Perfectly Practical #198 - How to Read an Invitation Part 1
Party season is closing in fast.
Senior Parties, Showers, Weddings, etc. one's social calendar fills up rather quickly as we head into spring and summer.
Perhaps the title of this post should have been something to the effect of "What an Invitation is Trying to Tell You."
There seems to be a lot of confusion about what information exactly is conveyed through an invitation. The event hosts may think they are being quite clear but if either the sender or receiver doesn't know the etiquette of correspondence, then there can be confusion, and confusion often leads to embarrassment.
We don't want embarrassment.
So we've received an invitation. Yea! How exciting!
From the envelope we know some amount of very important information, from whom the invitation was sent and who is invited.
If an invitation is addressed to:
- Mr. & Mrs. Engineer Moppins & Family or The Moppins Family - our whole family is invited. The word family is the key there.
- Mr. & Mrs. Engineer Moppins - Only Engineer and I are invited and Diva gets to have a date with her grandparents. :)
- Mr. Engineer Moppins - Only Engineer is invited
- Mrs. Engineer Moppins or Ms. Pary Moppins - Only I am invited
- Miss Diva Moppins - Only Diva is invited
For example, I have sent invitations before to the adults in households only to have them bring their children or to call and ask if their children were invited. That makes it very awkward for me as the host to have to then placate children that I wasn't planning on (I'm thinking food and entertainment here) or having to tell my guests no, their children were not invited. Those situations could have been avoided had my guest read their invitation.
Pary, what's the big deal if people bring their children? Don't you like their kids?
Yes, I do like my friends children just fine.
1. Other guests had to make arrangements for their children in order to attend
2. Some guests were unable to attend because they couldn't get a babysitter for their children
3. The party was not child-friendly
4. Other guests may have looked forward to a kid-free event
5. Not all guests may be comfortable around children
Equally, if your child receives an invitation to a party, you as the parent should not feel obligated to hang around. Sometimes we parents just get in the way. A child's party invitation should be fairly clear whether or not parents are invited to stay. If not, you may ask the hostess if she needs help but as a good guest, we don't want to be an extra burden. Which brings me to...
If one child is invited to a party, that does not automatically mean that their siblings are also invited. I'm sure this has happened to all of us at sometime or another. If you get to a party and the host asks if your other children want to stay, then that's up to you; but, you should not expect it. The host has purchased a cake and goody bags based on the number of children that have been invited; she may not necessarily have extras.
If the invitation is to the man of the house, the lady of the house should not expect to attend and vice-versa. That may be obvious to some, but experience leads me to write that reminder.
By knowing how to read (and write) an invitation properly, a lot of hurt feelings, embarrassing confrontations, and general chaos, can be avoided.
This is part of WFMW.