Mary Killen Mary Killen

Dear Mary | 26 March 2015

Plus: How to say thank you for a disgusting meal, and friends and cleaners

Q. When sending wedding invitations, does one put the full titles on the card, or can one just put, for example, Jane and John having addressed the envelope to Mr and Mrs John Smith? Isn’t it strange that all one’s old wedding invitations are nowhere to hand when one needs them? I would really appreciate your advice.
— K.T., Sherborne, Dorset

A. I have it from the highest authority that these days first names on the cards themselves are perfectly acceptable.

Q. A client whose wife has left him invited me to dinner at his new flat. He presented me with three fairly disgusting courses, all ‘cooked’ by himself, one of which featured raw giant prawns (still grey) in unheated cook-in sauce (I saw the packet in the kitchen bin). I ate everything and, although I suffered no ill effects, I am struggling to write a card to thank him for the ‘delicious’ dinner when I feel a reprimand would be more in order.
— R.C., London W11

A. Why not thank him for the enjoyable evening instead but ask would he mind supplying you with the recipe for the prawn dish? Don’t say why you want it. Having to sit down and think as he lists the ingredients and the preparation time should be enough to ensure self-castigation.

Q. Last year I employed a very competent Polish builder to do various jobs around our house. He was with us on and off for six months during which time we often met his girlfriend, who lives nearby. They were both charming. They invited us to their wedding. We didn’t go as it was in Poland, but gave them a nice present.

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