Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?

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shaybean Posts : 1 Registered: 4/28/10
Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 28, 2010 6:52 PM

Hello!! I am in the process of addressing my invitations and we have several friends who live with their boy/girl-friends and are not married yet. I was thinking that proper etiquette for this would be:

If we are friends with both of the people in the relationship: Then I address the outer envelope to the male of the relationship, and the inner envelope says both of their first names.

If we are friends with only one person in the relationship (which is my dilemma): Then I address the outer envelope to the person we are friends with (in my case, the male) and the inner envelope says that person's name and guest.

Is this proper? I am having a hard time because I figured since we do not know his girlfriend and we are not very fond of her either, that we should just put his name.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you :)

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 28, 2010 7:13 PM Go to message in response to: shaybean

no, it isn't. Here you go:

It doesn't matter if you're friends with both or not. They're in a relationship that is significant enough that they co-habitate.

On the outside:

Mr. Joseph DiMaggio
Ms. Kathering Kilpatrick
1234 Merry Christmas Lane
Hollytown, Colorado 98210


On the inside:

Joe and Kathy

or
Mr. DiMaggio
Ms. Kilpatrick

Depending on the level of formality you want to put out.


Misty

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 28, 2010 9:26 PM Go to message in response to: shaybean

Dear Shay,

Cat is exactly right.

You are inviting both people. You put both names on the outside and inside envelopes.

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ButterflyTiff Posts : 27 Registered: 12/7/09
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 29, 2010 9:39 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

What if they live apart? IE my cousins long-term girlfriends, don't live with them. Do I invite my cousin on the outside and then them and their SO on the inside?
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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 29, 2010 10:52 AM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

Dear BT,

"What if they live apart? IE my cousins long-term girlfriends, don't live with them."

Two different houses? They get separate invitations sent to their own addresses, just like the two single people they (officially, legally) are.

You could include a handwritten note in the invitation addressed to your cousin, just letting him know his girlfriend is invited.

"Joe, I thought you might like to know I sent a separate invitation to Sally. We're looking forward to seeing both of you at the wedding."

Don't know the girlfriend's full name and address? Ask.

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 29, 2010 11:45 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I am wary of this actually, more so with Save the Dates than with invitations, but the principle applies to both.

You have a relationship with X and they have a partner that is only invited to the wedding because of their relationship to X. In the event of a breakup, you don't actually want the partner at your wedding (or if you do, then it's a moot point). So if you've sent them a separate Save the Date and in the interim the relationship dissolves, you're then obligated to send an invitation to a person that was only invited by virtue of a situation that no longer exists. (I've seen this situation a few times on the boards!)

For the actual invitation it's not really a worry because presumably the couple won't break up in the 8wks between getting your invitation and attending the wedding. But still, I'm on the fence because the etiquette principle should be the same for STD as well as invitations, but I would be uncomfortable applying the rule equally to both. I suppose that's why I didn't do STDs

 

 

~~Life's tough, wear a cup~~

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 29, 2010 4:33 PM Go to message in response to: Agape14

Dear Agape,

You make a lot of good points, which are all great reasons not to send out save-the-dates.

STDs lock you into a guest list. If you send an STD to the cousin's girlfriend, six months ahead of the wedding, and they break up, then you are in the uncomfortable position of having to invite her, solo, to the wedding.

If you send a STD to the cousin, but not the girlfriend, then that makes her look like a second-class guest, which she actually is.

If a person really feels they MUST send STDs, I would go with the second choice of the STD only to "must-invite" people and just omit the others.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 30, 2010 9:08 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Agape, that's one of the reasons why STD's are useless and evil. Why a couple would want to lock themselves into a guest list months earlier than necessary, I have no idea - but we receive them for almost every wedding. And as we all know from these boards, they can cause LOTS of problems down the line. I don't recommend that anyone send them. There are plenty of ways to get your date to the important people (family, WP, close friends) without sending STDs. People were going to weddings long before STDs were around, and somehow, the important people made it to weddings without them.

As for the average guest that receives an STD? Well, if I'm not an 'important person' (i.e. family, WP, or close friend) for a wedding, I'm not more likely to attend if I receive an STD than if I don't. Either way, I'll look at my schedule, decide whether I really want to spend the money to attend this particular wedding, and make a decision. I don't blindly block out dates on my calendar for weddings months in advance unless it's the wedding of someone very important to me - and for those people, I know the date without receiving an STD.

Back to the issue of how to address invitations to unmarried couples who do not live together, I didn't follow etiquette on this one. I sent the invitation to the person I knew best and included their SO's name on the inner envelope. I can only think of two couples in that situation, and both received their invitation fine and attended. Sure, it wasn't technically correct, but it worked. We also received invitations this way before we were married. I can't think of any wedding we were invited to where we received separate invitations, even when we lived in separate states. People just sent the invitation to whomever they knew best and put both names on it. As a couple, we were quite capable of communicating the wedding date and information to one another. Actually, I think it's easier that way. If I had received an invitation addressed only to me, I would have thought he wasn't invited, unless one of us happened to mention the oddity to the other one before declining the invitation. For guests that weren't dating anyone, I put 'and guest' on the inner envelope. AOTB advises not to do this because they could bring anybody they want, but we honestly didn't care whether our guests brought a longtime SO, their mom, or someone they met the day before, as long as they had a good time.

