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Discussion Forums

The Etiquette Queen Parties

Invitations & Mailings
See Other Categories

Ask your questions of the Etiquette Queen now.
You may even see your question and answer posted in the space below.


VI asked:

I have many greeting cards and notes to send to friends and loved ones... in this age of technology etc, is it appropriate to type personal notes to include in greeting cards as both thank you's and greetings. I am afraid if I don't sit down and type them, they won't get done again this year. I am a much faster typist than hand scripting a note.

The Etiquette Queen says:

Go ahead and type. Just write a few script words at the end along with your signature.


trish asked:

For an engagement party, should I invite same people I invite to the party to the wedding or can I invite the people to the wedding and not the party????

The Etiquette Queen says:

Engagement parties are generally smaller than wedding in numbers. Just remember not to offend anyone such as a relative or close friend.


Dawn asked:

I am getting married at 4:30 in the afternoon, what is the correct way to state this in the invitation?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You just put the time and place of the ceremony on the invitation. Then put the time and place of the reception.


terri asked:

After the busy holidays the last thing that I want to do is have another party here at my house. My parents are having their 30th anniversary the end of January. I would like to have a party at a restaurant but I'm not sure about my budget. Is it ok to ask guests to pay a portion of the bill.

The Etiquette Queen says:

Yes, you can put that in the invitation. The least expensive meal is usually a buffet; see what you can work out with the restaurant. Or you might find a party room to use and ask everyone to pitch in with appetizers, main meal and dessert and you supply the beverages, paper goods, decorations, ice, etc.


Stephanie asked:

Who should birth announcements be sent to?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Anyone you would like to know about the birth of a child.


Erin asked:

What is the proper way to suggest to guest to bring "gag gifts" instead of real gifts to a 25th anniversary party on the invitation?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Put that information on the invitation. I would probably send a funny sort of invite.


Maureen asked:

Is it proper to invite family that lives out of state to your baby shower knowing that they won't be able to attend?

The Etiquette Queen says:

It isn't very nice to do so. You sort of saying, I know you can't come but send a present. If they are good enough to warrant an invitation to a shower, they will probably send a present when the baby's born. The exception would be if you are often in contact with them and feel that they would feel slighted.


Judith asked:

This is wedding etiquette I guess... maybe you can help...My fiancÚ and I eloped on Christmas Eve and we want to send Announcements about the occasion. On the outer envelope to be mailed out, do I put my married name since I'm already married? Do I put his name only? or my maiden name and his name? Help!!

The Etiquette Queen says:

Why not put Mr. and Mrs. John Smith (nee Brown) or John Smith and Judy Brown Smith


Jenni asked:

Just a few days ago, for Christmas, I gave my new boyfriend's parents a small tin of homemade goodies. A few days later, I was at their house for lunch and was given a Christmas Gift (an Aromatic Candle). Do I send a thank you note for the gift? I don't want to be perceived as a suck-up, but would like to express gratitude for remembering me at Christmas. What should I do?

The Etiquette Queen says:

As I told the previous writer, I believe that any gift should be acknowledged with a thank you note. It's not sucking up, it good manners.


trystan asked:

Should one send thank you's for xmas gifts? I've heard that this is the only exception to the rule...

The Etiquette Queen says:

I believe that every gift should be acknowledged with a thank you note. If someone takes the time to get you something, regardless of the occasion, you should acknowledge that with a note.


Erin asked:

How do I tactfully ask in the invitation for guests to bring "gag gifts" rather than real gifts to the surprise 25th anniversary party I am throwing for my parents?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You just say it plainly in the invitation.


Kim asked:

How do you address and invitation for a family? Mr. and Mrs. _______ and family or tom and helen ________ and family?

The Etiquette Queen says:

If you are close, use the latter; if not, use the former.


Nan asked:

We will soon be having a Bat Mitzvah. My daughter has a large religious school class, but is only friendly with about half of the children. Some of the others are very badly behaved. We will be having a nice luncheon at a hotel, shortly after the service, (following a simple kiddush). The luncheon will not include special music or activities geared towards the kids. In the evening, we will be having a kids-only party with a DJ. My question is this: is there any way to limit those invited to the luncheon to only part of the class, and then invite everybody to the kid's party? How could this be done without being rude?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You only send invitations to those you want to attend. If you were doing this at the synagogue, it would be rude but most of the kids don't care about the lunch. If it was my party, I would have the adults and those kids who are in from out of town to the lunch and invite those kids you want for the evening.


