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Invitation Etiquette


Here at Nuovo Bride, we understand “the struggle” in today’s wedding world. Guest lists and invitations can become a daunting task. Thinking about who to invite, who gets a “plus one”, or how to politely tell families that this is an “adult only” reception can add unwanted stress! In hopes of taking a load off of our readers, we asked local brides and grooms to write in on some of their biggest etiquette concerns!

Q: My fiancé and I are in our late 20’s and planning our wedding. My parents think they can invite all their friends! What do I do? – Megan

A: In years past brides and grooms were younger, most still living at home. The guest list generally consisted of immediate family, few close friends and the father’s business colleagues. Most brides and grooms were from the same town and had not yet expanded their horizons to other cities, states and countries. Often, the brides and grooms hardly knew the adults on the guest list, because they tended to be friend of their parents.

Today (like you and your finance) we see that couples who are getting married are a little older and more established in business. Quite often, they are the ones who will be paying for the wedding, while the parents play a small role in the budget. It is important to remember this is your wedding and your choice of guests is at the top of the list!

If it is important to you that your parents play a part in the guest list, sit down and talk with them while reviewing your budget. Work together to find a balanced solution. Make sure you start off with who is the most important to you both. Then pepper in family friends … so long as it fits with in your budget!

Q: We have a very tight budget and many of our friends have kids. I would love to invite them all, but it is just too expensive! How can we handle this gracefully? – Patti

A: In this economy, couples are having to limit the numbers due to costs. So many upcoming nuptials opt to have an “adult” only reception since so many of their friends are married with children … and including children adds to the cost dramatically!

If you are looking for a kid free wedding, then make sure to state that on your wedding invitation. At the bottom where it says “Reception to immediately follow,” add make sure it states something along the lines of “Adult only reception to immediately follow.” That way it is clear to your guest they will need to find someone to look after their children if they are wanting to attend.

Another option (if it is in your budget) would be to offer free child care for those couples who have children … especially if they are partaking in the ceremony (i.e. flower girls or ring bearer). Paying to have a nanny or sitter for the evening definitely gives parents a chance to have a wonderful night out to celebrate with you. If you have space at your venue, find a room they can all hunker down in with a sitter and their sleeping bags to watch a movie. Or opt to have a designated house they will be brought back to after the ceremony.

Q: Help! How do I address the envelopes? Is it Mr. & Mrs. John Smith -OR- Mr. John Smith & Mrs. Jane Smith? – Lauren

A: Traditionally, a married couple would be addressed with using only the husbands first name: Mr. & Mrs. John Smith.

For a couple that lives together, but are not married, you would address them on the same envelope but named separately: Mr. John Smith & Ms. Jane Doe.

If you have friends or family who are single and get to bring a “plus one,” address as Mr. John Smith & Guest.

For an invitation that will be going to a family, and you would like to invite their children, it is proper to address as Mr. & Mrs. John Smith & Family (or you can write out their children’s names if there is room).

Have a wedding question you need solved? Email us at info@nuovobride.com. We would love to hear from you!

#WeddingInvitationEtiquette #inspiration

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