How do I show that they may invite a guest?

I'm addressing my wedding invitations and realized I'm not quite sure on the etiquette of it all. There is no inside envelope to my invitations where I can write "John Smith and Guest" so where should I indicate that guests are invited? The RSVP cards have a place to put names and number of people, but should I specify anywhere else that they may bring a date? It's tacky to put it on the very outside envelope with their address. What is an alternative? Thanks!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is bad form (and unwise!) to invite strangers to your party. As host, you are responsible for the well-being of all your guests, including the responsibility of vouching to each of them that all your other guests are trustworthy people. If you welcome strangers, how will you vouch to your thirteen-year-old cousin that Auntie Millie's new flame isn't a paedophile? You don't know, so you can't.

    Besides that, you disrespect the "guests-of-guests" by putting them in an ambiguous second-class-guest status. If you really want John Smith's favourite person at your party, find out from Mr Smith who that person is, and send her an invitation in her own name, to her own address.

    If you insist, however, on inviting your guests to bring guest-guests, you are deviating from the standards of formal weddings, and should use a simple informal invitation. Write Mr Smith a simple note along the lines of "Dear John; Tom and I are getting married on Saturday and would love it if you could be there. Please feel free to bring a friend ..." On the other hand, if you want to use a formal invitation regardless, you can choose the very formal form that has a write-in line on the invitation itself, which would read

    "Miss Linny Seven

    "requests the honour of the presence of

    --->Mr Smith and Guest<---(hand-written)

    at ..."

    This does away with the need for inner envelopes. However, if your invitation is already printed using the common "honour of your presence" form, you can hand-write on the invitation card itself "John -- please bring a guest! -- Linny" Handwritten annotations on formal engraved stationery are traditionally used to express friendliness and intimacy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You invite every guest by name. If you're not sure whether Cousin Lydia or Uncle Dan are "going with" anyone, you call and ask "Is there someone special I should invite for you?" Then you get a name and address and send that special someone his/her very own invitation with his/her own name on it. If no name and address are provided, and you are hearing a vague "Well I might like to bring someone" your response is "I'm so glad you're unattached, so there will be at least one single man/lady to dance with all the single ladies/men." You only invite "And Guest" in the unfortunate event that some poor soul is actually NAMED And Guest.

    Most especially, do not invite And Family. This carries its own punishment when Aunt Gert show up with 9 members of her extended family to treat to champagne suppers at YOUR expense.

    Your RSVP cards, like your invitations, should list each guest by name with the option of "attending / not attending." Why would you want to leave blank spaces for guests to write in whatever names they wish? It is YOU who decides who to invite, not your guests! Nor should you be asking "How many people would you like to bring?" You should be saying "Here is a list of those invited; which will be attending and which will not?" Those "How many ... ?" blanks invite the awkwardness of guests writing in "5" when you have only invited two.

    And yes, that is a lot of work. I suggest doing your RSVPs by phone. Why do all that work and spend all that money on postage when people rarely bother to return the cards and you end up phoning them anyhow?

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  • PugMom
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    If you don't have an inner envelope, you're already not following etiquette, so really the only place to put that is on the outside envelope. The other alternative is to put on the response card "Two seats have been reserved for you and a guest...Then the person would have to write the number of people accepting or declining.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Around here it isn't tacky to address the envelope to both people you are inviting, including "and guest" on the outside of the invitation is very common. In fact, this is how I knew I was invited to the latest wedding I attended, as I was my boyfriends date. But, I guess it is all dependant on what your culture is...

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  • 1 decade ago

    i think that if you have an RSVP card with ____ will attend... they should see that they can bring a guest.. and if not and they are confused, i am sure that they would call.

    as far as families go.. i would put The Smith Family on the top line when addressing the envelopes... then they know its for the entire family.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I ran into the same problem. I bought the invitations and printed them myself and didn't have an outer envelope. I just put it on the outside. For example, John Smith and Guest. Or John and Jane Smith. Or John Smith and family (if there are kids). On some of them I even put it like "John and Jane Smith" and under that wrote "Jerry, Jill, and Jessica" (the kids' names)

    I know that's not totally formal, but we're not totally formal people. No one has complained. If they care that much, they probably shouldn't be at my wedding!

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  • Dana D
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    If you are inviting John Smith & his guest, you need to write "John Smith & Guest" somewhere. Without any inner envelope, it goes on the outside envelope. Otherwise, no one will know who the invitation is for. It's fine, no one is going to be totally aghast.

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