Post # 1
I need to order my wedding invitations in the next few weeks and need help with the wording. Sorry if this is long. My family is non-traditional and I don’t want to offend anyone. Long story short, I have a biological father who I lived with until I was 13. When I was 13 my biological mother left us and my father was having a hard time raising me so I went to live with some of his friends, basically my first “foster family”. I moved back in with my father after a year and then in with my “adoptive parents” at age 16. I lived with my “adoptive parents” until I was 20. Basically my “adoptive” mother has been the only mother in my life for 10 years (I am now 26). My father never expressed to me that he had an issue with me living with my “adoptive family” and he knows that they are very much a part of my life. I see my “mother” on every holiday, and visit her usually every few months since I live a few hours away. We talk on the phone all the time and she has given me quite a bit of money towards my wedding and has helped me with the planning. My biological father also gave me money towards my wedding but I don’t have what I would call a close relationship with my father like I have with my “mother”. My adoptive “mother” see’s me as her daughter and has told me that the bride’s family usually pays for the wedding (hense her contribution). This woman has loved me more than any biological mother I have ever known. On a side note, I was intoduced to my “adoptive parents” when I was 16 years old and dated their son. We broke up after a year and have not had much contact since. Their son moved out of the house and I moved in. Thats how the relationship started.
So my question is who do I put on the wedding invitation? I have 2 biological older sisters who didn’t understand my relationship with my “adoptive mother” years ago. They have now seemed to accept it but they don’t have any type of relationship with her. Basically she is “my mother” not their’s. When I go home to visit family I spend some time with my adoptive family and some time with my biological family. The two families never mingle. My biological father has also rarely ever spoken to my adoptive family in 10 years. Never said anything like “Hey thanks for taking care of my daughter for all those years.”
My fiance’s family is not contributing to the wedding. When I ask my fiance his opinion for the wedding invitation wording he just says he isn’t sure what is traditional??
I talked to my adoptive mother about this and she said she doesn’t need to be on the invitation to know what our relationship is. She also said that whatever my fiance and I choose will be fine. She initially told me that I should just put my biological father’s name on the invitation because she didn’t want to offend my biological father or sisters but I feel like she would appreciate some recognition.
My options are:
1) Mr. Bride’s Biological Father’s Name requests the honor of your presence at the marriage of his daughter ____
2) Mr. Bride’s Biological Father’s Name and Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s “Adoptive Parents” Last Name request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Bride’s Name_____
3) Together with their parents, Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name request the honor of your presence at their wedding on date and time_______
HELP!!! Anyone else dealing with a dilemma like this??
Post # 3
How about “Together with their families…”? Nice and inclusive with no need to explain non-traditional family structure, so everybody wins.
I’m sure you’ve already let your your biological father and adoptive mother know how much their support is appreciated, and will continue to do so, so I don’t think not mentioning them by name on the invitations should be an issue. You could choose to include them in the ceremony or acknowledge them at the rehearsal dinner/wedding reception if you’re so inclined. One trend I love that I’ve seen picking up lately is the bride giving her bouquet to someone special instead of a bouquet toss; I bet your adoptive mom would love it if you presented her with your bouquet at the reception.
Whatever you decide, you are obviously a very loved and lucky woman, and I wish you all the best!
Post # 4
I agree with PP, you are very lucky to have found a “mother” like that, and to give you money and to understand she could be offending people and not wanting to make this whole happy process uncomfortable for anyone. Some “real” mothers don’t get that!
Post # 5
I agree with “together with their families”, but do make sure to let everyone know you are doing that before hand to avoid hurt feelings.
I just called all the involved parents and said “Because we have so many parents, and our invites don’t have a lot of space, this is what we’d like to do. Are you okay with that?” Once people understand our reasoning and realized that we weren’t doing it offend them all the parents were fine with it…I just think it’s nice to give them a heads up.
Post # 6
I would actually put both your father’s name and your adopted family names. This is because, while it’s more complicated and long, it also might be misleading to only put “together with their parents”. Your adoptive family might not be considered as “your parents” by most of the guest list, who could assume that you are referring to your father and your fiance’s parents.
If that is not so, and all are aware of your special relationship with your adoptive family, I would put “together with their parents”. If not, I would mention everyone by name so that all know that you are specifically honouring the adoptive parents as your family too.
PS: Yes that is quite non traditional and a bit complicated! But you’re lucky to have found so many loving peope in your life!
Post # 7
I agree with Together with their families because that way it includes all parties without question of who is “technically” your parents.
Post # 8
My Fi and I are using Togehter with their parents…”
Post # 9
“together with their families”
Post # 10
We’re using “Together with our parents” because both my FH and I are children of divorce… So we would have 4 sets of parents to name… and we really didn’t want to complicate the invitations… selfish maybe, but they understood and ultimately it’s our day not theirs. haha
Post # 11
Family politics aside, rigourously correct etiquette says the invitations are issued in the name of the one lady who is taking on the responsibility of “hostess”, and optionally of that lady’s husband if she has one. Gifts of money are private arrangements that are never discussed or publicly advertised; family contributing money is NOT the same as their co-hosting the reception.
If I followed your explanation correctly, the lady who is hosting this reception is you. So, a rigourously correct invitation would read
“Miss Mary Chirod / requests the pleasure of the company of / Mr and Mrs Guest / to her wedding to / Mr John Groom ….
That of course, is “family politics aside”. Family politics are rarely mitigated by considerations of rigourously correct etiquette. If the “Together with their parents, Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name” format will prevent your father’s and adoptive parents’ having hurt feelings then that is what I would go with even though it is not truly proper. But would it? It doesn’t use their names.
Having your adoptive mother escorted down the aisle last before the processional (as the Mother of the Bride traditionally is) and asking her to stand beside you in the receiving line as a guest of honour whom you wish to introduce to all your husband’s family, would be a more sincere honour in my estimation. Would that not provide the recognition she both deserves, and would appreciate? And if your father is walking you down the aisle and also stands with you in the receiving line, that gives him recognition as well.