Addressing wedding envelopes for the family only (without girlfriends)

by sandi
(scottsdale, az)

I addressed wedding envelopes to "The Stewart Family" and the "Rombard Family" assuming the recipients would understand that I only want to invite family members of that household---not other guests. Yet, I received phone calls asking if my invitation included "girlfriends" to the Stewart Family's teenage sons and girlfriends to the "Rombard Family's" teenage sons. Did I do something wrong?

I was surprised at the reaction. Is there a better statement I could have used or was this acceptable? This was a second marriage and I didn't want people to feel obligated or uncomfortable with having to think about a gift.

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Weddings & Family
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello, Sandi-

Ahhh, family is usually problematic around wedding time. Each situation is different so let's explore yours.

You have two families, each presenting possible extended friend involvement. Your reason for restricting the invitations is your concern people will feel they are obligated to send gifts. However, it would appear that your families do not share this concern & would like to include some friends as guests.

First, if you wanted it made clear that only immediate family was invited you must say so. You could have included a small note in the invitation explaining your wishes. Also you could have included RSVP cards that clearly call for one response per family member.

Since the formal invitations have already been sent and received, you are faced with the choice of being gracious or restrictive toward your family. The proper and practical Etiquette is to welcome all who wish join in your wedding celebration since many have assumed this was your intention.

At least you now know the correct format for your invitations. You may be able to apply these guides when planning your next family event.

Good luck!

Ms Practical Etiquette

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