WEDDING GUIDE: How to Address Save the Dates

(Updated May 2016)

My engagement happened over three years ago and I’ve learned so much since that time. One of the main things I realized is that planning a wedding involves many little etiquette details that most people may only need to use once in their lifetime. I want to make it easier for my readers by sharing a wedding stationery tip: showing you how to address save the dates for your wedding.

Quick Save-the-Date Story from 2014

“My Save the Date cards arrived last week, so I am officially knee high in Save-the-Dates right now.  My fiance and I have chose an early 1900’s building for our wedding venue, naturally we decided to have a vintage look and feel. I ordered our save the date cards through the invitation company Minted by choosing a style called Rustic Charm.  Although these save the dates are called rustic charm, I think the lace edging will complement our vintage theme and help set the tone for our wedding.”

“After unpacking, lining, and stuffing invitations into the envelope, I arrived at the point of addressing each one.  This is when you would bribe your bridal party crew with good wine and tell them you have a project for them!”

"Minted" Rustic Charm Save the dates

Matching Save-the-Dates to your Theme

Many couples wonder if they need to match their save the date cards to their wedding theme. For those who have not finalized a wedding color scheme or style yet, don’t worry. There isn’t a hard an fast rule that as far as I’m aware. If you do know what color scheme or style you’d like, go ahead and choose something in the same general style.  It’s common for couples to have a little more fun with save the date cards and leave the formality for the wedding invitations.

Save-the-date Slideshow refresher

Since weddings are a once in a lifetime experience, most brides keep to the tradition and etiquette of formally hand-addressing their wedding invitations. However, in the age of electronic mail knowing how to properly address wedding stationery can be overwhelming. Click  through the following slides to get a little more guidance.

 

14 Tips For How To Address Save The Dates

  1. Keep the names of a married couple on the same line. For a couple that is unmarried, put their names on separate lines.
  2. Write out everyone’s full name and do not use nick names or initials
  3. Spell out in full all addresses that are under 20 digits
  4. Spell out the state/province in full
  5. Spell out all abbreviations such as Post Office Box, Avenues, Street, Apartment, etc.
  6. Print the host’s return address on the back flap of the envelop, but do not include the hosts name.
  7. If you are inviting children under eighteen to the wedding, list their names under their parents names on the invitation from oldest to youngest.
  8. If you are inviting children over eighteen who are  still living at home with their parents,  you should send them a separate save-the-date and invitation.
  9. If you can, find out the name of your guest’s “plus one”,  and add it to the invitation. Otherwise, it is appropriate to add “and guest” after the guest’s last name.
  10. Do not use symbols (e.g., Spell out the word “and”).
  11. Mister and Misses can and should be abbreviated (i.e., Mr. and Mrs.)
  12. Do not add “and family.”  Clearly state who is invited on the envelope.  Make  it crystal clear for everyone so that there are no awkward phone conversations later.
  13. Unless there is not enough room on the invitation,  guests with titles should be spelled out in full (e.g., Doctor, Reverend, or Captain)
  14. Don’t use texting habits to shorten words (i.e., see you there; not ‘c u there‘)

I hope that this slide show helps to speed up the process of addressing your wedding invitations! Now what kind of wine should we bribe our bridal troops with?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my bride and groom readers.
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6 comments

  1. This is wonderful and the visuals are helpful. Question.. in the last slide ‘married couple, spell out husband’s name in full’, the state is abbreviated. Rule 4 says, spell out the state/province in full. Is this is an oversight, or is it different in this case? Thanks for the clarification!

    • Hi Victoria,

      Thank you for the lovely comments. And good eye! Sorry this was an oversight on my part. The state and province should be spelled out in full. 🙂 Thank you for catching that.

  2. Thank you for this post! It’s so helpful! My FI and I have horrible handwriting, so we have decided to print the addresses directly onto the envelopes. It looks like you did the same in the pictures. What font did you use to address the envelopes?

  3. Hi! Thank you for your helpful hints! For the Save the Dates…when addressing a single male or female that goes by their middle name, do you use their real name or the name they go by? Example: Chandler Kyle Smith (he goes by Kyle) Do you address the envelope as Mr. Kyle Smith or Mr. Chandler Smith or Mr. Chandler Kyle Smith ?? Thank you, in advance, for your help!

    • Hi Lauren,
      Great question! From both my research and experience I would say the answer really depends on the level of formality that you would like to set for the wedding.

      If you are aiming for formal then you could either write “Mr. Chandler Kyle Smith” or even “Mr. C. Kyle Smith”.

      Alternatively, a less formal approach is to simply address the preferred (commonly known) middle name. So “Mr. Kyle Smith” would be appropriate.

      From personal experience, I know my mom hates both of her first TWO names, and prefers/expects her third given name even for formal invitations to something like a wedding. The only place she would use her first names is on legal documents such as bank accounts, medical information, etc.

      Hope that helps!
      Andrew

  4. Really helpful information for new brides. So many send out save the date cards with hardly any information and this page helps.

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