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Wedding Invitation Can Include Names of Parents Not Paying

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Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My fiance and I have already printed our invitations for a destination wedding this summer, but a large issue has developed. My future in-laws names were not included on our wedding invitation. While the future in-laws have very generously offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner, they have not wanted to be involved in the planning of the wedding and are not contributing to the costs of the wedding nor the reception.

Unfortunately, my future mother-in-law is insulted and thinks we have been rude and inconsiderate by not including her on the invitation. She thinks that people will assume my finace's parents are deceased when they read the invitation. I've tried to explain our reasoning to her, but she feels I am wrong. She even told me that my own mother should have known better than to let me do such a thing. I feel very badly about this. Should we reprint hundreds of dollars worth of invitations to appease her?


Desperate destination wedding bride

Dear Desperate destination wedding bride,

Basic etiquette regarding wedding invitation indicates that the person(s) paying for the wedding and reception should be the ones to be included in the wording of the invitation as they are the ones issuing the invitation.

Because your parents are paying for the wedding, technically you are correct to only include your parent's names.

However, a little goodwill can go a long way toward building a positive relationship with your new in-laws. Seeing how upset your mother-in-law is and how badly you feel, then you could reprint the invitations and include their names, unless the cost is truly prohibitive.

For example, you could have the in-laws listed after your fiance's name on the next line stating:

son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

If you are seriously considering reprinting the invitations, then go over this new wording with your mother-in-law to make sure that she is okay with it. Otherwise, she might still be upset and you would have wasted your time and money on new invitations.