inner envelopes…

  • exclude the first names of the recipients
    example: Mr. and Mrs. Drake
  • write the first names of children to be invited below the parents’ names in the order of age
    example 1st line: Mr. and Mrs. Drake
    example 2nd line: Steven, Sarah, and Courtney
  • children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation
  • omit children’s names if you are planning an adults-only celebration
  • if an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your friend’s name followed by “and Guest”
    example: Miss Carson and Guest

on outer envelopes…

  • use full names and formal titles, do not abbreviate (except for Mr., Mrs., Ms., Jr.)
  • do not use symbols, spell out the word “and”
  • do not use initials, spell out all names
  • do not write “and family” or “and guest” that is written on the inner envelope
  • use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes
    example: 215 North Fifth Street
  • write out the words “Street”, “Boulevard”, “Avenue”, “Post Office”, “Apartment”, etc.
  • spell out all state names, do not abbreviate

when single (outer) envelopes are used…

  • use full names and formal titles, do not abbreviate (except for Mr., Mrs., Ms., Jr.)
  • do not use symbols, spell out the word “and”
  • do not use initials, spell out all names
  • children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation
  • omit children’s names if you are planning an adults-only celebration
  • write the first names of children to be invited below the parent’s names in order of age
    example 1st line: Mr. and Mrs. Drake
    example 2nd line: Steven, Sarah and Courtney
  • or you may write “and family” if children are to be included in the invitation
    example 1st line: Mr. and Mrs. Drake
    example 2nd line: and Family
  • if an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the envelope with your friend’s name followed by “and Guest”.
    example: Miss Carson and Guest
  • use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes
    example: 215 North Fifth Street
  • write out the words “Street”, “Boulevard”,”Avenue”, etc.
  • do not abbreviate state names

proper etiquette on how to address your envelopes…

Person(s) Receiving Invitation Outer with Inner Envelope and Outer Only Envelope Inner Envelope
Relatives
(outer – formal
inner – what you call them)
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe Aunt Jan and Uncle John
Married Couple with children under 18 (If children are invited. The children’s names appear on the second line in order of seniority regardless of sex)
(Address the envelope to the parents only, if children are not invited)
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Smith
or
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Smith and Family (or Children)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Ann and Stuart
or
Mr. And Mrs. Smith
Miss Ann Smith
Mr. Stuart Smith
Married Couple with children over 18 (address the envelopes to the parents only, children over 18 should receive a separate invitation) Mr. and Mrs. Steven Smith Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Married Couple (when the woman kept maiden name) Mrs. Susan Smith and Mr. John Doe Mrs. Smith and Mr. Doe
Brothers or Sisters at same address (Children over 18 years old receive their own invitation, even if they are living with their parents) Messrs. John and Stuart Smith
or Misses Ann and Beth Smith
or Miss (Ms.) Ann Smith and Miss Beth Smith
The Messrs. Smith
or The Misses Smith
or Miss (Ms.) Smith and Miss Smith
Wife uses maiden name Miss Jan Doe and Mr. Steven Smith Miss Doe and Mr. Smith
Separated Woman Mrs. John Doe
or Mrs. Jan Doe
Mrs. Doe
Divorced Woman Miss Jan Doe
or Mrs. Jan Doe
or Ms. (Miss) Jan Smith (maiden name restored)
Miss Doe
or Mrs. Jan Doe
or Ms. (Miss) Smith
Widow Mrs. John Doe
or Mrs. Jan Doe
Mrs. Doe
or Mrs. Doe
Jr. or junior Mr. Steven Smith, Jr.
or Mr. Steven Smith junior
Mr. Smith
II, III Mr. Steven Smith III Mr. Smith
Unmarried couple living together
(address alphabetically by last name)
Miss Jan Doe and Mr. Steven Smith Miss Doe and Mr. Smith
Unmarried couples who do not share the same residence
(Send the invitation to the closest friend)
Miss Jan Doe Miss Doe and Mr. Smith
Single person and Guest Miss Jan Doe
or Mr. John Doe
or Miss Jane Doe and Guest (if outer only envelope)
Miss Doe and Guest
or Mr. John Doe and Guest
Married couple both Doctors (M.D.) The Doctors Smith
or Doctors Jan and John Smith
or Dr. Jan Doe and Dr. Steven Smith
The Doctors Smith
or Doctor Doe and Doctor Smith
Wife only has title (M.D.) Doctor Jan Smith and Mr. Steven Smith Doctor Smith and Mr. Smith
Doctor (Ph.D.) Dr. Steven Smith Dr. Steven Smith
Couple in which one or both are lawyers Mr. and Mrs. Steven Smith Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Elected Officials “The Honorable” may be used to address: Cabinet Members; Presidential Assistants; Ambassadors; Judges; All members of Congress; Heads, Assistant Heads and Commissioners of US Government Agencies; Governor and Lieutenant Governor; Secretary of State, Chief Justice and Attorney General of a State; State Treasurer; Comptroller, Auditor, State Representative; Assemblyman or Delegate; Mayor; Members of City Council; Commissioners; etc. The Honorable Steven Smith (if single)The Honorable Steven Smith and Mrs. Smith
(if man and married)The Honorable Susan Smith and Mr. Steven Smith
(if woman and married)
The Honorable SmithThe Honorable and Mrs. SmithThe Honorable and Mr. Smith
Officer – Male who is active duty or retired from the service General and Mrs. Steven Smith General and Mrs. Smith
Officer – Female who is active duty or retired from the service Captain Susan Smith, U.S. Army
Mr. Steven Smith
Captain Smith and Mr. Smith
Officers – Married Couple (if the wife out ranks the husband, then she is listed first) Major Jan Doe and Lieutenant John Doe Major Doe and Lieutenant Doe
President of the United States
Address:
The White House
Washington, D.C.  20500
The White House will send you an official greeting
The President and Mrs. Smith (if man)The President and Mr. Smith (if woman) The President and Mrs. SmithThe President and Mr. Smith

