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Invites and Paper

How to address to unmarried couple, not living together...

Hi everyone! I will have 2 instances of this upon writing out invitations...

There is a couple that is unmarried and they do not live together, but it will be assumed that they will be attending the wedding together. However, if it were up to us (as a couple, it's not just me!) we would not invite the female if she was single, but we would invite the male if he were single. (The male is a friend, the female is just his girlfriend who we are not super fond of.)

How should we address the invitation? Outer envelope to Mr. John Smith and inner envelope to Mr. John Smith and guest? The invitations will be sent to the mens' homes. Not sure if we should include the female on one or the other or both? My argument is that they are not married and could be broken up before the wedding, and I would want him to feel free to bring another guest... Thanks in advance!

Re: How to address to unmarried couple, not living together...

  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You would address the outer envelope to the person's home that you are sending the invitation, then include the SOs name on the second line of the inner envelope. Should either couple break up before the wedding, you can let your friend know they can bring someone else as you've already set aside two seats. SOs are not the same as a +1, it's disrespectful to their relationship not to use the SO's name.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • I have the same question - we have a handful of friends in relationships who are not living together. If we don't do inner envelopes, how do we deal with that? Or are inner envelopes actually necessary? I hadn't planned to do them, but can if I need to.

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I have the same question - we have a handful of friends in relationships who are not living together. If we don't do inner envelopes, how do we deal with that? Or are inner envelopes actually necessary? I hadn't planned to do them, but can if I need to.
    @charcoalandblush - inner envelopes are not necessary.  For situations like yours I just addressed the envelope...
    Mr. John Smith
    Ms. Jane Jingle
    Address

    I just sent them to the home of the individual H or I knew best.

    charcoalandblushhuskypuppy14[Deleted User]
  • If not doing inner envelopes  : Mr. John Smith & Ms. Jane Jones & send it to his address

    If doing an inner envelope (which is not required): Outside Mr. John Smith & inner envelope Mr. John Smith & Ms. Jane Jones and again send to his address

    Like pp, this way you are showing respect to the SO but if something happens to their relationship before your wedding, with it going to the guy's house since that is who you really want to invite, then she would no longer be invited but you can give him the +1 with someone else if he wants.

     

  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    No, no, no, no, no. Miss Manners would not approve.

    Individuals not living at the same residence must receive individual invitations, addressed personally to them at their own addresses.

    And it is unspeakably rude to rescind an invitation once it's been extended. If a couple truly does break up in the interim, only a complete boor of a beau would still plan to attend the event.


    Powers  &8^]

  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    LtPowers said:
    No, no, no, no, no. Miss Manners would not approve.

    Individuals not living at the same residence must receive individual invitations, addressed personally to them at their own addresses.

    And it is unspeakably rude to rescind an invitation once it's been extended. If a couple truly does break up in the interim, only a complete boor of a beau would still plan to attend the event.


    Powers  &8^]

    No, social units should be addressed on the same invitation, unless you were planning to invite both people independent of the other. If it's the latter, you need to ask the couple where they would like their invitation sent.

    And due to the fact you must invite all SO, you do not have to invite the SO if they are not together by the time the wedding rolls around.

    Also, @Erikan73 you never use "&" , you need to spell out "and". Plus, unmarried couples should be on separate lines, not separated by "and". 
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  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    No, social units should be addressed on the same invitation, unless you were planning to invite both people independent of the other. If it's the latter, you need to ask the couple where they would like their invitation sent.

    And due to the fact you must invite all SO, you do not have to invite the SO if they are not together by the time the wedding rolls around.

    I'm fairly confident in my understanding of the etiquette here. Do you have an authoritative source that supports your interpretation?

    Everything I've read from Miss Manners about joint invitations specifies that it is an option for persons living at the same address, which strongly implies it's not an option for persons living at different addresses.

    The Emily Post Institute is explicit: "A single invitation addressed to both members of a married couple, or a couple who live together, is sent to their shared address, while invitations to an engaged or long-standing couple who don’t live together are sent separately, to each address."


    Powers  &8^]

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I would either send one invitation with both names on the inner envelope (or mailing envelope, if you're not using inner envelopes) to one of the addresses, or I'd send separate invitations to each but either include a note that the other is also invited in each invitation, or let each person know by word-of-mouth or other means that they are both invited.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    LtPowers said:
    No, social units should be addressed on the same invitation, unless you were planning to invite both people independent of the other. If it's the latter, you need to ask the couple where they would like their invitation sent.

    And due to the fact you must invite all SO, you do not have to invite the SO if they are not together by the time the wedding rolls around.

    I'm fairly confident in my understanding of the etiquette here. Do you have an authoritative source that supports your interpretation?

    Everything I've read from Miss Manners about joint invitations specifies that it is an option for persons living at the same address, which strongly implies it's not an option for persons living at different addresses.

    The Emily Post Institute is explicit: "A single invitation addressed to both members of a married couple, or a couple who live together, is sent to their shared address, while invitations to an engaged or long-standing couple who don’t live together are sent separately, to each address."


