Open Thread

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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. Jeanne

    My Mom will soon turn 90. I would like to let her friends know about this milestone. What is the proper etiquette for doing this? I am only planning a family party for her, so I don’t want this to look like an invitation for everyone.

  2. Ilyse

    When sending a birthday invite to friends do we sign it as Bob and Sara Smith or Sara and Bob Smith I.e whose name should be first ? The man or the woman? Thanks !

    • Elizabeth

      I believe the order does not truly matter. However, to think of it pragmatically, letters and emails can really only be written by one person and that person can write on behalf of others. So, if the wife is sending the invitation email, but she is inviting on behalf of her husband as well, it makes sense to list her name first as the primary author of the invitation. In wedding invitations (when it truly does come from both people) traditionally the mother’s name is listed first, though I don’t know why. Again, in this day and age, I think you could do it either way and no one would notice the difference or care.

  3. Nonnie Mowse

    I’m ‘middle aged’, and when I was young I was taught that the ‘man of the house’ always came first, as on the envelope would be Mr. and Mrs. Invitees. So you would sign it Bob and Sara Smith. But things may have changed, and I look forward to the lesson and history behind it.

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