Excluding The Other Half: Is it ok to only invite one person from a couple?

by epi on February 16, 2014

Q: My husband was invited by a friend to a family party. I’ve only met this friend a few times and have always been very nice to them. My husband accepted the invite for both of us. Now a mutual friend has informed my husband that he should not be taking me along with him to this party because I was not invited, just my husband.  When my husband received this verbal invitation he was under the impression it was for both of us. Now my husband is quite upset that the invitation excluded me. Is this proper?

A: No, it is not proper. One does not invite one-half of a couple to an event where couples are present. The invitation should have been extended to both of you, or neither of you. Correctly, he would refuse the invitation since you are not included.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody February 16, 2014 at 10:29 pm

I agree, it’s not proper to invite one half of a couple to such an event. I do wonder, however, what business was it of the mutual friend to let your husband know he’d erred? If the mutual friend isn’t the host, he could very well be in error. If your husband is genuinely puzzled (and who wouldn’t be), maybe he can call the host to clarify just who was invited. If he’s told it’s only him, that would be a perfect time to decline the invitation. If the host says “of course you’re both included” your minds will be at ease; you’ll also know to take things this other mutual friend says with a big grain of salt.


Kathleen S February 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

What is considered proper etiquette when inviting a couple who is umarried, not yet living together, but certainly established? I have a good, old friend who I would like to invite to my wedding, who has been dating his current girlfriend for two years. While I have only met her once, my friends have all spent much more time with her. They post family photos on Facebook with them and both sets of children, and everywhere he goes, she goes too.

Here’s my question- should I address the invitation to my friend “and guest,” or should I write her name on the envelope?


Alicia February 20, 2014 at 10:44 pm

A few options
1. If both would be invited even if broke up. Send separate invites to separate addresses
2. If you want him and her but if she can not come no other guest invite to first line him second line her no word and between example
Mr Bob Smith
Ms Jane Jones
123 Bobs street
Bobtown, BB
3. If you want him and a guest and should he wish to for him to bring any guest he desires write and guest example
Mr Bob Smith and Guest
123 Bobs street
Bobtown, BB


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