Welcome back to another installment in our military wedding week mini series—we hope you’re learning lots as we explore tips, advice and inspiration for military weddings in the Washington DC area. Today we’re talking wedding stationery tips and what you need to know. Military wedding etiquette for stationery follow many of the same guidelines as civilian weddings, so the main differences lie in the use of titles, ranks and branch of service identification for one or both partners, and that of any of their parents as well. On that note, let’s get started…
Military Rank + Branches of Service
Include the ranks of military personnel if either partner is a member of the military. This also applies to a wedding host, or parent(s) of either partner who are members of the military. For senior officers, the rank appears before the full name; for junior officers, rank appears underneath the name; for enlisted personnel, exclude the rank. (Note: Military titles, branch of service and the phrase “United Stated” should never be abbreviated—always spell it out in its entirety!).
- If one or both are senior officers, their titles appear before their names, followed by the branch or service on the line below:
Colonel Ross Eustace Gellar
United States Air Force
- If one or both are junior or company-grade officers, their titles appear underneath their names, followed by the branch of service on the same line:
Rachel Karen Green
Second Lieutenant, United States Air Force
- If one or both are enlisted personnel, rank is usually omitted. The full name is written on one line, with the branch of service on the line below:
United States Air Force
The invitation style for military weddings follow the same traditional format as civilian wedding—the wedding hosts, followed by the names of the couple, etc. If either parent is an officer in the military, use the appropriate rank; however, when an officer’s name appears with a spouse’s name, the branch of military service is not included. If the couple is hosting their own wedding, use their rank and branch of service.
- If the military personnel member is retired, this is indicated after the branch of service:
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hannigan
United States Air Force, Retired
requests the honor of your presence…
- If an officer’s name is used with their spouse’s name, the branch of service is excluded from the line below:
Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Michael Hannigan
request the honor of your presence…
When addressing wedding invitations, use the full name of the guest and ranks (spelled out in its entirety!) on the outer envelope. With the exception of a military rank, abbreviations can be used on the inner envelope only.
- Outside envelopes should be addressed with full names, no abbreviated titles:
Major and Mrs. Chandler Muriel Bing
or Captain Joseph Tribbiani
- Inner envelope is addressed with abbreviations:
Major and Mrs. Bing
or Captain Tribbiani
- An invitation to a married couple with the same rank and service:
Captains Chandler and Monica Bing
or The Captains Bing
Did I miss anything? Talk to me! Be sure to join us later this week for more in our military wedding week series – it is going to be awesome!
Are you looking for more local wedding ideas and advice? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.