Addressing Invitations ‘And Family’

It is often asked of me if it is acceptable to add ‘And Family’ or ‘And Guest’ when addressing invitation envelopes. Etiquette-wise this is a no-no and I personally abhor this practice. When I was a young lady, many invitations used to come to the house inviting my parents to weddings and on all of the envelopes, the words ‘And Family’ were included. This made me sad because it seemed no one cared enough to remember that I actually had a name. Do you wish to make someone feel that you don’t care enough to remember their name but sincerely request the honor of their presence on your big day? The message is incongruous.

Also, your idea of what constitutes family may not be the same as the one receiving the invitation. The person receiving the invitation may invite their second-cousin twice removed just because there will be an open bar. Being specific on your invitation is much smarter.

I advise the following when issuing invitations:

For couples not living together or married, address it to the party that is best known to you. For example, if it is your cousin Cathy that you are close to address it:

Miss Cathy Cousin and Mr. Alfred Smith

followed by Cathy’s address. Do not write the impersonal ‘And Guest’

Send a joint invitation to married/cohabiting couples. Should they have daughters living in the home that you wish to invite, you may include them on the couples’ invitation. The outer envelope is written out in the format below (names and addresses are fictitious)

Mr./Mrs. and Mr./Mrs. Phoebus Cornelius Bicuspid

The Misses Bicuspid

1313 Mockingbird Lane

Quahog, RI 02896

If there are sons living in the home, they get their own joint invitation, with the outer envelope written as below:

The Messrs. Bicuspid

(same address format as above)

On the inner envelope (the one in which the actual invitation and reply card are safely housed) you would write out each name, as below

Mr. Phoebus Bicuspid

Mrs. Fiona Bicuspid

Miss Esmerelda Bicuspid

Miss Ann Bicuspid

and for the sons’ inner envelope:

Mister Figaro Bicuspid

Mister Jack Bicuspid

The bottom line for me: only invite those that you mean to invite and know the name of those you invite.

Best Invitation Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

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