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Invitation Etiquette

Issued By

According to traditional custom, Wedding Invitations are to be issued by the parents of the bride; or by a surviving parent. These days, brides and grooms are quickly changing this tradition and taking the task upon themselves and choosing to work with their own guest lists.



Invitations and announcements are folded with the printed surface on the outside except for contemporary invitations which are folded with the printed surface on the inside. Contemporary invitations usually have a design or caption on the outside.


Two envelopes are used with wedding invitations and announcements. The invitation or announcement and accompanying cards (reception and response cards, etc.) are first enclosed in an inner envelope which has no glue on the flap. Guests´ names are written on the front of the inner envelope (titles and last names only - no address). Example " Mr. and Mrs. Smith ". The invitation or announcement is inserted into the inner envelope folded edge first. The inner envelope is then placed within the outer envelope with its flap facing the front of the outer envelope. The outer envelope is addressed for mailing. Envelopes should always be written out by hand.



As a general rule, abbreviations are avoided. The exceptions are long established contractions such as "Mr.", "Mrs." or " Jr.". House numbers are written in figures, while numbered streets are usually written out.


Addresses of churches, clubs or public buildings are usually omitted because such addresses are considered superfluous. However, a street address may be shown below the name of the church or club if such an address is considered necessary for better direction.

Correct Social Titles for Men

The correct social title for a man, the groom, the one issuing the invitations, or an invited guest, is "Mr." with the exception of: 1) reverend, 2) doctor, 3) judge, 4) justice.

Correct Social Titles for Women

If the bride is a doctor of medicine or dentistry, she does not use her title when the invitation is being issued by her parents. If, however, the invitation is being issued by the bride and groom or a guardian, the bride´s name is given as "Doctor Susan Howard".


If the bride has a doctorate degree and uses her title professionally, she has the option of calling herself "Ms.", "Miss" or " Doctor" if she is issuing her own invitations.

When addressing an invitation to a married woman with a title, it is tradition to use her married name. If, however, she prefers her professional title or has retained her maiden name, you would put the wife´s name above the husband´s on the outer envelope. The inner envelope would carry the couple´s married name, "Mr. and Mrs. Andrews".

If the bride will be retaining her maiden name after the marriage, an at home card announcing this would be included with the invitation or announcement. The wording might be: "Susan Howard, Charles Bedford, at home...". This situation is never handled in the invitation wording itself.

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