Please help me with a sensitive wedding invitation challenge .
February 22, 2007 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Please help me with a sensitive wedding invitation challenge. My partner doesn't want her parents on the invitation as her father has died years after a bitter separation from her mother. But my mum is a traditionalist and can't understand how I could leave her off the invite. Is there a way for everyone to be happy?

I'm talking about the kind of invite which goes "...marriage of partner, daughter of mr and mrs xxx and razzman son of mr and mrs zzz. This is a kind of cultural expectation. My partner doesn't like the idea due to her family history.
We thought about putting a little cross near my partner's father's name but then this would imply that her mother is a widow (she kept the same surname). Leaving off her father and just including her mother is an option, has anyone seen this before? Any other suggestions?
posted by razzman to Human Relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can't you say: "Mr. and Mrs. Son and Mrs. Daughter invite you to share in the joy, blah, blah, blah..."? That's plenty traditional, and her father's name wouldn't be expected to appear in that context.
posted by amro at 12:33 PM on February 22, 2007

Ultratraditionally, the parents of the bride are doing the inviting, so the form is approximately 'Mr & Mrs XYZ invite you to witness the marriage of their daughter Lil XYZ to Lil ABC son of Mr & Mrs ABC'. That's sort of gone towards 'W daughter of X&Y and Z son of A&B invite you...' because more and more, couples are hosting their own weddings, or both sets of parents are sharing the costs, rather than having the bride's parents host the event, or the parents are divorced and have new names and it's easier that way.

The traditional wording, however, might help you here, in as much as dead people don't issue invitations. Leaving her deceased father off would make sense if the invitation was worded as if her mother was the hostess. Which probably isn't actually the case, but unless you're surrounded by the type of people who pay very detailed attention to these sorts of things might not matter.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:35 PM on February 22, 2007

I say, just include the mother. I have seen a single parent's name on an invite before. If I saw it on your invite, I would just assume that the father had passed or was not around, which is the case.
posted by paddingtonb at 12:36 PM on February 22, 2007

Just use her mom's name. If her father is dead, he can't really request the pleasure of your company unless he's a ghost, right?

Check it out here.
posted by mckenney at 12:36 PM on February 22, 2007

Why can you you do someting like "Partner & Partner2 together, with their parents invite you.." That way, it seems like the parents are invovled, whoevere is reading it can decide which parents are included in the definition.
posted by nuclear_soup at 12:38 PM on February 22, 2007

It seems perfectly acceptable to just list her mother and both of your parents.

"... marriage of Jane Doe, daughter of Ms. Joanne Doe, to John Razzman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Razzman."

posted by Ynoxas at 12:41 PM on February 22, 2007

I just listed my mom. No one batted an eye.
posted by onhazier at 12:48 PM on February 22, 2007

List whomever you want. Explain to your mom that you guys want your invitations to make your future wife happy, cause really, that's the point.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:02 PM on February 22, 2007

The dead dad is definitely off. All other wording is up to you but life is long, grudges fade ... include her mom and make yours happy!
posted by thinkpiece at 1:04 PM on February 22, 2007

It's fine to leave off the father's name if he is deceased.
posted by donajo at 1:08 PM on February 22, 2007

My father-in-law had been deceased for years before my husband and I married, and my mom-in-law never remarried. We used "Mr. and Mrs. John Daughter and Mrs. Jane Son invite you..." As others have noted, dead people don't issue invitations. Problem solved.

If there's some reason you need to stick with the "son of.../daughter of..." construction, there is nothing wrong with only listing one parent. I have seen that before on more than one invite. Most people will already know the backstory, or won't even notice/care.
posted by somanyamys at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2007

We said "together with their parents". I have a stepmom, a mom, and a dad, and it was just too much clutter. And we were paying for it, so they weren't "hosting".
posted by some chick at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2007

Leaving off her father and just including her mother is an option, has anyone seen this before? Any other suggestions?

You typically do not include a deceased parent in a wedding invitation, so this would be totally appropriate. The Knot's Invitation Wording Wizard offers several suggestions for how to word invitations with different situations (widowed parents & divorced parents included).

It also depends on how you're wording it. Who's hosting it? If you and your partner are hosting it, I don't see any reason to include your parents on the invite regardless. If Her parents are hosting it, then her deceased father is obviously not assisting in hosting the wedding, and thus would not be included. If she has a stepparent, they could be included.

If your parents are hosting it, then you really only need to put their names on the invite as inviting your guests to the wedding of Razzman & His Partner. Many people put both sets of parents on an invite, but it's really not necessary. You only need to say who is hosting it and who is getting married.
posted by tastybrains at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2007

Oh, man. With a total of 8 parents and step-parents, we wanted to avoid the whole thing, and chose the more formal,

"The honor of your presence
is requested
at the marriage of ..."

with no parents names whatsoever. No one objected. Of course, no one was funding it other than us, either ....
posted by timepiece at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2007

Its YOUR wedding, not your what you want.
posted by keep it tight at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

It sounds like your fiancee's Mom does not want to be on the invite at all, yes? If so, you could go with "Mr. & Mrs. Razzman Sr. resquest your presence at the wedding of Miss Partner and Mr. Razzman..." It makes it sound like they are hosting the shindig but if you are cool with that...
posted by Rock Steady at 1:45 PM on February 22, 2007

Can you be firm with your mom and do what works for you and your partner? This will be the first of MANY things the mothers will want for your wedding, and if you give them everything that is important to them you probably won't be happy with the ceremony and party that results.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:16 PM on February 22, 2007

But my mum is a traditionalist and can't understand how I could leave her off the invite

As jacquilynne noted, traditionally it was the bride's parents doing the inviting, and the groom's parents were not necessarily mentioned. There are lots of ways that your mum could be acknowledged that would not cause pain to your fiancee. Sit down and figure out an alternative. This is your first opportunity to signal to your mum that you love her and respect her but you are making a new family with your wife and that must necessarily get first consideration.

When I got married we didn't put our parents' names on the invitation at all- we extended the invitation, so it was just our names on it. And we paid for it. And nobody made a peep.
posted by ambrosia at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2007

Bin the parents entirely: "razzman and razzman's SO request the pleasure of the company of X at their wedding."
posted by TrashyRambo at 8:01 PM on February 22, 2007

I second keep it tight. (and on preview, TrashyRambo)

Without sounding too selfish, this is your wedding - one you hope will be your last - and it doesn't matter what other people want. Your fiancee's feelings on the subject should be paramount, not the feelings of people who are not getting married. As long as you're not being patently offensive, I think that whatever you choose should be fine.

(Our parents were left off of our invitations, but only because we thought it was cheesy.)
posted by jeffrygardner at 6:57 AM on February 23, 2007

The father is dead. He can't invite anyone. If it's a huge issue, just include the mother's name and your parents' name.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:32 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm a few days late on this, so I don't know if you're still checking but what about "you're invited to the wedding of girl to boy, son of mom and dad"?
posted by echo0720 at 5:37 PM on February 24, 2007

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