How Do You Address Wedding Invitations to the Officiating Pastor Conducting the Service?

by Amy S. Jorgensen

Wedding etiquette rules require that you should send an invitation to your ceremony’s officiant at the same time you send the rest of your invitations. If a religious leader is presiding over the ceremony, it is appropriate to include their official title in the address on both the outer and the inner envelopes.

Outer Envelope Titles

Regardless of what religion your officiant comes from, you should not abbreviate his or her title on the outer envelope. If the officiant is married, be sure to include the spouse’s name on the invitation as well. Because the outer envelope includes all of the postal information, you need to include the officiant's full name along with the title. Catholic priests should be referred to as "The Reverend Father" while Protestant ministers are called "The Reverend." Rabbis are simply referred to by that title. If applicable, the spouse's name should follow. For example, you might address the invitation to The Reverend John Doe and Mrs. Jane Doe.

Inner Envelope Titles

The purpose of the inner envelope is to include the names of all invited guests in the family, including those not specifically mentioned in the outer envelope’s address. If you plan to invite the officiant’s children, for example, you would include their names on this envelope. In most cases, the inner envelope is addressed only to the officiant or to the officiant and spouse. You do not need to include the officiant’s full name. Instead, you would write Father Doe, Reverend Doe, or Rabbi Doe for a Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish pastor, respectively. If the spouse is also invited, you would address the inner envelope to Reverend Doe and Mrs. Doe.

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About the Author

Amy Jorgensen has ghostwritten more than 100 articles and books on raising and training animals. She is also an amateur dog trainer. She has also written more than 200 blog posts, articles, and ebooks on wedding and party planning on behalf of professionals in the field.