Q&A: Invitations: Addressing One to Guests With Kids?

Q:

What is the appropriate way to include guests' children on the outer envelope of an invitation? Should I address it as "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family," list the children's names, or eliminate the children's names altogether?

A:

If you are inviting an entire family, the traditional way to word the invitations is to list the children's names on the inner envelope but not on the outer one (this goes for anyone under 18). Adult children (18 and older) should get their own invitations. The word family can be interpreted widely -- you wouldn't think people would bring their second-cousin-once-removed to your wedding, but it happens! Including each child's name on the invitation will make him or her feel especially invited -- which is a nice touch. Here is how to address:

Outer envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Inner envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Peter, Paul, and Mary


Up Next
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