It happened just yesterday. I arrived home from work and went to check the mail. I saw an envelope addressed to my fiancé that appeared to be an invitation of some sort. I noticed that my name was omitted, which was unusual. I fought my urge to open it up, and ended up setting it down on the counter. When my fiancé arrived at home, he opened the invitation. It was an invitation to a rehearsal dinner for a couple that we know. They are getting married soon and we are traveling out of state to attend, and my fiancé is in the wedding party. I thought that because the invitation did not have my name on the invitation , I am not invited to the rehearsal dinner. However, my fiancé had previously talked to the groom and we both are invited. I couldn't help but wonder how many others had been confused over similar situations that can be easily avoided...
For this reason, I have compiled a list of invitation "don'ts." These are little-known faux pas that can be easy to miss, but go against traditional invitation etiquette. Here are some "don'ts" to be aware of.
- Don't be vague on who you are inviting. Make sure that your guests are clear on who is invited. If not, it will only bring confusion. For example, if you want to invite Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but not their children, address the invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. If you do want their children to attend, address the envelope to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Family.
- Don't list any notation about gifts or registries. This is considered to be inappropriate, according to traditional etiquette. There are so many ways to get around listing gift information. Consider listing registry information on your wedding website, which you can set up free of charge on many websites. If your event is not a wedding, don't overlook asking a friend or family member to spread the word about gifts that you would prefer.
- Don't specify "Adults Only" or "No children please." If you don't want children, then there is no need to invite them. If you are very specific on who you are and are not inviting (see "Don't" number 1) your guests should have no question that children are not included on your invitation.
- Don't make it obvious when you are inviting B-list guests. Let's be honest, most brides have an A-list and a B-list, but make sure each guest receives their invitation before it's too late. I have heard many stories from friends and family members of brides sending invitations out as soon as 2 weeks before the wedding. These invitations result only in resentment and a decline on the event from the guests.
When you are choosing the wording for your invitations, keep in mind that you want to say what you mean. Invite who you want to, just make it clear what you want. Since you are planning the event, if your guests understand what your preferences are, they will follow them.