Wedding Invitations & Paper

Addressing an Invitation - Husband in Coma

Hi Everyone-
A close friend of FI has been in a coma for over a year.  He is not expected to ever come out of it and if he does he will be in a vegatative state.  We keep in touch with his wife and their young son and she is on our guest list. 

I am conflicted as to how I should address the wedding invitation.  They are still married and if I were in her shoes I would like to see the invitation addressed as "Mr. & Mrs. FirstName Smith".  However, many fo my friends seem to think I should address the invitation simply as "The Smith Family". 

I fear that in between preparing invitations and mailing them out, our friend will pass (which is very likely).  And if he doesn't, I would hate for my piece of mail with her husband's name on it to cause a breakdown after a stressful day (it's amazing what this woman goes through on a daily basis). 

I feel like either way, I won't address the invitation correctly.  Either she will be offended and think I have written her husband off by addressing as "The Smith Family".  But at the same time, seeing your husband's name on a piece of mail surely stings a little bit. 

It is a sensitive subject and I want our friend to feel welcome at our wedding.  Thoughts?
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Re: Addressing an Invitation - Husband in Coma

  • Is there someone else who is close to her that you can ask?
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  • I've asked many people.  I'm getting split opinions and a few people who shockingly suggested I address it as "Mrs. Smith".  I'm just looking for unbiased opinions. 
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  • I would put the Smith Family
  • I'd put Smith Family - Since they have a child, its not like you're sending an invitation ONLY to a married couple so she may be used to seeing "and family" or "Smith family"

    I"m sorry to hear all that she's going through
  • I agree, I would put The Smith Family as well. That way it doesn't sound like you are assuming anything about their situation... I am putty "The ____ Family" on all my invitations.
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  • If you're close enough to her to invite her to your wedding, you're close enough to call and ask, in my opinion. 

    If you're not ok with that, then I would suggest addressing it formally. 

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
    James Smith

    It's really not your place to shelter her from her grief.  She's in a horrible situation, but she's not a widow.  Address her as though she's still married - since she is.
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  • You can't really be tasked with predicting the future.  I addressed my dad's invitation to him and my stepmom, only to find out the day after I mailed it that they had separated.  No way I could have known that was going to happen.

     I would just address it the standard way.  If he passes before you mail the invitations, then obviously you'd leave his name off.
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  • I'd go with the Smith Family. It's not the "norm," but this isn't a normal situation.
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