Kimberly asked:

Should Thank You notes for Baby Shower Gifts be given in person or is it better Etiquette to mail them?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Whichever is the most convenient. As long as they get there, the delivery method doesn't matter.


Miriam asked:

What is the proper way to address an invitation to a married couple if you want to use both parties names and not the traditional form of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith Thanks, Miriam

The Etiquette Queen says:

John and Mary Williams would do just fine.


Kim asked:

I'm having a 50th wedding anniversary party for my mom and dad. I want to put no gifts, but want to say a money tree will be there. Is this ok. And if so how would I put that on the invitations?

The Etiquette Queen says:

I'm not a big fan of the money tree thing and don't like to see one mentioned on an invite. You can tell them when they RSVP.


Marie asked:

I am having a party for my 50th (I'm planning it - I didn't want a surprise).  We are look at invitations that are more formal. Would it be correct to enclose a response card (similar to a wedding) addressed to my daughter? What type of wording would we use on the card?  Also, what would the time period by? How long before the party should they be sent out (the party is Friday 4/14/00) at a restaurant. What would be a good RSVP day to use on the response card?  Thank you.

The Etiquette Queen says:

A response card is certainly a good idea. Usually a good time frame for invitations is to send them about 6 weeks before the affair and ask for RSVPs in the next 3 weeks. That gives you plenty of time to contact those who didn't respond.


Morgan asked:

I was wondering if you had any fun ideas for invitations to a wedding that will be in Las Vegas. A friend of mine will be getting married there this summer and we were trying to think of some ideas for invitations!

The Etiquette Queen says:

Why not do something with dice or poker chips. Look at www.oriental.com for some invitations and extras to include like a pair of dice or play money.


Andy asked:

How do you properly address an envelope in which the wife has her PH.D? Does the husbands name still go first?

The Etiquette Queen says:

I have see variations of this so I'm not sure. I have seen: Dr. and Mr. John Jones Mr. and Dr. John Jones (first name) and (first name) Jones Names on separate lines. Take your pick. Someone will have something to say no matter what you do. You might want to ask the couple what they prefer.


Kay asked:

Should I send an extra invite with the ones I'm giving out so that my guests can be sure to have someone they'd get along with and dance with and stuff?

The Etiquette Queen says:

No, you could put "and guest" on the invite and find out how many when they RSVP.


doris asked:

I'm having a large Christmas party that will include: old co-workers, family and friends (240). My problems is that I sent out rsvp cards and for the most part received them back. But there are a few (old co-workers) that have not even made the attempt to mail or phone me. The rsvp was due 1 Dec. and as this is a sit down dinner/drinks/dancing I would like to know what I do when they just show up and what if they have a guest?

The Etiquette Queen says:

If it was me, I would call to settle whether they will be attending and if so, how many. This type of affair is usually a per-person, per-plate affair and you wouldn't want to end up paying for more than come and don't want to be embarrassed by unexpected guests. But I will say that no RSVP is certainly rude and I would factor that in my decision to invite them again.


Stefani asked:

I want to throw a party, but procrastinated, and did not send invitations in time. Is it ok for me to invite people via phone, email or in person (some of them I work with, and don't have addresses for, etc.); then follow up later by emailing/passing out directions and details to those I invited earlier? Also, the party is to celebrate my birthday, I will be 30, and am very excited, just wanted to have a bunch of people get together and have fun. Is it wrong for me to throw my own birthday party? I do not expect any gifts/that's not the point.

The Etiquette Queen says:

You may deliver an invitation any way it works to get it there. A good idea is to provide a map (I use Yahoo's maps and enlarge and print out. ) And it is certainly alright to give yourself your own party. If you don't want to make a big thing out of it being your birthday, don't mention it as the reason.


Andrea asked:

I am giving a shower for a first time mom who has had two other showers. So this shower is a "tea party" very personal. I would like to have everyone contribute $10 or more so we could purchase some other the larger items that she has not gotten (such as stroller, car seat, etc.). How do I go about doing that? Would it be more appropriate to do that in the invitation or over the telephone?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You could put it in the invitation. I wish more people did this, the big stuff is so expensive and is really appreciated. Tell the guests what the gift will be (decide ahead).


