Invitations Wording (mentioning parents)

Carrie BMarch 26, 2006

Here's the situation, in it a first time marriage for us both, I'm 40, he's 47.

His parents are both dead. I have a mom & a step-mom (who married my dad after I was grown & out of the house), dad died last summer.

My step-mom, who's got a significant amount of money, mostly because my dad did, is contributing generously to the wedding. My mother is giving less than half of what my step-mom is. My mom & step-mom do not know what the other is contributing.

Fiance & I will also probably be applying our own funds to the wedding. Perhaps somewhere around the amount that my mom is.

It seems that tradition would dictate that whoever contributes the most, gets first mentions on the invitation. This could end up being awkward, first that step would be mentioned before mom, also if fiance & I contribute the same amount/more than mom.

What I'd like to do is just have the invitation be from me & fiance, and perhaps acknowledge mom & step's contributions during the ceremony.

What do you think?

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I think your suggestion is excellent, particularly because of your ages. You are not young college students who are dependent on mom and dad. Issuing the invitation in your own names would seem most appropriate.

However, if you do choose to mention your mother and step-mother's names, you do not mention them in the order of the amount of money given, just as you wouldn't mention the groom's parents first if they gave more than the bride's parents. You would mention your mother first (always parents of the bride first and mom first if the parents are no longer married), then your step-mother. If the groom's parents were living, they would be listed last.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 4:16PM
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the amount of money isn't the point--your regard, and their positions in your family, aren't for sale, right?

Neither is the "billing" on the invite. If an order has to be determined, blood would rule--never money.

It isn't even important who gave the most in terms of their total net worth.

this isn't a movie marquee--it's an invitation to a family event.

You could say "Bride Name and Groom Name, together with their families" (though his family is sort of small). Often this isn't so much about money

but given the lack of many of the parents, you might simply leave parents off the invite altogether,

At the reception, it would be nice to acknowledge your two moms--for their LOVE AND SUPPORT, but not for their financial contribution. Even later, at the event, mentioning money, even metaphorically, would be crass.

As a guest, I don't want to know. As your stepmom, I don't want to be embarrassed to be acknowledged as giving more money than your mom. As your mom, I don't want to be embarrassed to be acknowledged as having given less. No matter that my "less" may be "more" than your stepmom's contrib.

My vote, have a nice moment at the reception where you thank each woman for her support of you as you grew, and as you prepared for the wedding, and as you enter the new family you and Groom have created. And another nice moment where your groom speaks of his parents, and their love for him, and how he knows they would be so glad that he's found such a wonderful woman to build a new family with.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 2:33PM
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Talley Sue has totally nailed it, as usual. Don't mention money, anywhere. Thank your moms for raising you, for their love and support, maybe for helping you plan, but nothing more concrete than that. I agree that I would be embarrassed as a guest to be hearing about who paid for what. As you point out that neither mom knows about the other's contributing, you could really be setting up a problem, too.

Regarding the invitation: invitations come from hosts. It sounds like you and your fiance are the hosts of this wedding, so the invitations come from you. That others are helping pay is irrelevant -- if your best friend were kicking in some money, would you put her/his name on the invitation?

It is definitely NOT true that "tradition would dictate that whoever contributes the most, gets first mentions on the invitation." So you don't have to worry about that. You are just fine issuing the invitations from you and your fiance. If one of the moms squawks, I bet you'll be able to get away with saying something like, "Well, at our age, we just felt funny not having the invitations coming from us ourselves." It doesn't really make sense, but it has the advantage of not leading to hurt feelings about who deserves top billing for raising you or ponying up cash, and it will probably satisfy them (at least long enough for you to change the subject).

If you do want the invitation to name your parents, you can do it -- but I would completely ignore the issue of who is paying how much or at all. It could be tricky with a step-parent, but not impossible. For example:

Petunia Bride
daughter of the late Dad Bride and Mom Bride, and step-daughter of Stepmom Bride (or whatever wording works for your family)


Cuthbert Groom

son of the late Dad Groom and Mom Groom (or the late Mr. and Mrs. Dad Groom, if you can stand that)

request the honor of your presence at their marriage


Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 5:30PM
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Carrie B

Thank you all. Your advice, in addition to having the advantage of being exactly what I wanted to hear, was right on target.

I've been looking at websites about invitation wording, which is where I've been getting the idea about who pays gets top billing. Glad you all don't agree, since it feels wrong to me too.

Never would I mention (during the ceremony or elsewhere) who paid what, just that I was grateful for their help & support.

Thank you again,

y'all rock!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 9:21PM
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wow, there are websites that say "who pays gets top billing"?

It's true the host issues the invitation, so if the bride's family is paying (which is traditional), then they are the hosts. But when you deviate from that tradition--say the groom's family is paying for the entire actual wedding celebration--it gets tricky, bcs the bride's family may be expecting to be mentioned first. In that case, i'd suggest two cards: bride and groom invite to the ceremony, and groom's family invite to the reception. Or, better yet, prevail upon all to simply have bride and groom invite.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 1:51AM
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I spoke with a woman just yesterday who told me that she paid for the wedding of her son and his bride, as the bride's parents were deceased. She then told me that the bride had the invitations made up and they mentioned her uncle, who was her guardian, but not the groom's mother. This woman was very hurt by this. Although I don't feel this way, there are some who do. I would say Bride and Groom along with their parents or families.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 3:42AM
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