Whether composed of flowery prose or words with a hint of sarcasm, the wedding card you select is a gesture of your well wishes. Yet, it's not until you sit down to address the envelope to the joyous pair that you realize you aren't quite sure what to write and you refer to the rules of etiquette. Of utmost consideration is whether or not the couple is engaged, yet to be married, or already wed. Once you establish the state of their union, you can proceed with addressing the wedding card envelope properly.
Address the envelope as "Mr. John Jones," "Ms. Jill Parks" each on a separate line and placing the last names in alphabetical order, if the couple is engaged and living at the same address. Always use "Ms." never "Mrs." if the couple is unmarried. It is also permissible to use "Miss" if the lady has never been married before, but today that is usually reserved for a young girl.
Address the card to "Mr. and Mrs. John Jones" if the couple is already married and the wife took her husband's last name as her own.
Write "Mr. John Jones and Mrs. Jill Parks" if the couple is married and the wife kept her own last name. In this case "Ms." may also be used for the woman.
If the couple is not married and her last name comes before his in the alphabet, it is appropriate to write her name before his when addressing the envelope, again on two separate lines: "Ms. Jill Black"/"Mr. Jack Hill"
If one of the two people is a doctor, use his or her title when addressing the envelope: "Dr. and Mrs. Jack Hill" or "Dr. Jill and Mr. Jack Hill." Or if both are doctors, you would address them as "The Drs. Hill" or "Drs. Jack and Jill Hill."
- Manners That Sell: Greeting Card Tango
- Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette; Peggy Post; 2007
- beige envelope & red flowers & blank page image by Monika Forysiak from Fotolia.com