Post # 1
Both of my Grandmas are widows. how should I address?
Ms. Aquabats Grandama
Mrs. Aquabats Grandma
Another one that has me totally stumped is my cousin. She is single, but I know she has a boyfriend. So I want to give her a +1. Now, the tricky part. She also has kids. The only thing that has come to mind, and it sounds and looks horrible
Ms. Aquabats Cousin, family, and Guest
Ms. Aquabats Cousin, Guest, and Family
Please help me!
ETA: We are not using inner envelopes, so that’s out.
Post # 3
I’ve read that widows are still addressed as “mrs”.. And I would put family before guest for your cousins invite
Post # 4
Yeah, I think widows are still “Mrs.” If you’re worried, though, maybe ask your parents how their mothers would like to be addressed (no one really reads the envelopes anyway).
As for your cousin, we just addressed the envelope to the adults/parents of the family (so “Uncle and Aunt Lastname”) then had that actual invitation saying “Uncle, Aunt and family” (if there was more than one child) and “Uncle, Aunt and Child” if there was only one.
So does the family get to bring a guest as well? I’ve never heard of people doing that, so not sure of the etiquette.
Post # 5
I would address your grandmother’s invitation to “Mrs. Yourgrandfather’sfirstname Theirlastname” even though she is a widow. (Unless she would object to that.)
As for your cousin, because you’re not using inner envelopes, I’m not sure exactly how to advise you other than to say that her boyfriend should receive his own invitation, unless they are a couple sharing the same address.
Post # 6
@AquabatsCadet: Inner envelopes are not required: they are a compromise work-around since the most formal form is to write the names on the “write-in” line of the invitation itself. If you have not yet printed your invitations, you can do this by changing the common wording (meant for use with inner envelopes) “request the pleasure of your company at…” to the more correct stand-alone form which is “request the pleasure of the company of // Blank Line here // at …”. Then, in the blank line, write “Mr Partnerslast and Ms Cousinlastname // “Miss Ann, Master Brian, Master Charles, Miss Debra”.
That is, of course, if your cousin’s “boyfriend” is actually a live-in partner who, by formal etiquette, must be assumed to be “secretly married” to her. If he lives at his own address, then leave his name off you cousin’s invitation and put it on his own invitation. You can get his address from your cousin. In neither situation should you refer to him as “and Guest”. He is a person, not an accessory, and people are entitled to be addressed by their proper names.
Children are people too, and are entitled to be addressed by name; however if you have to resort to using the outer envelope as a last option, then in that case only you should refer to them as “and Family” purely as a general principle to follow for child safety. If you have to take this route, address the envelope to “Mr Partnerslast and Ms Cousinlastname and Family” just as you would to “Mr and Mrs James Black and Family” if you had to resort to this with a family who were openly and traditionally married rather than “secretly married” or “married by custom and repute”.
And your grandmas, who are also persons, are also entitled to their own proper name. A person’s proper social name is the one he or she prefers to be known by. Look on your grandmas’ return addresses on their Christmas card labels; or on their engraved stationery if they have it; and use what they use. Failing that try to remember if they have ever commented on the politics of “Ms” and being known by one’s husband’s name and use that as a clue. If that doesn’t work, then ask them — this is the sort of thing a person should know about the people they are close to. If you cannot bring yourself to ask and have no other information to go by., then assume the most conservative form of address which recognizes their relationship to their deceased husband, to whit “Mrs John Smith.”
Post # 8
@Brielle: I hate this. she’s a person on her own, why address her with her deceased husband first name?
Post # 9
@AquabatsCadet: Mrs is someone who has taken their spouses name. It does not change if the Mr. is predeceased.
For the second scenario, you need to call her up and find out her beau’s name, and invite him by name (though even more correct would be to send him his own invitation, to his own home).
Then you would address is
Mr. Diego Fritzendooble and Ms. Katherine Whirlygig
Susie Little kid (single spaced)
If this is a grown adult cousin, then you would send them their own seperate invitation.
Post # 10
I would send only one invite to your cousin and boyfriend, like:
Aquabats family + boyfriend name
Post # 11
@bebero: If you know she would object to your using that format, you definitely should not address her that way.
I suggested it simply because it is the formal, traditional manner in which to address a married woman, even if she is a widow. It’s true that many younger women eschew the practice; however, many older women not only find it to be acceptable, they also prefer it.
Post # 12
Wow! Thanks for the response everyone!
for the Grandparents, I think I will just use Mrs Aquabats Grandma. Neither one of them are very formal.
As for my cousin, I will just have to call and ask what she would like on the invite. I have never met her boyfriend and she has never disclosed his name to me. She has told me that her kids will not be attending the wedding but I would still like to include them on the invite. Our wedding is in vegas and I would still like her to have the option to bring a guest, wether it is her mystery boyfriend or a friend.
Post # 13
For your Grandma — Mrs. means “wife of”… so if her name is Grandma Aquabat then Mrs. Grandma Aquabat isn’t correct. You would address her more properly as Mrs. Grandpa Aquabat. Ms. is more appropriate if you use her first name.
For the cousin, get the guest’s name — the guest should be on a separate line —
Cousin and Family
Mr. Guest Name
ETA: Don’t use “and” for your cousin’s boyfriend. And is only for when they are married — and it is always woman first if you don’t have Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.
Post # 14
@classyashley: Mrs comes from mistress which implies “lady of the house”, it does not mean wife of.