Wedding Wednesday: Addressing Invitations ‘And Family’

Cherished readers, today’s Wedding Wednesday concerns the issuing of one’s invitations to the fabulous nuptial ceremony and reception. It is often asked of The Lady if it is acceptable to add ‘And Family’ or ‘And Guest’ when addressing the envelopes. Etiquette-wise this is a no-no and The Lady personally abhors this practice. When she was a young lady, many invitations used to come to the house inviting her parents to weddings and on all of the envelopes, the words ‘And Family’ were included. This made The Lady sad because it seemed no one cared enough to remember that she 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.

The Lady advises 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 Snodgrass

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 The Lady: only invite those that you mean to invite and know the name of those you invite.

Best Invitation Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett


I Received an Invitation to a Wedding That I Don’t Wish to Attend; Do I Have to Send A Gift?

Cherished readers, I feel and fear that it is inevitable that we shall all be invited to celebrate the nuptial bliss of one or more couples for whom we frankly  feel no enthusiasm.  The conundrum is do we send a gift?

The Lady Hooper-Brackett would like to share that while the simple answer is that an invitation to a wedding ceremony does not obligate to you to send any gift, should you be invited to a wedding reception, then you are expected to send a gift whether you attend or not.  I know, I hear you protesting over the vast interwebs….however…the fact that you made the shortlist tells me that you have a good relationship with the sender or that you are close relations. It is sometimes better to just suck it up and attend, make the best of things, and be social. The Lady advises you thusly:

You should attend a wedding, reception, and/or send a gift if:

-the bride, groom, or their respective parents attended yours

-you are the child, cousin, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or parent of the bride or groom

-you work with the bride or groom and must see them on a daily basis

-your mother tells you must attend. Listen to her…she knows.

Incidentally, a wedding announcement does not bestow obligations on the receiver of such, though much the same as with an invitation to a ceremony, you may send a gift if you feel you have a relationship with the sender that warrants the sending of a gift.

Best celebratory wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett