Q&A: Invitations: Addressing One to a Widow or Divorcee?

Q: How should you address an invitation to a widow? What about a divorced woman who has retained her married name? Last question: What about those who are bringing significant others that do not live with them? Can I send just one invitation, or do I have to send one to each of them?

A: A widow is traditionally addressed as Mrs. John Jones, but if you feel the guest may not want to be addressed that way, it's completely okay to ask her how she prefers to be addressed. A divorced woman who has kept her married name should be addressed as you suggested -- Ms. Jane Johnson. For a couple not living together, technically you should send each their own invitation, but it's not horrible to send an invite to one of them (say, the person you're closer to) with both names listed alphabetically (each on its own line) on the outer envelope.


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Q&A: Invitations: Destination Wedding Etiquette?

My fiance and I are getting married in Maui and know that not all the 200 guests we would like to invite will make it. When we come back home, we are going to have a reception for everyone not able to make the trip. I've read that when getting married away and returning home to a reception, you should only send out wedding invitations to those you know can and will attend the wedding, then send out separate invitations for the reception. We both feel very strongly about sending invitations to everyone and then including (at the bottom) that a reception will be held in our honor when we return. We are afraid that if we follow etiquette, we will hurt people's feelings. Do we follow the rules or do what we feel is right?

by The Knot