Kim asked:

I'm having a 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents, is it ok to put no gifts on the invitations?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Certainly. Or you could put, in lieu of gifts, you may make a donation to (name your folks favorite charity).


Sue asked:

How to I address the envelope to a woman who was widowed this year? Is it Mrs. HerName LastName or Mrs. HisName LastName?

The Etiquette Queen says:

When my father died, my mom preferred Mrs. John Smith out of respect.


Stacy asked:

I'm having a titanic party where do I find the invitations? thanx

The Etiquette Queen says:

1. We can make them for you at a price. 2. check www.oriental.com 3. Scan a pic and make them yourself.


Valerie asked:

When is the most appropriate time to mail Christmas cards (two weeks before Christmas or one week before)? I also have cards for Jewish friends. Should these go out at the same time or slightly earlier?

The Etiquette Queen says:

As long as cards arrive before the holidays, any time is good. I love getting them early so that I can display them for a while.


R. Steel asked:

What is the proper etiquette in sending out birthday invitations where the guests are expected to pay for their food?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You put the price per person on the invitation.


Iona asked:

I am having New Years Eve party at my new home. I have limited space, what can I say on the invitation that will let my guests know that they can NOT bring other friends with them, besides RSVP? Thanks

The Etiquette Queen says:

Well, you could put invited guest only but I would be more gentle and tell them when they RSVP.


Pamela asked:

We received an invitation to a holiday open house. Underneath the word open house is the word Stellacot. What does this mean?

The Etiquette Queen says:

I have no idea. Never heard of this. Ask your hostess and let me know.


Nicolle asked:

I would like to know what is a nice way of writing in an Invitation that I don't want children to attend. Thank You

The Etiquette Queen says:

Put "Adults only"


Wayne asked:

How do you address mail to someone who is recently widowed? Should you still use "Mrs. John Doe"?

The Etiquette Queen says:

A lot depends upon the circumstances. I usually keep it Mrs. John Doe for a while until that person tell me otherwise. Shows a sign of respect.


patti asked:

Save-the-date is it important to send out a card for that indicating hotel info, etc. what do they usually say and what info is required to be put on is a card that is sent 4-6 months earlier.

The Etiquette Queen says:

I would do so. I know that I like that info to plan ahead. Date, time, place, list of activities going on so I know how to pack.


Kimberly asked:

My daughter's birthday is on Christmas Eve. She would like to celebrate her birthday in June at the beach. Is it inappropriate to celebrate her birthday 6 mos. later? If not, how would I word the invitation?

The Etiquette Queen says:

I think you could be very clever about it. Send the "reminder" invitation in Dec. Say that due to much reindeer traffic and weather conditions, you are postponing the birthday celebration til it all clears up in June. Add that there will be periodic updates with info. Then every so often, send a small reminder (something cute) and then the real invitation in April.


Iona asked:

I am having New Years Eve party at my new home. I have limited space, what can I say on the invitation that will let my guests know that they can NOT bring other friends with them, besides RSVP? Thanks

The Etiquette Queen says:

You must say that this is not an open party due to space limitations and that if someone would like to include someone else, they have to check with you first.


Nicolle asked:

I'm having a sweet sixteen party for my daughter, I was wondering if is proper to write in the invitations what they should wear, the party is very formal and it is at 7:30PM, I really would like everybody to dress very elegant, can you please tell me how to do this. Thank You

The Etiquette Queen says:

Under the different categories like time, place, date, etc. add attire and write formal.


chris asked:

I am hosting a rehearsal dinner for my son's wedding. I am making the invitations myself. Please show me the appropriate wording to use. Do I need to spell out Junior and Senior in my son & husbands name? The time is 6:30, do I put in the evening or p.m.? Do I spell honor or honour as the rehearsal is at the church but the dinner is at a restaurant afterward? If I say, "rehearsal at the Church at 6:30," do I capitalize Church? Help, please!

The Etiquette Queen says:

First of all, look at invitation books at different copy centers to see the different wording and you don't need to spell out Junior or Senior. Use P.M. In the U.S. it's honor, honour in Great Britain. You only need to capitalize church if you are giving the name of the actual church. That may not be a bad idea so that everyone knows where to go. Finally, relax. It will be OK


Gina asked:

I'm planning a formal sweet sixteenth birthday for my daughter. Please tell me how can let people know that children are not invited. Should her response cards say that? If so, how will I word it. I'll be ordering them from a wedding invitation catalog. Also, do you have any suggestions as to how I should word the invitations?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You may put Adults Only on the invitation. Then the number of attending will not be a problem for you to figure out. There are many examples of wording of invitations. Go to the library or look on line.


