Guest List Etiquette
There are a lot of ways to address people, especially today, and sometimes what is traditional and formal, just doesn’t feel as personal.
Weddings have changed a lot over the past decade, and the type of event you are planning can help you quickly determine how you want to address your guests, because let’s face it, there are enough more complicated decisions you’re having to make right now. Here’s a quick reference.
Etiquette for Addressing Your Guests
Traditional Guest Addressing
Emily Post has the most comprehensive guide for breaking down your most traditional guest addressing. You can’t go wrong with tradition—
Mr. and Mrs. John and Anna Smith
I suggest sending a separate invitation for anyone in a family that is over 18, but still lives at home.
The Jones Family
Mr. and Mrs. John Jones and Family
Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
Lilly, Doug, and Collin
Ms. Laura Edward
For younger ladies, under 18 address as:
Miss Lilly Jones
Address the guest who you are closer with first regardless of male/female
Ms. Anna Smith and Mr. John Wallace
This is a tricky one, and you may want to consult a parent on their preference for this one. Some divorced women still prefer to be addressed as Mrs. You may want to ask if they go by their maiden name since their separation
Ms. Diane Pearson
Widow, not remarried
Mrs. Rachel Walker
Creating a Guest List
Build a List that You Can Repurpose
This is a quick reference. For more details on creating your guest list
Create your list in Excel, or export it from The Knot/WeddingWire to a spreadsheet.
Have columns for: name, street, apartment, city, state, and zip code. If you are able to separate them all out, it makes your list easier to use for a variety of purposes beyond envelopes.
Be sure that each column shows the name and address exactly as you'd like them to appear on the envelopes. ex. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.
Always spell out states. Always.
I also recommend spelling out roads, avenues, circles, drives. It will look so much more complete when your guest’s receive them.
Proofread your list carefully! Someone always moves while you're trying to get your invites out–that's ok and we can fix that... just make sure all of the cities line up with their zip codes and the street address and apartment number are correct.