Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ask Morgan: “And Guest” on a wedding invitation OK or Taboo?

imageInvitation by Emma J Design

Question: I am getting ready to send out invitations and I have a lot of single friends that we would like to offer that they bring a guest with them, but have heard that it is poor taste to put “And Guest” on the invitation. Is this true? If so, how do I go about letting them know that it is OK to bring a guest? –Miss Manners

Answer: The short answer is that there's nothing actually *wrong* with writing "and guest" on the invitation envelope (except that Emily Post hates it). If you are going to use it, I recommend writing it on the inside envelope. Never the outside! However, it's really impersonal, and can be rude when you know (or could find out) the name of the actual person your friend might actually invite. The message could be misconstrued as well……”you can bring somebody, and I don't care who it is." instead of “we would love for you to bring someone you want to share the evening with.” You don't want to come across as insensitive or unaware of their current relationship status either! What kind of a friend would you be conceived as?

There are much better ways to let your friend know that it is OK to bring someone with them. Maybe a more personal way to let someone know is to write a note on the save-the-date itself, dash a note across the bottom corner that says: "Mary—we would love for you to bring a guest. Start thinking who you'd like to invite." or even a little note in the invitation itself on a separate piece of paper. Even give your friend a call! “Mary, I just sent our wedding invitation to you and wanted you to know that I would love for you to bring someone with you if you had someone in mind!” If you give them some time to think about who they would like to accompany them to you wedding, then by the time the invites are going out they would have had the chance to get back in touch with you and let you know their name!


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jennifer borkowski said...

...I agree with you Morgan. I advise my clients that making personal contact...if you don't know the name of the "guest", is the best way to do it. As a calligrapher, I am seeing a declining usage of inner envelopes, in which case this is important. I try to encourage and emphasize the importance of this!!!