Post # 1
Please help! We have no idea what we are doing, and the guides we have found seem odd in some respects.
1. In cases where we have 2 people who live together but are not married, we read that we should alphabetize the names. Well, that would mean putting my dad’s fiance’s name before his! I would assume we put the person we know best/are closest to first. I would also be putting my friend Peter’s girlfriend’s name first, and I have never even met her. And can I use this format for couples that live apart? Address the outside to the person we know best, then the inside to both names?
2. We also read that the word "guest" should not be used, even on the inside envelope. In this case, how do we let people know we have a place for their date? And if we do write "guest" do we capitalize the g?
3. For the inside envelopes, we are supposed to put Mr. LastName. I would prefer to put in the first name too. I would never refer to my cousin as Mr. Jones! Seems to vague, especially since many people have the same last name as eachother!
4. Also on the inside envelope, we are supposed to list children underneath by first name only. This is fine, but what about families that have grown children (18+) but do not have invited guests? If I send them a separate invitation, I don’t want to worry about another RSVP that says "2" when only one is invited. Can we just add "and family?"
Thanks so much for your help!!!
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
We didn’t do inner envelopes, and wrote "and Guest" for anyone who’s getting a plus-one.
I think you can do whatever you want for your inner envelopes! It’s your wedding, not Miss Manners’s!
Post # 4
I would say alphabetize. The reason they so it like that is so that it gets rid of the whole feminist struggle of always putting the woman’s name last. Of course, you can put the name of the person you know best first if you’d rather, as that makes sense to you. But I just figured I’d explain why you alphabetize.
I’ve always seen it written as "and Guest", so that you let people know that they can bring a +1. Otherwise, it’s considered a breach of etiquette if they ask if they can bring one. Or, you could always include on the RSVP cards "single guests may bring a friend", or something of the like.
I’ve seen inner envelopes addressed with the first names only.
You can add "and family" if you want, but if the kids are over 18, they should receive their own invite, ESPECIALLY if they don’t live with their parents.
Post # 5
1. Etiquette is meant to be used as a guide, and it is up to you to tailor the rules to your personal situation. It makes the most sense to list your dad’s name before his fiancee’s name.
2. It is ideal to find the name of your guest’s "guest" and to use it on the envelope. But if you are inviting a single friend with a plus-one of his or her choosing, then using guest is fine. Write "Sue and Guest" on the inner envelope, and if you’re only using outer envelopes, then write Ms. Sue Jones and Guest. Again, practicality should overrule etiquette here.
3. Your inner envelope is your chance to personalize your invitation. So if you write Mr. and Mrs. Jones on the outer, write Bob and Sue on the inner.
4. Do the children live at home with their parents? If so, the outer envelope can say The Jones Family and on the inner envelope, write out each family member’s name. If the children live on their own and you have their addresses, send them each their own invitation, but don’t include "and guest."
In the end, always go with your gut and do what makes the most sense for your personal situation!
Post # 6
Thank you so much everyone! A few more questions…in cases of my parents’s friends, or someone I am not comfortable calling by their first name, should it be the formal Mr. and Mrs. Jones even on the inside? The feminist in me doesn’t like that idea of the wife’s name not being present on the invitaion at all.
If there are 2+ kids, do we write "and" or just list their names. Also, I want to put the kid’s last name if there is only one child, so it looks more "even." like Mr. and Mrs. Albert Jones then Jeffrey Jones underneath. But with three kids just list them as Jennifer, Sally, Joe.
Gosh this is hard!
Post # 7
I am a calligrapher and your questions are good and as most folks say….
it’s your wedding! Do what suits you.
I truly believe in the thinking that is putting the one you know best listed first… especially your father!
Inner envelopes should always just be
Mr. and Mrs. Jones (no first names are needed)
You can do them informally if you like thought the above is the proper formal way.
Informally would be listing them by their first names
Bob and Marge
It is pretty much necessary to add "and Guest" to ones whom you wish to bring an extra person and to leave it off of those whom you wish to not be able to bring one! It is the only way your guests will know if they are permitted to invite a guest. So you are right about that!
As for kids 18+ should always have their own invite. If you are doing all formally the inner would just say
if he is permitted to bring guess
Mr. Jones and Guest
If you wish to be informal
Bob and Guest
Children are listed under their parents names who are under 18
Mr. and Mrs. Jones
Bob, Mary and Hank
(try to list oldest to youngest where you know them)
That’s about it! That’s from 24 years experience in the calligraphy field!
I always tell folks, here is the "proper formal" way…
now it’s YOUR wedding! Do what you wish!