(Closed) Do people still understand addressing etiquette?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
611 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Lizzy723:  I would address it to them

Mr, Mrs blah blah

and then on your wedding website (do you have one?)


Post # 4
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013 - Makena Cove

A consideration would be on the RSVP card to note that “Two seats will be reserved with your acceptance of the invitation.” That leaves them zero room to interpret their children being on the invite list.

Post # 5
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

View original reply
@Fleur.De.Lis:  +1 : Depending on your guest list, they might not be aware of “the rules” (mine weren’t) so we had something like “2 seats will be reserved in your honor…”

Post # 7
47449 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If their response indicates they are bringing their uninvited children, you will have to phone them and say ” There must have been a misunderstanding. While we would love to be able to invite your children, we are at our venue’s limit and will be unable to accomodate any extra guests. I’m sure you understand.”


Post # 8
11522 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

The best manner in which to do this (if the wife took her husband’s name) is to address the outer envelope to “Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Doe” and to use inner envelopes addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Doe.”  If anyone’s response indicates that more guests will be attending than were invited, etiquette permits you to call them and politely clarify that the invitation actually was for Mr. and Mrs. Doe. and that, unfortunately, you are unable to accommodate any additional guests.

Post # 9
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

More and more this type of issue comes up… as fewer and fewer people are trained in the art of BASIC Manners, let alone the complexities of social etiquette (and the experiences of attending any semi formal or formal events outside of a Wedding)

So ya, not a lot of people understand HOW to read a Wedding Invite (WHO it is addressed to, or what the “style” of the Invite might mean in regards to “appropriate” attire etc)

And don’t get me started on the fact that so few people even have a clue what RSVP means anymore… that a reply is indeed expected / needed

Or worse yet… they Reply YES but then casually decide at the last minute not to attend… and if their health is inquired to after the fact “We missed you at the Wedding, I hope you didn’t come down with that nasty flu that has been going around”

They are most apt to say something mundane like “Oh no, we decided to give it a miss at the last minute cause we wanted to go to the Football Game instead”

(Dear Lord… please pick me up off the floor… cause this Etiquette Snob has no doubt fainted)

Sad but true

And worse yet, in the years before the Internet / Email… if someone wanted more info they’d pick up the phone and call the Host

Somehow in this “technology” age, the whole idea of having a meaningful conversation has been lost

I am amazed at how many times I have to tell someone on WBee…

Have a Specific Question… ASK THE HOST

So in light of all this…

As stated above, many Bees (and other Hosts) have therefore found themselves in the awkward position of having to SPELL THINGS OUT for people

So where the once upon a time idea of saying…

Adult Reception to follow

Black Tie Requested


2 Seats have been Reserved in your Honour

That which would have been seen as GAUCHE statements for a Host to make in the past, are nowadays is far more common


Post # 10
8573 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are doing the [x amount] of seats have been reserved in your honor.

Post # 11
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

@Lizzy723:  I get the feeling a lot of people experience situations where guests pay little attention to who’s actually invited and bring whoever they like.. which I find bizzare! I would never dream of bringing someone else (even my own children) to a wedding where it wasn’t completely clear they’re invited (i.e. “to the ______ family”)

As PP’s have said, either include the “2 seats have been reserved” line or if you feel comfortable, contact them just so they know. Either is totally fine! But you’re right, some people just don’t understand OR pay little attention to who’s actually on an invite! So strange!

Post # 12
11522 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

View original reply
@Lizzy723:  I would advise against using the “_____ seats have been reserved in your honor” language.  By promising that you have already reserved seats for guests who have not yet even accepted your invitation, you may very well find that Mrs. Doe is planning to attend, and, since her husband is otherwise occupied that day, she has taken the liberty of choosing to bring one of her children instead to occupy the other reserved seat.

Post # 15
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

View original reply
@Brielle: makes a very good point.  One of the best ways to make this even clearer is to double envelope (altho that even isn’t a 100% Guarantee) in so much as you can lay out SPECIFIC Names on the Inner Envelope a lot more clearer than you can on the Outer one.

FYI… Inner Envelopes are usually less formal… so for example you can use FIRST Names only, or you can put “affectionate names” as well.


Outer = Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
Inner = Barbara & John Doe

Outer = Mr. and Mrs. Jack Jones
Inner = Aunt Martha & Uncle Jack

Outer = Dr. Susan Black and Mr. Peter Brown
Inner = Susan & Peter

Whereby example # 1 was an more formal situation / acquaintance

Example # 2 were Relatives

Example # 3 was your BFF from College

Hope this helps


Post # 16
766 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Lizzy723:  I’d say “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe” on your invitation. That usually is a pretty clear signal that it is only the adults invited and not the children. I’ve been researching this issue for myself as of late, as I’d prefer we not have children at our wedding due to the added cost and chaos that they may add. In my reading, I’ve seen suggestions like putting the individual names of who you want attending on the response cart, something to the effect of:


John Doe ___ Sends his regrets _____ Will be in attendance

Jane Doe ___ Sends her regrets _____ Will be in attendance


Doesn’t get more clear than that! Although people will always surprise you, especially ones with children as they always believe their own to be the exception and not the rule. 

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