14 Comments

  1. Natalie

    Hi!
    I need to create e-invitations for an Open House event. Many of our contacts are same sex couples who either are married or live together. How would I address these invitees? (would it be for example: Mr. LastName1 and Mr. LastName2) Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth

      I’m not exactly sure about the format of your e-vites, but usually invitations are addressed to Mr. Firstname Lastname and Mr. Firstname2 Lastname2. Only on the inner envelope of a formal invitation would you use Mr. Lastname. If both of them share the same last name, you could use Mr. Firstname1 and Mr. Firstname2 Lastname.

    • Alicia

      Einvitations are in my mind electronic invitations are casual and go to someones email. As it a rare thing that a couple would share an email address you would send separate emails to each person in the couple. If you only know one person inn the couple the wording would be addressing it to the person who has the email Mrs Post for example and then mentioning in the text that you wish them to bring their spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/family whatever. The idea being that only the one person would be opening the email .

    • Alicia

      On same sex couples I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Manners shortly after I got invited to my first same sex wedding. When I asked her how to address the couple formally once married she told me that the formal correct manner is the older member of the couple first then the younger one. In formal wording the word “and”means married or in case of states where marriage forbidden that it means the couple has a marriage like commitment.

  2. Becky

    My fiancé and I are planning a relatively small wedding and reception of 100-120 in November – trying to keep it intimate and elegant. We are both in our 40’s and had large weddings hosted by our parents for our first marriages. Because of our extensive professional and volunteer involvement in the community and church, we could easily have a guest list that surpasses 350, but we do have a strict budget. We have had to severely limit some guests because many come as a ‘package’ where excluding one or two couples of a group could hurt feelings, particularly among the church community. At this point, friends have already offered to host an engagement party and a wedding-eve party (in lieu of a ‘rehearsal dinner’). We are asking that our guests not give gifts (and do know better than to print that on the invitation), but may give in to some friends that want to do a couples ‘stock the bar’ shower. We now have another generous offer to host a cocktail party before the wedding….but from a couple we weren’t able to include on the guest list (but we have now!) I know that it is taboo to invite guests to pre-wedding parties and showers that are not included on the wedding guest list. But since this couple is from the church, I wonder if it may be appropriate for this party to include almost exclusively, our church family that we are not able to invite to the wedding (probably 50-75)? It is not a gift giving occasion, but an opportunity to share our joy with some dear people who we aren’t able to include because the wedding will be so small. I think it would be more appropriate to do such a party after the wedding and don’t know that the hosts would be opposed to that idea, but hesitate suggesting such an alternative to their gracious offer.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      You have already answered your own question. It is rude to invite people to pre-wedding events who are not invited to the wedding. Etiquette issues aside, doing so will also cause people to assume they are invited to the wedding and you will be in the uncomfortable position of having to explain to them why they aren’t invited that otherwise wouldn’t have been necessary. Try telling this kind friend you are too busy with wedding planning to have a party before the wedding. Maybe you could have a party after the wedding? There don’t have to be any guest restrictions for post-wedding parties.

      • Elizabeth

        I agree with Winifred 100%. A post-wedding event would be best.

        I wanted to offer you an alternative, though, that may or may not work with the traditions of your church. I’m Jewish, and while we don’t have weddings on Saturdays (worship days), we do often have other celebrations like bar mitzvahs, which is kind of like Confirmation. It’s for boys and girls ages 12-13, and symbolizes their entry into adulthood/personal responsibility. Anyway – these are often celebrated with very elaborate parties at halls, etc, and there is a similar possibility of hurting the feelings of those from the community who are not invited. However, immediately after the service, it is also tradition for the family to host a Kiddush, or what you might call “Fellowship,” which is the post-worship snacks and coffee. This, too can be modest or elaborate, sometimes including expensive deli trays or full tables of assorted sweets. As a way to celebrate with your church family, could you host a post-worship social? This could be done (rather lavishly) for a couple of hundred dollars, and it would be a way for you to celebrate without the expectation of an invitation (because the whole congregation is invited).

        Lastly, I did want to point out that it is exactly this problem you’re having that wedding experts try to help people avoid when they say: make your guest list FIRST, your budget SECOND, and then choose the level of celebration accordingly. If you had chosen a more informal and less expensive reception, or even a cake and punch reception, you could have invited everyone near and dear to you. Instead, you chose to have an event of a certain expense and formality, and that is what is hindering you from inviting everyone you would like. It’s putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

  3. stressed out

    I am getting married for the first and only time in October.
    My fiance has been married before and had the usual wedding and shower.
    I understand that you shouldn’t invite someone to the shower that was at his first one and I am having trouble with this rule.
    Two of his aunts are helping make our table runners, napkins and other items. And then there are his friends that have become my friends, not just as an acquaintance – we have vacationed several times together.
    And my future mother in law couldn’t be more adamant as to who I am allowed to invite to the shower. She said that everyone went to the first shower and gifts already.
    I feel like there will only be his mother and sister there from his side, this just make me sad. I have grown to love his family I feel that this would be slighting them if I dont invite them.
    I am not looking for gifts from these family members, only that they come and celebrate with us and I mentioned that I would say not to bring anything (gift or otherwise) and my FMIL said they would feel that they had to.
    I have asked quite a few people their thoughts on this and they think I should invite who I want, that is is my shower and not hers.
    I am not trying to start a war here. This is crazy hard for me – I live with my FMIL and we typically get along very well.
    PLEASE help.
    BTW all of his friends and family are invited to the wedding/reception. Do I just ask them if they even want to come???

    • Alicia

      Who is hosting the shower in your honor they should be the ones dealing with this issue not you. A bride does not host the shower in her honor.
      That said attending a shower people will feel obligate to give gifts. If what you really want is these people to party with you then ask the hostess to make it a tea or other non shower prewedding party that does not have at its heart the concept of giving gifts. If what you want is a shower then no other then very close relatives people should only be invited to one shower per person.So no his friends and more distant relations should not be invited if they were invited to his previous brides shower. If they became friends after the previous wedding they may be invited.
      That said in the majority of cases showers are not fun for the guests. Most women I know attend them out of a sense of obligation and love for the couple not because they actually want to attend them. It is very unlikely that you will upset people by not inviting them to a shower particularly if you do not mention it to them.

  4. Jody

    I agree with Alicia that the shower host should be dealing with the issue. Still, unless the shower is a surprise, the host should ask the bride who she wants to invite. If you want your fiance’s family members there, invite them. It’s up to them to decline the invitation or accept it. They may well want to celebrate with you, whether or not it’s “proper” to invite them. They may be more hurt at not being invited than being asked to a second shower.

    If you’re concerned about the gifts issue, I also agree that a non-shower pre-wedding party might be the way to go, where it would be clearer that no gifts are expected.

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

  5. Hittin fifty

    I am having a birthday but can’t afford a party. It is a Milestone and want my friends to join us. how do. I invite guests letting thm know it is Dutch once we are out

    • Country Girl

      The short answer is: you don’t. It isn’t polite or kind to invite people to pay their own way to your birthday party. If you cannot afford to host a birthday party out at a restaurant, then there are plenty of other options for celebrating. You could just stick to an intimate family celebration, or if you want to include friends you could host a small gathering at your home with things that you can afford (a tea party with tea and small sandwiches, a make-your-own-pizza party, or just getting together for some cake and coffee.) The entire cost of the food and refreshments for these types of parties is equal to about what you’d be paying for just your own meal out at a fancy restaurant, plus you won’t have to risk insulting your loved ones.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      You can call them and say “We’re going out to ABC Restaurant. Entrees cost around $X. Would you like to join us?”

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