An Online Guide for Addressing Wedding Invitations

Figuring out how to address wedding invitations can cause a lot of unnecessary stress on your wedding day. Family situations have changed a great deal over the past few decades, making wedding invitation etiquette a bit more difficult. This guide answers all your questions about traditional wedding etiquette for invitations as well as how to use casual wording. 

How to Address Wedding Invitations from the Bride and Groom

The “host” is the person or persons who pay for the wedding. It is growing increasingly common for couples to pay for their own weddings. At the same time, they don’t want to seem disrespectful to their parents when addressing the wedding invitations.

The modern thought on wedding invitation etiquette is to put the bride’s name first, followed by the groom’s:

Charlotte Smith


Oliver Jones

Request the honour of your presence

At their wedding

Another option that allows you to include your families even if you are hosting your own wedding is:

Charlotte Smith

and Oliver Jones

together with their families

request the company of

Ava Williams

at their wedding

Wedding Invite Etiquette When the Parents Are the Hosts

Traditionally, the father of the bride paid for the entire wedding. Today, the couple, their parents, or any other family members might split the costs. If the bride’s or groom’s parents are hosting the wedding, you should word the wedding invitations appropriately. If one set of parents are funding the wedding, you would put their names first and then the name of their child, followed by the other person’s name.

John and Elizabeth Smith

Request the pleasure of your company

To celebrate the marriage of their daughter

Charlotte Elaine


Oliver Noah

(son of William and Amelia Jones)

If both the bride’s and groom’s parents are paying,

John and Elizabeth Smith

together with William and Amelia Jones

request the pleasure of your company

to celebrate the marriage of their children

Charlotte Elaine


Oliver Noah

How to Address Wedding Invitations When the Groom’s or Bride’s Parents Are Divorced

These situations can get especially tricky when both sets of parents are divorced. There could also be step-parents involved in the mix. The best solution is to address the invitations in a way that reflects your relationships with each parent and step-parent. Also, factor in who is contributing financially to host the wedding. Only include parents’ names if it feels natural to you.

When addressing wedding invites for divorced parents, the mother is listed first, followed by the father. Put the names on separate lines and omit the word ‘and’. Use the mum’s current surname and the correct title for her current marital status.

Ms Elizabeth Brown

Mr John Smith

request the honour of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Charlotte Elaine


Oliver Noah

When a Parent Is Deceased

This is simply a matter of choice as to whether to include a deceased loved one’s name on the invitation or not. If you do, avoid making it sound as though they are hosting your wedding. The simplest way to avoid pain and confusion is to list them as the late (deceased parent’s name.) Other ways to honour the parent in your wedding include reading a poem, lighting a candle, or displaying a photo and inscription at the ceremony.

Addressing Wedding Invites to a Married Couple

If you want to address your wedding invitations in a traditional or formal style, you will include the titles before each name. For example, Mr and Mrs Joseph Taylor. If you prefer a more casual or familiar approach, address them as Joseph and Sarah Taylor. However, the most common way of listing both names is Mr Joseph and Mrs Sarah Taylor.

Whose name goes first on a wedding invitation is different for married couples with different last names. In this case, you list them alphabetically regardless of whether it’s the husband or wife.

Addressing Wedding Invitations for Unmarried Couples

If the couple doesn’t live together, you can send the invitations separately. If you prefer to address them together, you can either list them alphabetically or put either name first. If the couple lives together, place their names on separate lines without an ‘and’ between them. Traditionally, the man’s name goes first, but you can put either name first. Follow these same guidelines for engaged couples depending on whether they live together or not.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette for Same-Sex Couples

Follow the same protocol for gay couples as for unmarried or married couples. Place their names in alphabetical order.

Addressing Wedding Invitations for Singles

The tricky part of addressing wedding invites to singles is including guests or adding a plus one. You can include guest names on wedding invitations to address those whose names you know. You can also choose to include a plus one or not so they can invite the guest of their choice. When you want to put a plus one, write “and guest” in small letters.

How to Address a Divorcee

You will typically use the name that the divorcee currently goes by. If it is her maiden name, use Ms. If she uses her married name, use Mrs. If she has remarried, you should invite both her and her new husband.

For a Widow or Widower

The person’s name stays the same. For a widow, use Mrs (husband’s name).

For Families with Children

If you wish to include the children in the invitation, they should be listed individually below the names of the parents. Children aged 18 and older will have Mr or Ms in front of their names.

Start with the Perfect Wedding Invitations

Baileys carries all of the beautifully designed wedding stationery you need for your big day. Shop our collection at our online print store for everything you need, from engagement announcements to thank you cards. Contact us with any questions you have about ordering the perfect wedding invitations for your special day.

Baileys Print Co.

Baileys Print Co. is a family run printing business based in Melbourne. We’ve been getting inky fingers for over 19 years.