(Closed) etiquette help! addressing envelopes..

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
514 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

How are you doing your RSVPs?  If you are doing one like “We have __ seats reserved for you.” then you can write in 2 there and the adressee would see they get a +1.  If nowhere else do you have a number or way of denoting the +1, I would just put “and guest” on the outer envelope.  I don’t think that’s a huge eqiquette no no.

Post # 4
7414 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@nemoandthebrain:  I was just going to put ‘and guest’ on the outer envelope, but I’m not a huge etiquette stickler. 

Perhaps on the RSVP card you could fill in that you’ve reserved 2 seats for them or have the line _ of 2 will be attending?

Post # 5
9963 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t think there is an Emily-Post-approved way of doing this.  Either do the “2 seats have been reserved” route that a PP suggested, or you’ll have to deal with putting “and Guest” on the outer envelope.

Post # 6
7974 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@nemoandthebrain:  my mother received an invitation to her very good friend’s daughter’s wedding.  it said:

Ms. Jane Doe and Guest.

not sure why they invited my mother with a guest but whatever.

not sure what else you could say if you wanted to let everyone know that they can bring a guest.


Post # 7
2274 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@nemoandthebrain:  Emily Post would also say no inner envelope is a no no.  I wouldn’t worry about it.  If you’re sending it to an etiquette snob they will be offended by, in this order:

1.  You did not bother to ascertain the name of the guest in question.

2. You did not use an inner envelope.

3. Be upset over #1 Again for a bit.

4. You mentioned an unnamed guest in the outer envelope.

So, if you really want to stand in etiquette, do all you can to find out the name of this mans SO.   Alternativey, you could not mention a guest in the invitation but, as PP suggested, say how many seats are reserved on the RSVP card.  Or you could informally invite this person to bring a guest, by telephone, after the invitation has been received.

Most people just throw the envelope away, so any perceived slight is likely to be short lived! Anyway. I also believe, collectively, Emily Post, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Debrett’s, would remind your guest either to accept, or to decline, the invitation graciously, regardless of any breach of etiquette.

Post # 9
2274 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@nemoandthebrain:  It will be fine. Anyone who gets pissy about it is probably a pain in he ass who you don’t want at the wedding anyway. πŸ˜›

Post # 10
7414 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@nemoandthebrain:  if it makes you feel better I’m glad you posted this because now I will remember to allow for a line on my RSVP cards!  We’ve decided to give everyone a plus one – my friends (except 1 BM) are all married or engaged FH’s friends are either married or single.  We decided that since there will be a serious lack of single females and our guest list is a lot of defined groups that don’t know each other – giving everyone the option to bring a guest (totally of their choosing) would be the best way to go. (it’s really only about 10 extra people)

Post # 11
1094 posts
Bumble bee

@nemoandthebrain:  Your most proper option, since you have already printed your invitations, is to contact each single guest and ask “is there anyone whom you would like us to invite?” and get that person’s proper name, title, and address. Then send that person an invitation, in their own name and to their own address, just as if they were a “real” guest — which they should be. Good hostesses do not have first-class and second-class guests.

Your most proper option, had you not already printed your invitations, would be to use a blank line on the invitation itself to write in the names of your guests. The inner envelope is actually a compromise to get around needing to write in names on the invitation. Some early twentieth-century etiquette mavens advocated the all-engraved invitation over the more proper write-in form for the “look”: it caught on in some circles — primarily those whose hold formal occasions only once or twice a lifetime — but is not the norm practiced generally in formal circles. A fill-in-line invitation looks like this:

Mr and Mrs Nestor Phipps
request the pleasure of the company of
Miss Guest <– this part written by hand later
to the marriage of …

As it stands, you might pre-fill your M________________ line so that it reads:

Mr Xyz and Guest:”               “ 

and hope that Mr Xyz thinks to fill his guest’s name in between the vacant quotation marks.

Or, you can buy inner envelopes or make a belly band on which you can write the names, for only those invitations where the problem arrises.

Another option, is to write in your very best handwriting, “We would be delighted to welcome also your date for the evening” on the bottom of your reply card.

Your fall-back is either to go with Mr Xyz and Guest on the outer envelope. “And Guest” or “And Family” on an outer envelope is actually better than explicitly naming the guest’s lover or a list of chldren. Mailboxes are not always secure, and nosy neighbours who can read all the names off the oversized invitation propped on top of a bank of inner-city apartment mailboxes, may include divorce lawyers looking for evidence of affairs that can alter settlements, or neighbourhood paedophiles memorizing children’s names for later beguilement. Keeping details like that on the inside protects your guests’ privacy.

Post # 12
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I didn’t really understand the need for inner envelopes until I started to address my invites. We have RSVP cards where we fill out the number of attendees, but even so, things can get confusing (based on the number of threads here). 

I’m inviting entire families (one of which has different last names for the husband, wife and kids), so what I’ve ended up doing is including a short handwritten note that says something like, “Hi XXXX, you are welcome to bring a guest — discokitty and XXXX” or, “we would love to see ‘young Molly’ at the wedding — discokitty and XXXX.”  It may not be the right way to do it (conceeding that having the inner envelope is the “right” right way to do it), but I personally appreciate it when I get a handwritten note in something that’ obviously sent in bulk.


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