How To Address Wedding Invitations

As a wedding planner, a common question I get from couples during the invitation process is how to best address wedding invitations. With so many modern, wonderfully blended families, this can get tricky. So I thought it would be helpful to get them all in one place. Here are some of my best tips:

  1. Married Couple:
    • Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Rowell (spell out the husband's full first name)
  2. Single Female Guest:
    • Ms. Ashley Murphy (use Ms. if she is over the age of 16; if under, use Miss)
  3. Hyphenated Last Name:
    • Mr. David Murphy and Ms. Susan Allan-Murphy (Mrs. instead of Ms. is also acceptable...but default to Ms. if unsure of her preference)
  4. Unmarried Couple Living Together:
    • Mr. Joseph Smith and Ms. Lucy Abbott (male first, using "and" in between names)
  5. Divorced Female Who Kept Married Name:
    • Mrs. OR Ms. Janice Elwell (if possible, find out which she prefers. If unsure, or if divorced for a while, default to Ms.)
  6. Divorced Female Who Uses Maiden Name:
    • Ms. Julia Smith 
  7. Same Sex Couple:
    • Mr. Ryan O'Toole and Mr. Adam Smith (either can go first; default to alpha order)
  8. Married Couple, Both Doctors, Same Last Name:
    • The Doctors Sullivan or The Drs. Sullivan
  9. Married Couple, Both Doctors, Different Last Name:
    • Doctor (or Dr.) Amy Sullivan and Doctor (or Dr.) George O'Toole
  10. Married Couple, Female Doctor, Same Last Name:
    • Doctor (or Dr.) Amy Sullivan and Mr. George Sullivan (her name comes first)
  11. Widow:
    • Mrs. Nancy Smith OR Mrs. David Smith (can use female's first name or the first name of her late husband)

In terms of judges, commissioned officers, or the like, follow the guideline for doctors - the person with the higher title is always listed first as he/she "outranks" her partner's title. If they are the same title, the male is listed first. Good luck! You can always shoot us an email if you have questions. 

Twin Lights Wedding Design provides boutique wedding planner and wedding coordinator services in Massachusetts serving Cape Ann, the North Shore, and the greater Boston area.