Funny that you should mention that it's unlikely for a couple to break up in the time between sending invitations and the wedding - because a friend of mine did have a breakup in that timeframe. Before I addressed the invitations, I asked her about her boyfriend. They had been dating about 6 months and everything seemed to be moving along well. She said that she'd like to bring him. As I mentioned above, however, I sent the invitation only to her and put both names on the inner envelope, rather than sending him his own invitation. I'm glad I did, because she called me two weeks before the wedding to tell me that they had broken up and asked whether it would be Ok if she brings someone else, which I was more than happy to let her, as she wouldn't know anybody else at the wedding. If I had sent the ex his own invitation, I would have been stuck with a potentially awkward situation (though I doubt he would have shown up, as we had only met once). Since I had sent the invitation only to her, I wasn't stuck paying for a meal for someone I don't know on the offchance that he showed up, and my friend was able to bring someone else as a date without any inconvenience to me.

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Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 30, 2010 9:20 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Dear Art,

"People were going to weddings long before STDs were around, and somehow, the important people made it to weddings without them. "

In these days of multiple instant means of communication, it staggers me to think that there are people who bellieve the ONLY way to convey a future wedding date is with a snail-mailed STD.

When I got engaged, and set a date, my mother got on the phone with the "must-come" guests: Grandmothers, other relatives, close friends. They all heard about the date, and presumably marked it on their calendar, within a few hours. My mother did not have Facebook, text messaging, a cell phone, a wedding website nor a computer. She had an old fashioned corded telephone. She managed to get the word out just great.

In my opinion, the only reason STDs were invented was to increase the profits of the stationery companies. They did the classic thing described in every Marketing 101 class: They created a need when none existed.

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 30, 2010 11:04 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I dislike STDs too, but I can see how they might be useful for a destination wedding, although really, not much.

We got a STD for a destination wedding a few years back, and seriously considered going. It was in Mexico, six months away, and we were trying to figure out if we'd cough up the $$ to do it. In this case, we needed the STD to even consider it, as it would've involved lots of planning, money and time wise. Ultimately we decided not to go, because though a good friend, we did not feel obligated and ultimately decided that was not how we wanted to spend the money.

Now, we have a destination wedding coming up in October. A closer friend, who told us awhile back that he's considering this. We immediately realized we'd want to go, due to the relationship, and I've already blocked out the time on my calendar, and have considered our vacation money to be tied up in this trip. No STD came -- this was total word of mouth, with him telling us (months ago, actually) that he was going to do this.

So you can see how a STD is valuable, but really, not as much as you'd think.

Anyways, I had a similar situation as Art, with an unmarried friend. A good friend, let's call him J, was in a relationship with a woman, S. S was a pretty well-known person, actually, and I was excited about her coming to the wedding, as how often do you get to invite a former SNL host to your event? But I also new that S wanted to get married and J was apathetic about it. I knew the relationship might fall apart before the wedding, but I, if I'm being honest, I'd kinda hoped that it would stay together because I did love the idea of her coming. In this case, I called him up and told him, hey, how should I address this invitation, since I know she's pressuring you and you're essentially seeing how long she's going to stay with you before giving up. He said go ahead and invite them both, and if they're still together, she's coming, and if not, he'd come alone. (He came alone -- she finally cut the cord.)

Anyways, this is a situation where I'd recommend being direct about it.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 30, 2010 2:56 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Dear MsD,

"I've already blocked out the time on my calendar, and have considered our vacation money to be tied up in this trip. No STD came -- this was total word of mouth, with him telling us (months ago, actually) that he was going to do this. "

I'd do two things in this situation. First, I'd ask around to see if others got STDs. If they did and you did not, then scratch the vacation plans. Second, if there were no STDs sent out, just have a private chat with your friend to the tune of you need to plan way in advance to take this time off from work, save the money, etc., and you are not prepared to do that unless you have assurance that you will be invited. If there's any weaseling, just tell the guy to let you know when the list is finalized.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 30, 2010 2:57 PM Go to message in response to: shaybean

Ladies,

I thought I'd mention that all these address rules apply to a married couple with different last names.

Mr Homer Simpson
Ms Marge Bouvier

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: Apr 30, 2010 5:01 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Sorry for the confusion Aunt -- when I say no STD came, it's more because they've informed us of the date because they want to make sure that we've got it on our calendar because we are invited. In this case, hubs was actually asked to be a groomsmen. My point was more to collaborate what you and Art were saying -- that once you get engaged and know the date, you can let your important guests know beforehand word-of-mouth; no STD is necessary.

With this particular couple, they may or may not send an STD at all. They're pretty informal people, and my guess is also that they want to save as much money as they can, and are probably anticipating a pretty small wedding.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: May 1, 2010 11:38 AM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

I swear whenever I see STD - Save the Date is NOT the first thing that pops into my head, and depending on the sentence it just gets worse.

 

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Addressing invitations to an UNmarried couple?
Posted: May 1, 2010 12:16 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Dear PTG,

"I swear whenever I see STD - Save the Date is NOT the first thing that pops into my head, and depending on the sentence it just gets worse."

Yeah, me, too. I have to consciously think "I'm on the Brides forum, and STD means Save The Date.".

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