Q What is the most proper way to have my invitations done?
A 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.
Q Where can I get wedding invitations by mail order?
A A list of companies offering this service is listed
Due to space limitations, the list is not reproduced here. You
will find that there are a variety of different kinds of invitations
available from different companies, so it is worthwhile to send away for
catalogs from various makers. The list includes annotations if a
company offers a special or unusual product or service.
Q Is it OK to send invitations to someone "and
A 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".
Q 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?
A 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.
Q I have been invited to a wedding without my fiancé.
Can I get my fiancé invited, or do I have to go alone?
A 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
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
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.
Q What percentage of the people I invite can be expected to
A 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:
Aunt Susan .5 (50%)
Mom 1 (100%)
Dad 1 (100%)
Bobby 1 (100%)
So from this
list, you would expect 4 guests. While it might not seem
like it would work very well, it does.
Q Can I use my laser printer to address my
A There are two schools of thought on this:
Absolutely not. Addressing invitations by machine
demonstrates a lack of personal attention and interest in whether a
guest attends. This is a majority, traditional view.
* Of course. The post office will have a much easier time
delivering the invitations if I print the addresses. In fact,
while I'm at it, I'll consult with them about bar-coding the
invitations. After all, the purpose of the outer envelope is to
ensure the invitations get there, not to look pretty. This is a
minority view. Persons who adhere to this view do generally
consider it better to print directly on the envelopes, rather than on
address labels. Those who print on labels usually use clear
labels. Incidentally, the original purpose of the outer envelope
was to protect the invitation from the hazards of being transported by
your footman to the invitees homes. The invitees' butlers would
then remove the outer envelope, so that the people being invited only
ever saw the inner envelope. Recently, Miss Manners seems to
have grudgingly agreed with this school of thought. I read an
article in Family Circle magazine on addressing Christmas cards using
address labels, and Miss Manners agreed that this was acceptable as
long as the inside was written by hand.
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.