    Powers  &8^]

    The Emily Post institute is not an authoritative source. Emily Post would be rolling in her grave at some of the advice they give nowadays. Someone so confident in her understanding of etiquette should know that.

    I know you're not technically wrong about single invitations, but I've never seen it. Or this is why a lot of people write "and guest" for significant others, because they don't want to be stuck inviting someone should they break up with the "primary guest". If they are on the same invitation, it is clear that he or she is invited as the SO.

    Sure you could send an invitation to someone you don't know because they are the boyfriend of your cousin, but that boyfriend will probably say, who are these people getting married?  It's less confusing to put the SO on the invite of the "primary guest. 

    And Crane's is a better source for invitation etiquette than Post or Miss Manners, but even they give no mention of unmarried couples at different addresses (that I can find). 

    There is also some invitation etiquette that is outdated or sexist to women. Like asking if a woman who kept her last name would be so kind to be addressed as Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, or how a man gets to have Dr. but a woman should use Mrs. It's insulting.

    Etiquette also says to address widows and married women as Mrs. John Smith when addressing something just to her. This is outdated, and most woman want their own first names.  Sometimes common sense is helpful, and not to blindly follow things that don't make sense anymore.

    For all invitation etiquette, when in doubt the best thing to do is to ask your guests how they want to be addressed. 


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    [Deleted User]
  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Considering how long ago Mrs. Post passed away, it's not surprising that some of her advice has been modified by her heirs. I certainly don't go to the Institute for most etiquette issues, but theirs was the most definitive statement I could find on the topic.

    Crane's is an excellent source, but if they're silent on the topic, then I don't see how that can be used to buttress either argument.

    Robert Hickey says "If they do not live together ... it would be more correct to send each their own invitation to their individual home addresses." But he also says: "If the gentleman is actually the guest ... and the fiancee a date being included as a courtesy .... It would also be correct to address the invitation just to the gentleman .... and communicate you are looking forward to seeing them both at the event.  You can do this by listing them both on an inside envelope if the invitation has one ... or including a note extending the invitation to his guest."

    His latter point seems a reasonable facsimile of what you're looking for, without the awkwardness of addressing someone at the wrong address. It does, however, maintain the rudeness of failing to invite someone personally rather than second-hand. Mr. Hickey is a protocol expert, not an etiquette one, so the oversight is perhaps understandable.

    You bring up a number of other issues that seem rather tangential; I don't see how any individual recipient's preferences for how she is to be addressed has a bearing on whether it's proper to give a joint invitation to people who do not live at the same address.


    Powers  &8^]

  • LtPowers said:

    Considering how long ago Mrs. Post passed away, it's not surprising that some of her advice has been modified by her heirs. I certainly don't go to the Institute for most etiquette issues, but theirs was the most definitive statement I could find on the topic.

    Crane's is an excellent source, but if they're silent on the topic, then I don't see how that can be used to buttress either argument.

    Robert Hickey says "If they do not live together ... it would be more correct to send each their own invitation to their individual home addresses." But he also says: "If the gentleman is actually the guest ... and the fiancee a date being included as a courtesy .... It would also be correct to address the invitation just to the gentleman .... and communicate you are looking forward to seeing them both at the event.  You can do this by listing them both on an inside envelope if the invitation has one ... or including a note extending the invitation to his guest."

    His latter point seems a reasonable facsimile of what you're looking for, without the awkwardness of addressing someone at the wrong address. It does, however, maintain the rudeness of failing to invite someone personally rather than second-hand. Mr. Hickey is a protocol expert, not an etiquette one, so the oversight is perhaps understandable.

    You bring up a number of other issues that seem rather tangential; I don't see how any individual recipient's preferences for how she is to be addressed has a bearing on whether it's proper to give a joint invitation to people who do not live at the same address.


    Powers  &8^]


    What I put in bold up there is what I will do. I would not give an invitation to the female of the couples, but I understand that they will be just as much invited as their SO (even if I want to be catty about it ;) )

    I was not originally intending on inviting the females, but I can put them on the inner envelope, on the second line.

  • I hate that antiquated rule about addressing two parts of a couple separately. H and I were long distance for years, and it always bothered me to get a separate invitation. It suggests we are not a social unit, which I believe to be very rude.

    Not to mention, if I only barely know you through my SO, please do not send me a separate invite. That's awkward. Just throw my name on the envelope to make it clear I'm invited.

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    huskypuppy14[Deleted User]
  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    As long as we're throwing out anecdotes, I would find it highly rude to be invited second-hand via an invitation not sent to my own address.

    So since our anecdotes cancel each other out, I think it's best to fall back on the experts on the topic.


    Powers  &8^]

  • LtPowers said:
    As long as we're throwing out anecdotes, I would find it highly rude to be invited second-hand via an invitation not sent to my own address.

    So since our anecdotes cancel each other out, I think it's best to fall back on the experts on the topic.


    Powers  &8^]

    You are clever with your little signature and all. Actually, I would suggest that a host always attempt do what a guest would prefer when addressing invitations. So there, we can both be happy.

    And I imagine many, not just my n of one, would find it odd to receive an invitation from those they do not know because antiquated rules demand it.

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    huskypuppy14Knottie73473574[Deleted User]
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