(Closed) How to address invite when spouse just died? Do I wait to send?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1561 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@acciotoni:  I would just hold off a few weeks.  For your wedding date you are sending the invites on the early side anyway, so it won’t hurt anything.

Post # 4
10354 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’d wait at least a week. It would likely get lost in the paperwork shuffle of funeral and estate craziness at the moment, anyway – regardless of whose name you addressed it to! That’s so sad, i’m sorry.

Post # 5
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

That’s a tough one… I don’t know if this is possible, but could you hand-deliver them?  Then you wouldn’t have to put anything on the envelope at all. Or if you were willing to bend etiquette a bit, send one invite to the house and write, “The Smith Family,” which is less specific? 

Post # 6
3501 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2002

could you just use their last name? “smith family” ?  hmph. this is a hard one. you could wait, because you dont want it to get lost right now with all of the stuff they have going on and need to plan with the funeral etc – but you can also send it, and include his name – hoping that theyll remember youre acknowledging the fact that he lived – not just passed. maybe with ur invite include him and a note to the mom? ack, im no help. sorry!

Post # 7
575 posts
Busy bee

I’m so sorry to hear that. How sad for them!

Is there any way you could hand-deliver it? That way you can just write “Bob” or “Bill” instead of a formal addressing. If not, “Mr. Bill soandso” will do. My dad had a really hard time seeing just his name on things like that after my parents got divorced last year. I can only imagine that being even more amplified after your spouse passes away.

I would also wait to give it to him.  I could see an invitation to witness newlywed bliss triggering more feelings of sadness for him. 

ETA: If the invitation is meant solely for him, I would not put “____ Family.” Just because of the same reasons I listed above.

Post # 8
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I think you should ask your Maid/Matron of Honor what her suggestion would be.  She obviously knows what her dad is going through – so she will be able to tell you.  OR, you don’t bother with a formal invite for dad, tell Maid/Matron of Honor that her invite includes her dad – she can RSVP for him (I know this isn’t standard, but it might fit the situation, since things are probably sensitive right now.

ETA: Agree with PPs to let this go for a few weeks and then bring up the subject with Maid/Matron of Honor when things have calmed down a bit.  Probably not a great time to be talking to her/him about your wedding.

Post # 11
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I agree totally with what has been said previously. Let some time go by and then hand-deliver. I think you should hold off sending invitations to that household, including your MOH’s – I know that you don’t intend it, but it might come across as a little insensitive at such a sad time for them. After a couple of weeks, if you could hand-deliver them that would by far be the best, or if you can’t do it personally, if there is a family member that you could send to do it. That way, you are able to acknowledge what a sad time it is for them and how difficult things are, even as you invite them to your wedding. I was in a similar situation, and this is what we did.


Post # 12
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

It sounds like it could wait a bit.  Have you considered giving him a +1?  Clearly not for a “date”, but maybe there’s a family member that he might want to bring along? 

Post # 13
1935 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I like the idea of hand delivering. Show up with some flowers, or some sort of condolences gift, and say “Mr. Soandso, I am so sorry for your loss. I know this is a difficult time, so I wanted to personally stop by and say how much I’d like it if you were able to attend my wedding. Your family means so much to me, and we’ll keep Mrs. Soandso in our thoughts and hearts throughout the entire day.” Give him the invitation, tell him to take his time, and if he wants to bring a family member to be with him at your wedding, that is a very nice gesture.

Post # 14
15513 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I agree with PP about waiting to deliver the invitations to anyone in that house hold.  I mean, she’s your Maid/Matron of Honor, the invitation is a formality at this point and she doesnt really need it for any information or to know she’s invited.  I’d wait at few weeks and maybe even consider hand delivering them at that point.

Post # 15
2185 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

I wouldn’t do anything for weeks. After that I’d ask Maid/Matron of Honor how you should handle it. She’ll tell you the best way, but again not for weeks.

I personally wouldn’t show up with sympathy flowers and ask someone who just lost their spouse, the love of their life to come to my wedding. It seems heartless, I know you would mean well but if someone did that to me I’d lose it.

Post # 16
1935 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

View original reply
@Bazinga:  I agree – I do think a personal invitation, preferably hand-delivered, is a good idea. But definitely wait a few weeks.

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