(Closed) What to do about parents and our invites?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@paula1248:  Ha, I think you typed this as I typed it! 😀

What you said. 

Post # 18
Member
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013 - Stillwell House

My first wedding, neither set of parents were contributing. My parents had just gone thru a bankruptcy, and to help them out, we had moved in with them and started paying rent 6 mos. before the date.  My parents got very steamed over our not mentioning them on the invites as a result as they felt that our living slightly cheaper in the combined household was their contribution to the wedding.

As a result, now during my second wedding, I am dreading it all over again even though we are not receiving financial (or other!) help from either set of parents.  I am actually grateful that the groom’s mom is not helping because if I named her and not my parents I know my mom would unjustly be butt hurt anyway.

Post # 19
Member
2531 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My parents were the only ones that were “inviting” the guests to the wedding. To me, this was nothing to do with money as all six of us – DH and I, my parents and his parents – contributed in a financial way. I personally just saw it as “tradition”. Even if we had paid for the whole thing ourselves, I would probably still have written it from my parents. 

Post # 20
Member
1168 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

So, on topic with what 

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@aliciaspinnet:  was asking… My dad died, so obviously I’d put him as late. But what about my stepdad. He’s been with my mom since I was 7, so over two decades, and he’s walking me down the aisle, so I’d hate to leave him off. But seems like it’d get pretty long!

Post # 21
Member
1692 posts
Bumble bee

As a guest, with traditional values about hospitality, I always prefer to get invitations that tell me what is actually going on. A formal invitation states who the hostess is, whom she is  inviting, to what, when and where. “Hosting” means taking personal responsibility for the safety, comfort and entertainment of all the guests. It doesn’t mean paying, although part of “taking responsibility” of course includes ensuring that the vendors and service-providers do in fact get paid. But where the actual dollars come from is not something the guests need to know nor is it something that politely-reared hosts would want to make public knowledge.

That being said, the bride’s pretty dress, the photographer or videographer who is capturing the event for posterity, or the happy couple’s downpayment on their new home, or the lovely trip they are taking together after the party, or even the ceremony venue and the officiant’s fee, are none of them part of the reception. None of those have anything to do with hosting the guests at the reception. So if you do happen to be using dollar contributions as a guide to figure out who the hostess really is, those costs should not be included. A better way to figure out who the hostess really is, is to ask who the guests can reasonably expect to fix the problem, if some issue of safety or comfort should arise, and who it was that they were counting on to make appropriate arrangements to prevent such problems.

Most properly and most practically there should be only one hostess to a formal event. Other ladies might be helping out the hostess, but someone has to be clearly the final authority or questions of particular details devolve into power strugles and argument. Women’s clubs often issue formal invitations with several hostesses on a social committee issuing the invitation, but they at least have Robert’s Rules to settle questions of whether or not there should be chair covers. And even then, the stuffiest clubs issue their most formal invitations in the name of the committee chairwoman. And traditional etiquette holds that no lady should have her name publically engraved along with the name of a man unless that man is her husband. So divorced mothers, or brides who are hosting themselves, most properly use their name alone as hostess rather than alongside that of the man to whom they are not yet/no longer married.

The only other names besides those of the hosts and the guests that appear on a formal invitation are for explaining “to what” the guests are being invited. The bride’s and groom’s names explain that it is their wedding; their parents names can be included to explain who the bride and groom are in terms of extended family dynamics or to provide social context, where the bride and groom might be unknown to some guests except through their connection to their parents. Alternately the parents can be named as “guests of honour” which helps describe the nature of the party. Deceased persons can never properly be named as hosts or as guests, but they can be named as part of providing the couple’s geneology for reasons of context.

So for the most traditional wedding, where the groom is presumed to be known in society already and the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding but want to honour the groom’s parents, the most generous wording would read:

In honour of Mr and Mrs Richard Groomly
Mr and Mrs Thomas Bridely
request the honour of the presence of
Mr and Mrs Goodguest
at the marriage of their daughter
Anne Beatrice
to
Mr John Groomly
on Saturday the thirty-first of November
at eleven o’clock
at First Baptist Church
and afterward at
Country Golf Club

Very few wedding hostesses want to put the groom’s parents first on the invitation, and very few brides want the reception to be given “in honour” of someone other than themselves, but this is the most formal way of recognizing a guest of honour. The other way is to put the “In honour of …” line down in the lower right corner of the invitation in smaller print, opposite the R.s.v.p. information which is down in the lower left corner.

At a more typical modern wedding where the bride and groom are hosting their own reception, where the bride’s father is deceased but her mother continues to use her husband’s name in the old fashioned manner, where the groom’s parents are divorced and his father has remarried a lady who kept her own name but uses “Mrs” as her title by her own choice, where the parents are not the guests of honour, a proper formally-worded invitation might read:

Ms Anne Beatrice Bridely
daughter of Mrs Thomas Bridely and the late Mr Thomas Bridely
request the honour of the presence of
Mr and Mrs Goodguest
at her marriage to
Mr John Groomly
son of Mrs Smith Groomly
Mr Richard Groomly and Mrs Jane Stepmom
on Saturday the thirty-first of November

at eleven o’clock
at First Baptist Church
and afterward at
Country Golf Club

(John’s mother is using the stuffiest form of divorcee proper name: the title “Mrs” followed by her maiden name, then followed by her current surname which she has not changed following the divorce, in accordance with the etiquette ‘rule’ that a lady’s given name never appears after the title “Mrs”. She is probably doing this to show up how improper she thinks Jane is.)

Post # 22
Member
1227 posts
Bumble bee

We just choose not to name any parents. We are paying most of the wedding ourselves, with some significant contributions from my mother (almost $5000).

 

Our invitations read (nautical theme to our wedding):

 

As eternal as the waves

 

Our love is meant to be

 

It is with joy that we,

 

SeaSalt

 

and

 

BlackPepper

 

request the pleasure of your company

 

blah blah blah

 

No one was offended, and to us, the “together with our parents” didn’t apply because it’s our mothers, and I didn’t know if my father would be attending. (I haven’t gotten an RSVP, so I gather he’s not).

 

 

 

Post # 24
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

If you want to be super technical about it, the person hosting the wedding is not necessarily the person paying for the wedding. I think these days most people assume that’s the case, but it’s not. I did some research into it because I’m paranoid about etiquette stuff. The people hosting our wedding (my divorced parents) are not both paying, just my mom is.  

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