The Etiquette of Writing and Addressing Wedding Invitations

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Part of the Wedding Etiquette For Dummies Cheat Sheet

There's a purpose for all the etiquette surrounding written wedding invitations. The etiquette of writing and addressing invitations provides important answers for wedding guests: They'll know who the hosts are; who's invited; and the locations of the ceremony and reception. Before you select your invitations, you need to know how to properly word your invitations; send all the right enclosures with your invitations; and properly address the envelopes so that everyone clearly understands who’s invited:

  • Spell out professional titles, such as Doctor and Reverend, and all military titles (General, Major, and so on.) for names on your invitations. Acceptable abbreviations are the nonprofessional titles of Mr., Mrs., and Ms. Don’t include academic titles, such as PhD, on the invitation unless the person is a minister with a theological degree. And no nicknames! Use full names instead (such as Michael rather than Mike). If you choose to include any middle names on the invitation, spell them out, too.

  • Spell out street names, such as Avenue, Boulevard, and Street, on all invitations. Also spell out days of the week, dates, months, times, and numbers in addresses for invitations to black tie and formal weddings. For invitations to semiformal and informal weddings, you can use numbers freely.

  • For a ceremony in a house of worship, use the word honour to show reverence to God, as in “request the honour of your presence.” For a location other than a house of worship, even if the ceremony is religious, use the phrase “request the pleasure of your company.”

  • Give the hosts of your wedding top billing on the invitation.

  • Do not include gift registry information or gift suggestions on your invitations. And never, ever, handwrite anything on the invitation.

  • Include lodging information on a separate enclosure card with a map and directions to your ceremony and reception. You may also include this information with your save-the-date cards and/or on your wedding Web site.

  • Address the inside envelope with exactly whom you’re inviting. For example, writing “Mr. and Mrs. Swanson” tells your guests that just the Mr. and Mrs. are invited, not their children.

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