How/Should I tell the guests?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If you’re doing inner and outer envelopes that will help this situation.  You use the inner envelope to name specifically who is invited. 

Like, you wouldn’t address an inviation to the Smith Family if you’re not inviting the entire family, so you’d say Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  If the kids are being invited, you list them in order of age on the inner envelope.

Other people use the RSVP cards to further clarify how many people are being invited… for example you may have a line that says “We have reserved __2__ seats in your honor” or “____ of __2__ attending”

A quick note though, if someone is in a relationship it is appropriate to invite both halves of the couple since they are technically a social unit.  If it comes down to inviting someone without their significant other, it might be best to not invite either of them at all.

Post # 6
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

 Etiquette Snob here… lol

Good post by @DaneLady: , doing the paperwork correctly certainly cuts out some of the confusion.

The rule of thumb being only those who’s names are on the Invites get to attend…


Mr. John James & Guest (if you don’t know who he’ll be bringing)


Ms. Susan Walsh

Mr. John James

(both listed on the Invite, Ladies first)


You send seperate Invites to each person… getting the address info from John James in the above example for Ms. Susan Walsh

These above examples are listed in order of Poorest to Best Etiquette… BEST being seperate Invites for people over the age of 18 who are bringing a Date

Of course the rule of thumb IF you need to limit numbers is that Marrieds, Living Togethers / Common Laws, and Engaged Couples are considered a RECOGNIZED Social Unit should one should not be invited without the other

And as a courtesy to those closest to you… Immediate Family Members (Brothers & Sisters over the age of 18) and those in your Bridal Party (again over the age of 18), always get a Plus One (can bring a Date… whomever of their choosing), whether they are in a Recognized Social Unit or not.  And of course, Children in the Bridal Party would be coming with their Parents & Immediate Family (so if Little Suzie is your Flower Girl, you invite her Mom & Dad, and Brother)

This is because, the above people are giving up a significant amount of their time (typically a whole weekend or more) for you, and as such, they should be allowed to enjoy the “free time” they do have with someone of their choosing / makes them happy.

Hope this helps,


Post # 7
1174 posts
Bumble bee

When we sent our invites out we had the person’s name and guest written on the evnvelope (either J. Smith and Guest or their name if we knew it). We didn’t include guest names for the people that we knew wouldn’t be bringing a guest.

However, just to note, no matter how you word it, some people will totally disregard the whole thing and STILL bring a guest. I had a friend do that, she was going to bring a random girlfriend of hers… Sigh.

Post # 8
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

The person whose name is on the invitation is who is invited. We did this, as well as adding a number to each RSVP for the number of people invited. If, like pp said, you get RSVPs back for random guests, you call that person ASAP and tell them that you cannot accommodate their +1.

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