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

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