Necessary To Send Individual Wedding Invitations? Adult Children living With Parents

Necessary To Send Individual Wedding Invitations?

I am the mother of the bride and I’m just starting to assemble the wedding guest list for our side of the family (wedding in a year). I am wondering if it’s necessary to send individual invitations to adult children living with their parents. I have one sibling who has two grown (age 30+) children living with them, and another sibling who has five grown children (ages 21-30) in addition to several younger children living with them. In the second case, the oldest child is married and she and her spouse live with them and we would definitely send a separate invitation to them.

All adult children involved are living at home because they are still in school or are not employed enough to be on their own. Is it really necessary to send individual invitations (and “Save the Date” cards) to adult children who would not be bringing partners/dates? The adult children and their parents are close so communication about who is coming would not be an issue and I’m sure the number attending would be communicated. And we are not a “formal” family. So, except for the sweet idea that the adult children are old enough to get their own individual invitations, is there a good reason, besides etiquette, that 3 invitations to one family/address, and 5 invitations to the other family/address (plus the 1 to the married couple living at the same address) should be sent? We love them all and don’t want them to feel like kids, but it just seems kind of silly, esp. in the second case, to have six invitations sent to one address.

But I abide by your decision–I suspect the MOG may have a similar case or two so want to be on the same page. Many Thanks!


Donna, Wedding Queen

Yes, all adults in the home should receive their own wedding invitation. I suppose there are many reasons. One that quickly comes to mind is to avoid confusion about exactly who is invited. There’s only so much space on the envelope to print out names — and then if there are dates to include it could get messy (though I know you have said these particular adults would not be asked/allowed to bring a guest). In any event, it is proper, according to wedding etiquette, to send each adult their own invitation. Hopefully the economy gets back on track and these “kids” can be out on their own soon.

Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy

I agree with Donna, but am slightly put off by your downplaying the importance of etiquette as being ‘a sweet idea’. There is a reason behind every bit of etiquette, whether it be addressing the Royal Family, or joining a biker gang. In your case, the reason behind correctly sending invitations to each adult or adult couple, no matter where they reside, is that they are identified properly as adults and as such are no longer children or dependents. Being dependent occurs on many levels, not just in the financial arena. Combining the names on a single invitation suggests a lack of independence, hardly what adult children living with their parents need. Your daughter’s wedding is a big milestone in her life and each one of the guests will recognize it as such. Take the extra few minutes it takes, and “do the right thing”.

wedding invitation etiquette

Donna, Wedding Queen

Thank you, Jay, for explaining that better than I could. If we sent a group invitation to all adults in one home, we would be treating them like children. It could be viewed as insulting.

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I didn’t mean to make it seem like etiquette was just a ‘”sweet idea”. I understand it is important which is why I follow this forum and posted the question. And all of the cousins of the bride are wonderful people (have enough self-esteem to not “feel a lack of independence” because they might not get their own invitations) tho. certainly deserve their own invitations . We’re happy to “take the few extra minutes” to send them. I guess I’m just anticipating what will probably happen in the one family when 6 invitations arrive (in a household of 14 people, mind you!). Those that get their own will be pleased but someone will have to explain why others didn’t get their own (a lesson in etiquette!), and then some will misplace or forget to respond and we’ll still have to finalize the count with Mom and Dad (and this is for a wedding several states away where probably only 2 or 3 of the family will be chosen to attend because of the cost of airfare) when it all could be simplified with one: “Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public and Family” and one to the married daughter and her husband. It would not be misconstrued as to who is invited–they are family and know they are all (and any +1s) invited (as they have been to all family gatherings/weddings.) Not sure if “etiquette” always trumps practicality. But I hear you and want to honor the adult cousins and treat them as adults so will probably do as you suggest but might compromise and only send one “Save The Date” card to each household.

rustic wedding invitation

Donna, Wedding Queen, President

You’re fine with the save the date as long as you stipulate who is invited. When you list, “and Family”, that could mean all of the kids, grandma and grandpa, second cousin Fred, etc. Yopur definition of Family could be different from their definition and you could wind up with many more guests than anticipated.

With regard to the actual wedding invitations, who would not be receiving their own invitation? If there are children living in the home who are not adults then they receive the invitation with their parents. I’d hope the parents, if asked, would be able to explain this to their children.

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