Addressing Invitations When Inviting Children

Picture of children at wedding
Q: I wish to invite children to my wedding and reception, what is the proper way to address the envelope to include the children?
Lisa L.

Answer:

If you will be using both inner and outer envelopes, the outer envelope should be addressed to the parent’s names only. The inner envelope, however, should contain the parents names AS WELL as the children’s names, which, incidentally, should be written on a separate line just beneath the parent’s names.

The inner envelope would look like this:
Mr. and Mrs. John and Mary Jones
Betsy and Bobby

If Mr. and Mrs Jones happen to be close personal acquaintances of yours, or family members, you may address the inner envelope slightly more informally:
John and Mary
Betsy and Bobby

OR, in the case of family members:
Uncle John and Aunt Mary
Betsy and Bobby

The outer envelope, however, is always written in the utmost of formality; the wife’s first name is not referred to, and the children’s names are not listed. It should look like this:
Mr. and Mrs. John Jones

If you are not using a set of double envelopes, preferring outer envelopes only, then the parent’s names are referred to as in the example directly above, however, the children’s first names should be listed, on a separate line:
Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
Betsy and Bobby
123 Green Street
Denver, Colorado
12345

Note also that “street”, “avenue”, etc. should be spelled out in full, not abbreviated. In accordance with etiquette, the same holds true for the city and state or province names. However, because the postal service in both the US and Canada prefers a two letter abbreviation for state names on all mail, the ‘etiquette enforcers’ WILL now allow you to abbreviate if you prefer – however, for the utmost in formality and social correctness, stay with the non abbreviated versions. Not to worry, the postal service will let it through! [Photo Credit: Copyright S.Su]

Linda Kevich is an internationally recognized wedding expert, a syndicated columnist, and the creator and editor of SuperWeddings.com. She has been a professional wedding planner and stylist for two decades. She is the developer of an international certification program for wedding planners which has been one of the leaders in the field of wedding planner training since 1999. She offers expert advice about all aspects of weddings through her Wedding Expert column. Have a wedding etiquette question? Ask the Wedding Expert!

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