Wedding Invitation Wording

Finding the Perfect Words for a Wedding Invitation

When it comes wedding invitations, many twenty-first century brides are opting for contemporary and modern, over classic and traditional. And that choice is reflected in more than just style and design; the wording of the invitation is no longer held up to such strict rules of etiquette. Blended families are much more commonplace and couples often are paying their own way in today's wedding world. Because of these kinds of factors, invitation wording is more about what you want rather than what is "correct."

First Things First: Decide on Invitation Style Before Wording

Before deciding how you will word your invitation, you'll need to decide on the invitation itself. Typically, the more formal your ceremony and reception, the more formal the invitation should be as well. Your invitation inevitably sets the tone for your guests, so you want it to match the personality of your event. So, an invitation for a Saturday evening ceremony in a church will have a more formal style than one for an afternoon wedding outside. Once you've decided on the overall style for your invitation, you'll need to decide what wording fits best.

Formal Wedding Invitations

Formal invitations tend to follow the more traditional rules of etiquette. They provide only the necessary information and adhere closely to long-established standards for structure and language. Here are a few examples of the guidelines most formal invitations follow:
  • Use first, middle and last names in the invitation. Use full names -- no nicknames or initials.
  • Always spell out the word "and."
  • Use the traditional British spelling of "honour" and "favour."
  • Spell out dates, times and addresses.

    Here's an example that illustrates the usage of these traditional guidelines:

    Mr. And Mrs. John Brown
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At The Marriage Of Their Daughter
    Emily Ann
    To
    Michael Joseph Smith
    Saturday, The Fourth Of October
    Two Thousand And Eight
    Seven O'clock in the Evening
    Saint Mark's Catholic Church
    Chicago, Illinois

    Informal Wedding Invitations

    If you decide to go with a more informal wedding invitation, the sky really is the limit -- in both design and wording. Today, brides can choose from every color of the rainbow and any kind of paper they can imagine. More and more couples are bypassing the more traditional path for invitations. Instead, they are taking the more creative and contemporary one that truly reflects their own style and personality.

    If you choose one of these unique invitation styles, the wording of the invitation should reflect the creative design too. You'll find that many couples will choose a special verse, poem or quote to include as part of the invite. It's just one more way to make the invitation your own.

    Sticky and Tricky Situations: Choosing the Right Wording for Your Invitation

    Every family is different. Divorces, deaths and new marriages produce endless combinations of blended and mixed families. That means there's a lot more than one right way to word your wedding invitation.

    Maybe it's the bride's mom and stepfather, along with the groom's dad and stepmother, who are footing the bill for all the festivities. Maybe both the bride and groom's parents have passed away and it's an uncle or grandmother picking up tab. It could be that the bride and groom are paying for their own wedding. How should it be said when that's the case? What's the best way to word your invitation in one of these unique situations?

    First and foremost, remember that there is no law that says you have to phrase your invitation one certain way. Use words and phrases that feel right to you and you can't go wrong. Use the following examples for wedding invitation wording as a jumping-off point:

    Bride's Parents Are Hosting:
    Mr. And Mrs. John Brown
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At The Marriage Of Their Daughter
    Emily Ann
    To
    Michael Joseph Smith

    Groom's Parents Are Hosting:
    Mr. And Mrs. Philip Smith
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At The Marriage Of
    Emily Ann Brown
    To Their Son
    Michael Joseph

    Bride and Groom's Parents Are Hosting:
    Mr. And Mrs. John Brown
    And
    Mr. and Mrs. Philip Smith
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At The Marriage Of Their Children
    Emily Ann
    To
    Michael Joseph

    The Couple is Hosting:
    The Honour of Your Presence is Requested
    At The Marriage of
    Emily Ann Brown
    To
    Michael Joseph Smith

    OR

    Emily Ann Brown
    And
    Michael Joseph Smith
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At Their Marriage

    The Couple and Both Their Parents Are Hosting:
    Together With Their Families
    Emily Ann Brown
    And
    Michael Joseph Smith
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At Their Marriage

    The Bride's Parents Are Divorced and Both Hosting:
    Mrs. Patricia Allen
    and
    Mr. John Brown
    Request The Honour Of Your Presence
    At Their Marriage of Their Daughter
    Emily Ann Brown
    To
    Michael Joseph Smith

    Bride's Parents Are Divorced and Remarried, Both Hosting:
    Mr. And Mrs. Robert Allen
    And
    Mr. And Mrs. John Brown
    Request the Honor Of Your Presence
    At The Marriage Of Their Daughter

    When More Than Two Sets of Parents Are Hosting:
    Mr. And Mrs. Robert Allen
    Mr. And Mrs. John Brown
    Mr and Mrs. Philip Smith
    Request the Honor Of Your Presence
    At The Marriage Of Their Daughter

Written by: Kristen McCormack