Birthday Invitations for Spouses

My mother is turning 50, but has never liked being fussed over, so has never wanted big rental hall parties for special occasions. But some of her friends have been asking, and since it's such a milestone, my sisters and I wanted to do something nice for her. We thought a good compromise would be a small luncheon of about 25 of her favorite friends, family, and coworkers. We are concerned about invitation etiquette. Do we have to include spouses she isn't close to? We have never met a lot of them and don't know their names. It could also potentially double the guest list and make for a less intimate setting; however, she has some close friends who are couples who are both getting invited and we don't want to be rude. Do we invite all the spouses or only address the invitations to the guests we know and see if they want to RSVP with their spouse. Would we address the invitations, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"? Does that put an aquaintance spouse on the spot to come if they weren't planning to come? Also, are we obligated to invite all her coworkers, or just the ones she socializes with? (If it makes a difference, the 25 people all know each other, so everyone would have someone to sit with-we just don't want to commit any faux-pas and upset anyone)

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Birthday Invitation
by: Ms P Etiquette


Today, it is acceptable to have a "friends only" celebration where only the women are invited. This is especially true as you are considering a luncheon, which is typically less formal. In the case where you are inviting both wife and husband, "Mr. & Mrs." is correct. For all others, it would be Mrs. or Ms. depending on their status.

At the end of the day, you choose who you wish to invite. This is the case with co-workers and spouses. You may want to take some advice from the friends and co-workers you plan to invite to help make the invitee list manageable.

Enjoy the luncheon and congratulations to your mother on #50.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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