Children's wedding invitation etiquette

Written by mallory ferland
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Children's wedding invitation etiquette
You must specifically state somewhere in the invitation address that children are included in the invitation. (pageboy reading card image by cat from Fotolia.com)

Formally addressing wedding invitations can be tricky, especially when there are enough rules to fill an entire book. Generally, children are not included in a wedding invitation unless specifically stated either on the outer or inner envelope, therefore it is important to include them somewhere in the address. There are things to do and not do when it comes to adding children to the invitation, revolving around the concept that they are accompanying their parents to a wedding rather than being personally invited.

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Family Invitation

If you are inviting children to a wedding, they should be included in the family invitation. A household with six children does not need to receive seven of the same invitation. Furthermore, children are invited to "accompany" their parents to a wedding, therefore they act as additional rather than main guests.

Outer Envelopes

Formal invitation etiquette leaves the names of children off of the outer envelope. This is both to show respect to the parents as they are the ones being invited, as well as to keep the outer envelope clean. Address lines with too many names become crowded and unattractive. If you have to put the children's names on the outer envelope (in case you do not have inner envelopes) never write "and family" or else it may be interpreted as an open invitation to your grandmother, cousin and single uncle. Write the names of each child in age descending order on the line underneath the names of their parents.

Inner Envelopes

Children's names should be written only on the inner envelope on the line underneath their parents. For example; "Mr. and Mrs. Charleston" under which should be written "Lilly, Benjamin and Brad." The children should be listed in descending order of age. If there are too many children, continue onto the third line. Make sure you spell out the word "and" rather than using an ampersand.

Adult Children

Etiquette require that adult children over the age of eighteen receive their own invitation even if they are still living in the same house with their parents. Adult children should be listed on the outer envelope as either "Miss" or "Mr." followed by their full names. On the inner envelope, drop the first name and add a guest permission. For example, "Miss Charleston and Guest" or "Mr. Charleston and Guest". If there are multiple adult children in the same household, combine their invitations only if they are of the same sex. For example, two adult male children would be addressed as "Messrs. Kenny and Taylor Charleston" and two adult female children in the same hose would be addressed as "Misses Lila and Tara Charleston." On the inner envelope simply state "The Messrs. Charleston" or "The Misses Charleston". Add "and guest" if applicable.

Child Only

Though not very common, it is possible that a child is to be invited to a wedding without their parents. In such cases, follow the same rule as if addressing an invitation to an adult child. Also, getting in touch personally with the parent of the child to make arrangements is also considered an appropriate action.

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