Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.


  1. KMS

    My husband and I have been invited to my friend’s wedding in Miami (we live in the Northeast). He does not want to go because arranging a babysitter for an entire weekend for our children is difficult. I do not want to go alone and thought to invite another friend of mine (who has never met the bride or groom) to come with me. Is that poor etiquette or wrong?

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, it would be improper to do so. Your friend invited you and your husband because she knows you and wants you to be there to witness the ceremony and celebrate with her. Unless she invited you “and guest”, then she has specifically invited you and your husband, and the invitation is not interchangeable. A wedding guest list is something that people put a lot of time and effort into, and people often have to make difficult choices about who to include. If your husband doesn’t come, then it’s possible that they will invite someone else for that seat.

      You have options, though: You can go by yourself. You can plan a trip with a friend, and the friend will just find something to do on her/his own on the day of the wedding. You and your husband can travel with your children to Miami, and you could hire a babysitter from a reputable service to watch them while you’re at the wedding. You could invite your mother or mother-in-law (or their regular babysitter) to travel with you to provide babysitting. You can decline the invitation, and send your friend a nice gift. What you cannot do is unilaterally decide to invite someone else to their party.

      • Jody

        I agree with Elizabeth and would like to add something. I think there was a similar thread some time ago (except the event didn’t involve travel). If I recall correctly, one of the proposed solutions was to send regrets, saying something like “unfortunately Husband isn’t able to get away so we won’t be able to make it.” That gives your friend the opportunity to say “oh, I’m sorry and we’ll miss you” or ask you if you’d like to bring somebody else in his place. It all depends on how close you are to your friend.

      • I completely agree.
        I will be attending a wedding alone in two weeks. My husband was invited, but had already agreed to attend a different event. The wedding is out of state, so there’s no way he could drive to one, then get back to the other (states are very large out here in the wild west). Elizabeth gave you a lot of great options. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and singing loudly to myself in the car. :)

  2. Mark

    Friends at church got married a few months ago and are now sending invitations to a formal reception to celebrate. The happy couple sent separate invitations to me and my partner, even though they have known for many years that we live together as a couple. Both invitations included postage-paid response cards. What is the appropriate way to respond? Should we reply separately because we were invited separately, or reply using one response card, stating that both of us are planning to attend together? If we reply with one card, should we list both names, or pick one and state that we are bringing a guest? I’m finding this terribly awkward and insensitive.

    • Alicia

      You both got invited. You both reply. The clear message is that each of you are individually good enough friends to get invited and neither just a friends date. It is not meant as insensitive but that each are important enough to be invited.
      RSVP separately. It is quick and easy to do.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Because you live together, they should have sent you one invitation. I don’t know the people involved, but I doubt anything was meant by it though. Some people get confused about these rules. You can send one response card back with both of your names or write out your own response with both names.

    • Becky

      ditto alicia, and keep in mind they just may not have known exactly how to properly handle the invitations of a couple outside traditional marriage and just did the best they could….defaulting to “safer” individual invites rather than ‘risk’ sending a couple invite incorrectly. not everyone stalks this blog for current information :) Honestly, if they are really that insensitive or didn’t care, neither of you would have been invited in the first place. Unless you believe this was an intentionally or deliberate slight, don’t let it overshadow their good intention of including both of you in their celebration. As we say in the south when some one just doesn’t know better…”Bless their hearts.”

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