Wording Dilemma: Child of Divorce

My parents are divorced. Neither are remarried and they are both hosting my upcoming wedding. They still share the same last name and are worried that our guests will be confused. I’m a little lost! What is the proper way to word my invitation? – Heather from NJ

We understand your dilemma. The times they are a changin’, aren’t they? These days, with so many non-traditional family units, invitation wording has gotten a bit trickier. Many brides are left wondering how they should, or shouldn’t, phrase their invitations. Don’t worry! Most any situation can be worded gracefully.

There are a couple options that would work well for your particular predicament. Whatever you ultimately decide, you’ll want to be sure to list your parents’ full names separately, rather than combining them together as if they were a couple. Avoid listing them as “Mr. and Mrs. Turner” or “David and Samantha Turner” as that would certainly create confusion and the presumption that they are a couple.

Here are a few situations and solutions to consider. Please keep in mind that these are merely options. You are encouraged to tweak the overall wording to make it work best for your unique day!

As you can see, there are many different takes on wording. In these particular situations, the use of the word “and” between your parents’ names is debatable, but whatever you decide is fine. Traditional etiquette may dictate one thing, but we tend to be a bit more flexible. We often feel that if it works for you (and it’s grammatically correct, of course), do it!

Sources: About.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, Real Simple, Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette 5th Edition


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