When extending wedding invitations to a same-sex couple, you may find yourself pondering the appropriate way to address the invitation. Invitation etiquette can vary between couples and is often influenced by the formality of the event. Since the guidelines for this crucial detail aren’t rigid, selecting the correct format can be perplexing, regardless of the circumstances. In this guide, we provide you with comprehensive information on how to properly address invitations for both married and unmarried same-sex couples.
For Unmarried Couples:
If the same-sex couple is not married, it is best to address each individual separately with their appropriate title. Write each name on a distinct line, just as you would for an unmarried opposite-sex couple. The sequence of the names generally does not matter, but if you are unsure, arranging them alphabetically is a safe choice.
It is important to note that some same-sex couples may remain unmarried for legal reasons while considering themselves a committed pair. In such cases, you can list both names on one line and separate them with the word “and.”
For Married Couples:
When addressing a same-sex married couple, both names should appear on the same line, separated by the word “and.” You can opt to include an individual title for each name, such as “Mr. Dan Brown and Mr. John Smith” or “Mrs. Amanda Jones and Mrs. Jane Williams.” Since many same-sex couples retain their last names after marriage, this format will apply in most cases. Once again, arranging names alphabetically is a good practice if you are unsure.
Alternatively, for same-sex married couples with the same last name, you can use the plural form of the title. For men, you may write “The Messrs. Dan and John Smith” instead of “Mr. Dan Smith and Mr. John Smith” (though the latter is also correct and can be used if preferred). For women, consider “The Mesdames Amanda and Jane Williams” (or “Mrs. Amanda Williams and Mrs. Jane Williams” if preferred). These rules also apply if the couple has a hyphenated last name.
If you are uncertain, do not hesitate to ask the couple for their preferred salutation. They are likely to appreciate your consideration, and this approach will help you avoid errors in your invitations.