Whether or not their little ones are invited is a major cause of confusion for wedding guests.

By Nancy Mattia
September 17, 2018

Sometimes what's perfectly clear to one person is fuzzy to someone else. Take wedding invitations, for example. Some people assume that an invite addressed to the parents is an open invite for all the kids in the family to attend the wedding, too. ("They're well behaved," reasons the mother.) Then there's the vague term "and Family" that's frequently used by brides and grooms. Does that mean toddlers are invited?

The best thing to do is look at the way the outer and inner envelopes are addressed. Also, don't assume anything: If the couple is on a tight budget, which is often the case, or there's limited space, they'll have a minor freak out if you put "5" on the reply card next to "number of people attending," and they were expecting to see "2." Ask the bride and groom or someone close to them if you're not sure.

To help clear things up, here are some typical ways wedding invitations are addressed, plus who each example is intended for.

RELATED: THINKING ABOUT HAVING KIDS AT YOUR WEDDING? HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO KEEP THEM HAPPY

Variation One...

If the invitation's outer envelope is addressed to:

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harrison

And the inner envelope says:

Mr. and Mrs. Harrison

Then you should plan on hiring a sitter. Since their names aren't listed, it means your kids aren't invited.

Variation Two...

If the invitation's outer envelope is addressed to:

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harrison

And the inner envelope says:

Mr. and Mrs. Harrison

Ashley and Megan

Then go ahead and buy some new party clothes for your kids. They're invited, and you should feel free to bring them along to the ceremony and reception.

Variation Three...

If the invitation's outer envelope is addressed to:

The Harrison Family

And there's no inner envelope, then your kids, who are part of the Harrison family, are invited. But do use common sense: An evening reception with loud music may be too much for any child under five to handle.

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