How to address a single person & guest & children?

Our invitations only have one envelope, so everyone invited is going on the outer (and only) envelope.

We have several divorced and/or single parents. How do we address the envelopes to include the children & guest?

Is it: Ms. Joan Smith & Guest & Family? Or Ms. Joan Smith & Family & Guest?


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Lolly,

You could list “and family” or “and guest”, but you could end up with a lot of unexpected guests. So, it may be best to include an enclosure stating that she/he may also bring her/his children (name them if at all possible) and an escort.

Best wishes,



So there is no proper way to list both? I can do it either way on the envelope? I’m not concerned about the unexpected guests…..just the proper way to list both “family” & “guest” for those single parents.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

You could do this, but it would be messy and isn’t exactly correct–not completely improper though. But, the point is that you are addressing this to the woman, not to the others. You are also inviting others, which could be done in a neater fashion by an enclosure.

If you must list everyone on the envelope, it would be better to write it as: Ms. Joan James, Family, and Guest. This way there is only the one ‘and’.