FAQ section 8

8) Invitations

8.1) What is the most proper way to have my invitations done?

The two most proper and formal kinds of invitations are hand-written or engraved invitations, done on paper that is either plain or has a simple panel.

However, the vast majority of people in the US today no longer remember or care about this, so you need not feel that you are doing something horribly improper if you make some other choice.

8.2) Is it OK to send invitations to someone "and Guest"?

It can cause a lot of confusion to use "and Guest". It is better to find out whether or not each guest has been dating someone they would like to bring, and invite that person specifically. Some people apparently feel obligated to find a guest to bring when they receive an "and Guest" invitation. On the other hand, others are glad to receive such an invitation. So, if you don't want to find out whether each of your guests is dating someone they want to bring, you may want to ask people in your social circle whether or not they would like to receive an invitation addressed to themselves "and Guest".

8.3) If I've invited guests and not invited their children, what do I do when they send a response saying their children are coming with them?

If you don't want children at the wedding, you should call and explain that you're having an adult wedding and that their children are not invited. However, you may want to add that you are providing a baby- sitting service for the convenience of the guests.

8.4) I have been invited to a wedding without my fiancé. Can I get my fiancé invited, or do I have to go alone?

It is a social gaffe not to invite both people in a married or engaged couple. Therefore, you are right to feel that your fiancé should have been invited with you. At this point, you need to decide whether you want to go even without him, or whether you aren't willing to go if he can't come too.

If you're only willing to go if your fiancé can come too, then you could send back a negative RSVP, with the explanation that you can't possibly attend without your fiancé. This then puts the ball back in the court of the hosts -- if they made a mistake in not inviting your fiancé, hopefully they will call or write to tell you that you're both welcome to come.

If, on the other hand, you want to come either way, you are on shakier ground. If you are reasonably close to the hosts/couple being married, you could call them and ask if your fiancé could attend with you. Otherwise, you might consider dropping in someone's ear the intelligence that you're having trouble deciding whether or not to come because your fiancé wasn't invited with you. The someone you select to share this with should be someone you think will talk to the hosts or the couple about it, who will hopefully then realize their error and invite him.

There are people who have such severely limited guest lists that they are unable to invite spouses and fiancés, in which case you are hopefully close enough to them (after all, with such a limited guest list, I'd hope anyone they did invite was close to them!) that you'd be able to talk to them about it and they'd feel free to explain the situation to you, rather than feeling pressured to invite your fiancé when they couldn't invite the fiancés of other guests.

Miss Manners tells us that couples who are living together are presumed to be "secretly engaged", and therefore should also be invited together to social events.

8.5) What percentage of the people I invite can be expected to come?

This varies tremendously. The best method to use is to assign a percentage chance that each person you have invited will come. If you then add up all the percentages, you will get a pretty good idea of how many guests you will have. For example:

Uncle Joe   .5 (50%)
Aunt Susan  .5 (50%)
Mom         1  (100%)
Dad         1  (100%)
Bobby       1  (100%)

Total:      4

So from this list, you would expect 4 guests. While it might not seem like it would work very well, it does.

8.7) Can I use my laser printer to address my invitations?

There are two schools of thought on this:

There are no schools of thought that I know of that consider it acceptable to laser print the inner envelope. Everyone seems to agree that it should properly be hand written.

The contents of this document are copyright 2004 Sonja Kueppers. Do not use without permission.

Last Modified: May 15, 2004