Jessie asked:

What is the correct way to address a divorced woman? Would you use Ms. or Mrs.; especially if they have gone back to their maiden name?  Please help- I need the answer ASAP-  Thanks

The Etiquette Queen says:

If they have gone back to their maiden name then Mrs. is not right. Use Ms.


Angela asked:

I need a catchy phrase for a retirement invitation from the workplace. We are also collecting money to purchase a gift for the retirees.

The Etiquette Queen says:

Use a picture of a camera and use the phrase: We all have a telephoto memory, just some of us are out of film.


Dick asked:

Is correspondence to a widowed woman addressed any differently than a single woman? Is it proper to simply use the first name?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You would use whatever address you normally used when she was still married. If you used her first name before, do so. Most widows usually prefer Mrs. John Doe as a sign of respect.


Kate asked:

When you have Christmas Cards printed with your name do you also sign the card?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Yes if you want it to show a personal touch; I always add a personal note.


Pam asked:

When sending thank you notes, is it taboo to thank someone for a shower gift and wedding gift in the same note?

The Etiquette Queen says:

If the gifts were fairly close in timing, you may do so but if more than 2-3 weeks apart, do it separately. Sounds silly but people take time and trouble to select a gift and this shows acknowledgment of that effort.


JZ asked:

How long is proper etiquette for sending a thank-you card?

The Etiquette Queen says:

I always feel the sooner the better but usually within 2 months.


Stephanie asked:

If the hosts of a party would like to indicate their proper professional titles as doctors: Should it be "Dr. John and Dr. Jane Doe request the honor of your presence..."? or "Drs. John and Jane Doe..."? or "Dr. and Dr. John and Jane Doe..."?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Drs. is the smallest mouthful and seems the least pretentious.


Joanna asked:

This is my first marriage and I'm so excited but unfortunately my parents have no money to contribute to the wedding. Robert (the one I'm marrying) and I have decided to split the bill right down n the middle. The problem is I do not know how to word the invitations. Robert and I are the ones paying but are parents have always given us love and support and we want to honor both of them. How would I word our invitations? Please help!

The Etiquette Queen says:

Say something like After years of love and support from our parents (put in their names) we are becoming one and sharing our blessings. Won't you join us (date, time, etc.) in celebration.


Lynn asked:

How should I address an envelope to a married couple when his name in John Smith and her name is Mary Jones-Smith?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Put Mr. John Smith and Ms. Mary Jones-Smith


Jasmine asked:

I'm giving my mom a surprise 50th birthday party. It's just a small affair about 50 people in a restaurant. I wanted to know if it's alright to call people who are going, to notify them to be there by 7 because we are planning to bring my mom to the restaurant at 7:30pm.

The Etiquette Queen says:

If you are sending written invitations, put that info on the invitation and tell them again when they RSVP. If you are doing it by word of mouth, tell them then.


Aimee asked:

Three of us are planning an engagement party. Since this event falls during the holidays, we are not able to spend a ton of money. How do we word the invitation to request that attendees bring their favorite spirit? We are providing the food, beer, and some wine. But most of our friends are lushes and we need to let them know in advance that we can not afford to get them liquored up--to say it nicely! All suggestions welcome--thank you!

The Etiquette Queen says:

You include the letter BYOB. that stands for Bring Your Own Booze.


COLEEN asked:

What can you say on an invitation that will mean that a gift is not necessary when you know that some of the invitees want to bring a gift and in fact, have already purchased that gift?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You don't say anything. Those that want to bring one will and those that don't won't. Just accept the gifts graciously and put them on a table to be opened after the affair.


Kim asked:

I am planning a small private wedding ceremony out of town next fall. When we returned home, we wanted to have an evening reception to celebrate our marriage. Does the six week notice still apply in this situation? We were not wanting to tell anybody til after the ceremony. We were going to mail the reception invitations in Las Vegas and have the reception the following week or two. Should we wait til 6 weeks after our ceremony? Thanks for your help!!!

The Etiquette Queen says:

You can have it whenever it is convenient for you to do so. Why not mail the invitations prior to the ceremony to work out time wise.

See more Etiquette Queen Questions on Invitations & Mailings

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