addressing clergy

Person(s) Receiving Invitation Outer with Inner Envelope and Outer Only Envelope Inner Envelope
THE POPE
Address:
Vatican City, Italy
The Pope will send you a Papal Blessing
His Holiness, The Pope His Holiness, The Pope
CARDINAL His Eminence, Steven, Cardinal Smith His Eminence, Cardinal Smith
ARCHBISHOP (RC) The Most Reverend Steven Smith Archbishop Smith
BISHOP (PE) The Most Reverend Dr. and Mrs. Steven Smith Bishop Smith and Mrs. Smith
BISHOP (Methodist) The Reverend Steven Smith and Mrs. Smith Bishop Smith and Mrs. Smith
BISHOP (Mormon) Bishop and Mrs. Steven Smith Bishop and Mrs. Smith
DEAN (PE) The Very Reverend and Mrs. Steven Smith (if man)
The Very Reverend Susan Smith and Mr. Steven Smith (if woman)
The Very Reverend and Mrs. Smith
Bishop Smith and Mr. Smith
CANON The Reverend Canon and Mrs. Steven Smith (if man)
The Reverend Susan Smith and Mr. Steven Smith (if woman)
The Reverend and Mrs. Smith
Canon Smith and Mr. Smith
MONSIGNOR The Right Reverend Monsignor Steven Smith Father Smith
or Monsignor Smith
PRIEST The Reverend Father (or the Right Reverend) Steven Smith Father Smith
MINISTER The Reverend and Mrs. Steven Smith The Reverend and Mrs. Smith
MOTHER SUPERIOR Mother Susan Smith Mother Smith
SISTER Sister Susan Smith Sister Susan
BROTHER Brother Steven Smith Brother Steven
RABBI Rabbi and Mrs. Steven Smith (if man)
Rabbi Susan Smith and Mr. Steven Smith (if woman)
Rabbi and Mrs. Smith
Rabbi Smith and Mr. Smith
RABBI (with Doctorate) Rabbi (or Dr.) and Mrs. Steven Smith Rabbi (or Dr.) and Mrs. Smith
CANTOR Cantor and Mrs. Steven Smith (if man)
Cantor Susan Smith and Mr. Steven Smith (if female)
Cantor and Mrs. Smith
Cantor Smith and Mr. Smith
CHAPLAIN Chaplain and Mrs. Steven Smith Chaplain and Mrs. Smith
MININSTER OR PASTOR The Reverend and Mrs. Steven Smith (if man)
The Reverend Sherri Smith and Mr. Steven Smith (if woman)
The Reverend Dr. and Mrs. Steven Smith (with Doctorate)
The Reverend (or Pastor) and Mrs. Smith
The Reverend (or Pastor) Smith and Mr. Smith
The Reverend Dr. And Mrs. Smith
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