How to Address Retired Military Wedding Invitations?

Did you know that sending out invitations to a military wedding follows a specific protocol? It's akin to the usual way of inviting people to a wedding, but it places significant importance on the proper application of titles and ranks. In this article, we will delve into the subtleties of how to address invitations for a retired military wedding.

The wedding invitation is something formal and that needs to be done with proper care. You need to be aware of a lot of things such as the name itself, name title, date, and much more thing. However, in this specific article, we will only discuss how to address retired military wedding invitations.

Keep reading the article if you have been confused about this.

How to Address Retired Military Wedding Invitations?

In most cases, you can write the retired officers are addressed with their titles in the invitation. This practice is more prominent in the ranks of the commander and lieutenant. However, they must add the retired note after the name in the invitation if they are adding the title.

As an example, if retired lieutenant colonel of the US Army name is Smith Jhonson, you will require writing it in this way:

Lieutenant Colonel Smith Jhonson

United States Army, Retired

Make sure that you are writing the title and the full name in the first line. Then in the second line, you will write where he served and then retired. There should not be any comma to separate the line. The only place you need to put the comma is in the last line before Retired.

How to Address Other Military Wedding Invitations?

You need to be careful about addressing while someone is serving in the civil force and they are also active in the duty. Below, we will let you know some most common cases and how to address them in the correct way.

When the Bride or Groom Has a Rank

There are actually several ways to address active military personnel when they are to be bride or groom. However, in the official form, you will require writing the full rank at first and then you will write the full name. After that, you will write the branch of their service where they are serving followed by a comma.

So, if the name of the person is Jhonson Smith and he is a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, you will write something like this:

First Lieutenant Jhonshon Smith, USMC

As you see here, you will require writing the short form of the service. You can also write the name in the first line and then the title in the second line and the service. Something like this:

Johnson Smith

First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps

The contemporary style of writing the name in the wedding invitation is the title comes first and then the full name in the same line. The next line will include the service in full form. Here is an example of what it is:

First Lieutenant Jhonson Smith

United States Marine Corps

When Both Bride and Groom Have a Rank

A wedding where the bride and groom are both in the active-duty military is not something rare nowadays. It is confusing to understand how to write the rank when both of the partners have discrete ranks at different services. In such a case, you will require following the same etiquette of wedding invitation as the civilian wedding. However, there is an exception which is using the title and the service name.

First, you will require writing the rank and then the full name. In the next line, you will require writing the service designation. Note that you should never abbreviate the titles unless there are space limitations. Here is an example:

First Lieutenant Jhonson Smith

United States Marine Corps

Some experts also recommend that it is not necessary to include the rank at first if the officer rank is not in 03 or above. For the below ranks, they suggest the name should be in the second line before the service designation.

When Father of the Bride or Groom Has a Military Rank

When it comes to the retired personals, you can write their rank but the service designation is not important unless it is an official communication. For things like wedding invitations, birthdays, personal letters, etc., there is no need to put the designations. All it requires is to write the name with rank before it. So, the father of the bride as a host can write the name like this:

Major Jhonson Smith

United States Marine Corps

Not that adding retired is not that necessary if this is not an official communication. Besides, if the father of the bride and the mother of the bride’s name needs to be included in the wedding invitation, you can write like this:

Lieutenant Jhonson Smith and Mrs. (Mother Name)

United States Marine Corps

What Rank to Use if the Groom is Waiting for a Promotion?

Sometimes, the groom or bride might wait for a promotion and in the middle of that their wedding happens. In such a situation, what you should do? In such a situation, the experts recommend using their to-be title. Such as, if you are a 2nd Lt., and you are waiting to be promoted to 1st Lt., then you should write the 1st Lt.

How to Address a Military Guest?

When it comes to inviting military guests, you will also require using their rank with the name. The case is true both for the usual wedding and the military waiting. At first, you will require writing the full rank and then the full name on the first line. Then you will require writing the address in the second line. To make things easier for you, here is an example:

Lieutenant Jhonson Smith



The wedding invitation is something that will people notice in the first place. It is like the first details of your wedding. So, you will not want to go wrong with that. We hope that the above information will help you to address retired and active military wedding invitations accurately.

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