wedding invitations

How to address wedding invitations – a guide

What is the proper way to address wedding invitations?

It’s a question many couples ask and there’s really no right or wrong answer. Don’t panic, we’ve put together some handy guidelines to help you!

For a married couple with children the correct form of address, (according to the social etiquette ‘bible’ Debretts) is;

Mr & Mrs Barrie Thomas, Ellis & Huw

This is perfect if your invitations are traditional and formally worded, with the parents of the bride hosting i.e.

Mr & Mrs John Jones
request the pleasure of the company of
Mr & Mrs Barrie Thomas, Ellis & Huw
at the marriage of their daughter . . . .

But I quite like the following too, I like to call it ‘smart casual’;

Barrie & Emma Thomas, Ellis & Huw

and this is great if your invitations are more informal;

Together with their families
Joanne Jones & Richard Smith
are delighted to invite
Barrie & Emma Thomas, Ellis & Huw

If you have a family where the parents have different surnames, use both of them;

Mr Barrie Thomas, Miss Emma Pearce, Ellis & Huw
Barrie Thomas, Emma Pearce, Ellis & Huw

Use first names only to avoid the issue of surnames altogether and keep things really informal;

Barrie, Emma, Ellis & Huw

Frequently asked questions:

Whose name should go first on the invitation?

When you address wedding invitations, if you know both partners then traditionally the man’s name would go first (if you’re not worried about tradition go with whichever!). Where you know one half of a couple better than the other, put their name first. The same applies for same sex couples.

Can we address it to ‘and family’?

It’s better to use specific names, to be clear exactly who is invited. This avoids confusion over whether children are invited or not, and also where households may include members of extended family. Traditional etiquette says that if children are not named then they are excluded from the invitation (they are not invited). If you think your guests may need further clarification on this include an explanatory note in your guest information.

What about inviting ‘plus ones’?

When you are inviting partners try to avoid ‘and guest’ or ‘plus one’, wherever possible try to establish the name.

Aunty Sue & Uncle Bob?

Confused about how to address wedding invitations to family members? Should you use their first name or Mam, Dad, Aunty, Uncle etc? Think about who the invitation is coming from and how would the person doing the inviting address the guest in question. If the invitations are coming from you as a couple and you feel comfortable using ‘Aunty Sue & Uncle Bob’ then do!

Finally, remember that these are guidelines only, there are no hard and fast rules when you addres wedding invitations. You might find that you don’t want to use the same form of address for all of your guests. Perhaps the more senior family members would prefer to see their invitation complete with courtesy titles (Mr, Mrs etc) whilst younger friends and colleagues would find this stuffy and over formal. It’s your wedding, do it your way. If you need help, just get in touch.

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