Weddings

Tips for Wedding Invitation Wording

man's hands holding white card saying "join us!"

Even the most beautiful wedding invitation is only useful if it includes the necessary information. The exact wedding invitation wording varies based on the formality of the event. However, people always include certain information (and leave out other information).

Information to Include

If your invitation is too cluttered with information, it will have to have a tiny font. This makes it more difficult for people to read, especially if the font has a lot of extra flourishes. Note the names of the couple getting married, the hosts, and the time and place of the ceremony. Include any other information on your wedding website. For a more formal and traditional invitation, include this information on separate enclosure cards.

Order of Names in Traditional Wedding Invitation Wording

The names of the hosts of the wedding, i.e. those paying for the wedding, come first on the invitation. If everyone plans to cover some costs, you still list the parents before the couple. With traditional wedding invitation wording, list the parents of the bride before the parents of the groom and the bride before the groom. With same-sex weddings, people often list the names of the couple alphabetically. People usually list women before men. For very casual invitations, include the couple’s names and “with their families” instead of listing the parents’ names. This can be handy when parents have divorced and remarried.

Divorced Parents

For divorced parents, use the same wording, but list each parent on their own line. If the parents have new spouses,  include the new spouses.

Religious vs. Non-Religious Ceremonies

Traditional wedding invitation wording changes depending on if the ceremony is religious. It also depends on which religion(s) the couple practices. For religious weddings, say “request the honor of your presence”. With secular weddings or more informal invitations, you can use “request the pleasure of your company.” For a Jewish couple, you separate the names of the couple by “and” instead of “to”.

Abbreviations

Formal wedding invitation wording involves spelling out everything on the invitation. This includes numbers, state names, street names, and middle names. You can use the titles “Mr.” and “Mrs.”, however. Less formal wording or more contemporary invitations allow for writing numbers instead of spelling them out.

Wedding Location Information

In the past, wedding invitation wording didn’t include street addresses for well-known locations or houses of worship. Including the street address is becoming more common now. Couples still omit the zip code.

Reception Information

If you’re holding the wedding and reception at the same location, note “reception to follow” on the invitation. Otherwise, people often include a separate reception card to note this information.

RSVP Information

Note the RSVP information in the lower left corner of the invitation. Include the website or address to which people should RSVP. If you want people to mail in their replies, include an RSVP card with a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

Other Important Information

Note on the invitation (or the reception card) if the reception doesn’t include a full meal. Also, note either in the lower right corner of the invitation or on the reception card if there’s a special dress code.

Information to Leave Off the Invitation

Nowhere on the invitation or any of the enclosures should you include wedding registry information. Convey this information in shower invitations, on a wedding website, or through word of mouth.

Breaking the Rules

Now that you know the more traditional wedding invitation wording, break the rules and do something different if you want. This works best with more casual weddings. Just make sure you include all the essential information, such as the who, what, when, and where.