Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Wedding invitation etiquette
November 2, 2011 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Wedding invitation protocol question for the non-Martha Stewart demographic.

My old friend Buddy is seriously dating Mr. Boyfriend, who I've never met. Mr. Boyfriend has a son Sonny. All three live in different places most of the time, since Mr. Boyfriend has joint custody with Sonny's mom. I want to invite everyone except Sonny's mom to the wedding.

Do I send separate invitations to all three of them, leading Mr. Boyfriend and Sonny's mom to wonder who the hell this stranger is who's sending them mail? Send an invitation addressed to
Buddy, Mr. Boyfriend and Sonny
Buddy's house
Buddy's city, state and zip
and worry that it'll get returned because it doesn't match the name on the apartment mailbox? Send an invitation addressed to
Buddy
Buddy's house,
Buddy's city, state and zip
with a note inside saying "Bring Mr. Boyfriend and Sonny"? Or what?

The proper Excruciatingly Formal way to do this seems to involve several nested envelopes with extra names written on the inner envelope. We'll do that if necessary, but it seems bizarre and wasteful and honestly sort of confusing for the recipient if they're not also up to speed on Excruciatingly Formal Etiquette — which, knowing Buddy, he probably isn't.

I just want to make it clear to everyone who's invited with minimal confusion, ruffling of feathers or risk of mis-delivery. Is there a less Excruciating convention I should be following?
posted by nebulawindphone to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I like the last option best, with maybe a note on the inside. (This might not go over well with the Martha Stewart demographic.) It could say: "Hey Buddy, long time no see! Wasn't sure how to get the invite out to the three of you, but I figured you could pass the word along. XOXO!"
posted by sarling at 6:51 PM on November 2, 2011


Yeah, do what's comfortable for you, as it's likely comfortable for Buddy, too - which is either putting all three on the envelope (the post shouldn't care that only one of those people on the mailbox), or putting a note in the invitation.
posted by ldthomps at 6:53 PM on November 2, 2011


Go ahead and put all the names on the envelope. That makes it "official". (If you're names not on the envelope, you aren't invited.) We did the one-envelope thing, too, and I just put everybody on the front if there was clarification needed (and I shortened the obvious ones to "and family" or "and guest" as needed.)

Also, the 'proper' way to invite couples who aren't married is each name on a separate line:
Buddy Smith
Mr. Boyfriend and Sonny
Address
City, state


(I'd put the child on the line with the parent. Envelopes are only so big.)

and couples who are married, but have different last names (my husband and me) on one line:
Green Eyed Monster and notsnot
Address
City, State


(I had to look all this crap up for my own wedding. It's annoying. And there will still be a few people who are like "I know my 6 kids aren't on the invite, but surely I'm bringing them anyway!" )
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:04 PM on November 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Regarding mis-delivery--I wouldn't consider that a risk, particularly if one of the names on the invitation will match the name on the mailbox.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:18 PM on November 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


The way to address it is to put the names on the envelope. So, like Green Eyed Monster says,

Buddy, Boyfriend and Sonny
Address
etc.

Don't worry that it will be returned, Buddy's name is on the envelope. The mail carrier can figure out what is going on there.

I used to address invitations by hand as a small business.
posted by Yellow at 7:21 PM on November 2, 2011


Don't worry that it will be returned, Buddy's name is on the envelope. The mail carrier can figure out what is going on there.

That, and they rarely (if ever) pay attention to the names on the envelope. If they did, I wouldn't STILL be getting mail for my unit's previous tenant.
posted by asnider at 7:31 PM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can't you also put their names on the actual invite?
posted by titanium_geek at 8:18 PM on November 2, 2011


Another vote for at least not worrying about the envelope not being delivered. If my letters to "The Martian Attack Force" have consistently made it to my friends (whose names are not The Martian Attach Force), yours will do just fine.
posted by Pwoink at 8:20 PM on November 2, 2011


Mail for Sonny probs goes to Buddy's all the time. Put all 3 names on the envelope, Buddy's first.

There will be a return address, too. Don't sweat this!
posted by jbenben at 9:10 PM on November 2, 2011


Have you had any online/phone contact with Mr. BF? If so, I would send him and Sonny their own invitation.
posted by brujita at 11:19 PM on November 2, 2011


« Older Dear MeFi houseplanters and su...   |  What do you call a Unitarian U... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.