Addressing Invites to Adult Children (with a twist)

posted 10 months ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Adult children who are engaged but live with their parents - what would you do?

    2 invitations - one to each family inviting 3 people each

    3 invitations - one to each family + 1 joint invitation to the engaged couple mailed to one of them

    4 invitations - one to each family + 2 separate invites to the engaged couples mailed to both


  • Post # 2
    1442 posts
    Bumble bee

    I would always send adult children a separate invitation, whether they live with their parents or not.  In the case of an engaged couple who are living apart, I would send one invitation between the couple, mailing it to either address (unless I knew one half of the couple slightly better than the other, in which case I would mail to the one I knew best).

    Including adult children on their parents’ invitation is a particular bugbear of mine, since this is what my extended family did to me at EVERY family wedding and I hated it.  Unless you would include any other adult at the same address on the same invitation (e.g. if you were inviting three unrelated housemates to an event or inviting a couple and their adult lodger), adult children should always be addressed separately.

    Post # 3
    2010 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2020

    Definitely one to each household. It would be weird to receive multiple invitations for the same event in the same mailbox. 

    Post # 4
    1092 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    I’m team “3 or 4 invites” (depending on how you wanted to do it). I think adults should get their own invites, regardless of living situation. In my opinion, grouping them with their parents makes it seem like they’re being treated like a child.

    My adult cousin and my (also adult) now-brother-in-law both live with their parents, and we made sure to send them their own invitations separate from my aunt and uncle & in-laws. 

    Post # 5
    5397 posts
    Bee Keeper

    View original reply
    @glutton:  I would just send two invites. It would be one for each household and include the adult daughter’s/son’s name with the parents. People just need to see their names in the invite to know if they are invited or not. Ultimately, that invite will likely end up in recycling anyways. Seriously, outside of the weddingbees, I don’t think much people care. I’ve encountered so many issues here about wedding etiquettes that most people outside this website don’t give an F about. 

    Post # 6
    8087 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I would send 4. Grouping adult children onto parents invite is weird to me, like you are still treating them as children. And if you send 3, who do you send the engaged one to? I feel like people would default to sending it to just the male, which is sexist IMO. 

    Post # 7
    4526 posts
    Honey bee

    Four invites is the correct way, etiquette wise, so I would send four.

    Post # 8
    4881 posts
    Honey bee

    Adults and adult social units get their own invite, regardless of what their living circumstances should happen to be.  Living with their parents doesn’t negate their adulthood (they are no longer a social unit with their parents simply because they occupy the same dwelling) nor does it negate their significant relationship.

    So I would have sent invites just as I would if the adult children occupied their own dwelling: one invite to the parents, one invite addressed to the adult child and their fiance(e).  If I was friends with the fiance(e) I may send their own invite separately to their their own home, but if they are invited only because they are the significant partner of the person I am close with and we do not otherwise have a relationship, then it is fine to put them on that invitation, even though they don’t live together.

    ETA I missed that the children were engaged to each other, not just each engaged separately to other people.  Still four invites then since the engaged couple live apart and each half of the engaged couple would otherwise be invited due to your relationship with them individually.  If they broke up tomorrow, you still have a relationship with both of them so they each get their own invite (separate from their parents).  If they lived together then one invite to them both would suffice.

    Post # 9
    13929 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    Adults living with their parents get their own invitation. An engaged couple not living together each get their own invitation. So the etiquette answer is 4. 

    Post # 10
    1633 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

    Definitely 3 invitations! One to each couple. Honor the couples.

    Post # 11
    1510 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2019

    I had a similar situation without the engagement part. My DH’s cousins, all young adults live with their folks. We just sent an invite to the entire family. My Mother-In-Law did say that one or two of the cousins might be in relationships but since we aren’t really close with his cousins we didn’t open up the invite to gf/bf. If they asked us about it we would probably would’ve said no problem they can come but it wasn’t an issue. 

    I voted for 4 invites. Since they don’t live together they aren’t really a unit, yet. But I can see how 3 invites would work too. 

    Post # 12
    184 posts
    Blushing bee

    I’d say either 2 invites or 4 invites. I feel like their status as a couple is a irrelevant since you’re inviting both regardless of their relationship. I understand the 4 invites, but it feels a bit unnecessary. Personally, when i lived with my parents as an adult I wouldn’t have minded to be in the same invite. But I also understand that it might be least riskiest route to take.

    Post # 13
    723 posts
    Busy bee

    This happens frequently in my culture and in my culture at least two invites would be sent, one for each family. 

    Post # 14
    897 posts
    Busy bee

    I voted four invites. A an adult, I would feel slighted to receive my invitation with my parents. Sending 3 would not be an option for me because 1) they do not live together 2) therefore the people it is addressed to might assume that the person who received the invitation is the primary invitee and the second person is invited based on the relationship to the first. Since you are inviting each half of the couple no regardless, I would send separate invitations so they know they are not invited because they are engaged.

    Since you already sent just 2 invites, it is not end of the world, but just because they live with their parents does not mean they do not have independent lives. If it was me, I would be bothered, but I’d understand why you did it. However, just because they live together does not guarantee that the 3rd party will get the message of the invitation. Personally, I’d rather receive the invitation with my parents than with my fiance if we did not live together, because I might feel that I am invited based on my relationship to him, if we were to break up then am I still invited?

    Post # 15
    9591 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    regardless if they are engaged or not.  they are living in different households.  the adult children should each receive their own invite separate from their parents.

    total of 4 invites should be sent, 2 per household.


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