Wedding Invitation Wording and Etiquette

wording wedding invitations

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/4996249559710110/

Courtesy of Rebecca Black of Etiquette Now!

Wedding invitations can be made by word of mouth, by telephone, or by email. The main objective is to make sure that guests know the who, what, when, and where of the event. And although wedding invitations are much the same as any other invitation, they are more than just a simple invitation; they offer a visual statement before the guest even reads the words. They convey the formality and tone of your wedding through the formality of the paper, letter font, and style; the more formal your wedding, the more formal the wedding invitations.

So it follows proper etiquette, that for a formal wedding you wouldn’t invite your guests via email, phone, or word of mouth. Formal wedding invitations are printed on heavyweight ivory, cream, or white paper using a classic letter style such as Roman. These are usually engraved and traditionally written in the third person style. If your wedding is informal, you are free to customize your unique wedding invitations with more informal language and style.

Note: If you choose to invite guests for informal weddings via email, it is best to list a land address to send replies for those uncomfortable with email.

Traditionally the bride’s parents would issue the wedding invitations, because they would host their daughter’s wedding. However, these days, more and more couples are paying for their own weddings or the costs are split so everyone can help the couple in the best way possible.

wording wedding invitations

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/240661173811348507/

The reasoning behind couples paying for their own wedding is logical and fair. Today’s couple is more financially able to cover the costs. No longer does the bride live at home, taken care of by her father, until the day she marries someone who can then take care of her. Women take care of themselves–they should contribute.

Usually, wedding invitations will suggest who is considered the host; the host issues the invitation. Although, it is not incorrect to use the traditional style when the couple is covering the entire cost of the wedding; some wish to use this style out of respect for their parents and tradition.

Note: Please use the wording, ‘request the pleasure of your company’ for a civil ceremony or for an invitation to the reception only.   Using the phrase “honour of your presence” is reserved for ceremonies held in a place of worship.

writing wedding invitations

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/152770612332219357/

Wedding Invitation Wording

Traditional style used when the bride’s parents are hosting:

Doctor and Mrs. James Walker

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Cheryl Rae Walker

to

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

etc.

wording wedding invitations

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/86412886572814403/


When the bride’s parents are hosting and the groom’s parents are included:

Mr. and Mrs. James Walker

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Cheryl Rae Walker

to

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

son of  Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Jones

etc.

When both parents are hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. James Walker

and

Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Jones

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of

Cheryl Rae Walker

to

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

etc.

wedding invitation wording ideas

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/316870523751819284/

The bride or groom honor a deceased parent:

 

Mrs. James Walker

requests the honour of your presence

at the marriage of her daughter

Cheryl Rae Walker

also daughter of the late Mr. James Walker

to

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

son of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Jones or

(son of Mr. Carroll Jones and the late Mrs. Jane Jones)

etc.

Or,

Cheryl Rae Walker

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Walker

(or daughter of Mrs. Sharon Walker and the late Mr. James Walker)

and

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

son of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Jones

(or son of Mr. Carroll Jones and the late Mrs. Jane Jones)

request the honour of your presence

etc.

 

writing wedding invites

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/389842911465828777/

 

When the bride’s stepfather is hosting along with the mother:

 

Mr. and Mrs. James Walker

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of her daughter

Cheryl Rae Stone

to

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

etc.

 

Note:  If her stepmother were hosting with her father, “at the marriage of ‘her’ daughter would be changed to ‘his’ daughter’’.

 

The couple is issuing the invitation, but honoring their parents:

Cheryl Rae Walker

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Walker

and

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

son of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Jones

request the honour of your presence

etc.

informal wedding invite

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/353321533235810597/

Wording Informal Wedding Invitations

 

An invitation issued by the couple to the wedding and reception:

The pleasure of your company is requested

at the marriage of

Cheryl Rae Walker

to

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

Saturday, the fourth of March

at five o’clock

Veteran’s Memorial Center

Davis

And afterward at the reception

RSVP

 

Note:  For less formal weddings, the phrase: “is requested at the marriage of,” could be changed to “invite you to the wedding of.”  It may begin with “Please join us to celebrate,” or “We hope you will join us” just to name a few.

writing wedding invites

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529595237401621926/

Wording for a custom, informal invitation, reflecting the couple, could look like this:

 

Cheryl Rae Walker

and

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

invite you to share their joy

at their wedding

Etc.

 

Note: Not all invitations must be formal or informal invitation cards as mentioned above.  A nicely  handwritten letter could be an alternative if your wedding is a small intimate affair.  An email message could be very similar.

Handwritten (Email) Invitation

Dear John and Kathy,

Timothy Jones and I will be married on March 4, at three o’clock at our home, with a buffet reception following the ceremony.  Please come and celebrate with us.

Warm regards,

Cheryl Walker

wedding invitation wording

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529595237402629363/

Wedding Reception Invitation Wording

Many prefer to include their reception information on the wedding invitation.  However, there are times when a separate invitation to a wedding reception just makes sense.  Reception invitations are often used when a reception is being held at a different time than the wedding, or when some are invited to the reception but not to a wedding.  Many times divorced parents will split the invitations, with one issuing the wedding invitation and the other issuing the reception invitation.  This is appropriate when both the mother and father of the bride are hosting the wedding.

Additionally, the reception invitation can include information, not mentioned on the wedding invitation, about formal attire, such as black tie.  Typically, no other dress code is mentioned.

The pleasure of your company

is requested at the

wedding reception of

Cheryl Rae Walker

and

Mr. Timothy Earle Jones

Friday, the fourth of May
at three o’clock

Location

(Optional: Black tie requested)

RSVP

Address

Note

  • This example is also very useful for reception invitations for those who wish to have a destination wedding and plan a reception in their hometown after the wedding.
  • It is considered impolite to invite guests to a wedding(ceremony) and not to the reception.  This is implying that some guests are important enough to entertain and some are not.
wedding invitation wording

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529595237401626423/

The Reply/Response Card

Did you know that a reply card is relatively new and is optional?  Yes it is.  Actually, a formally handwritten guest’s reply letter was the most common way a guest would reply years ago. For expediency and convenience we now include response cards in nearly all invitations.  Plus, unfortunately many people have lost the art of writing a formal response letter today.  In the past, it was considered impolite to assume your guest didn’t know how to write one.  Now we assume that our guest doesn’t.

Some guests may forget to write their names on the response card.  In order to keep track of who responds and who does not, make a list of your guests with a number assigned to each name.  Mark the corresponding number in pencil on the back of each response card.  You will know quickly who has and has not replied.

If you choose not to use a reply card, which is also known as a RSVP card, you would simply send a small card with your RSVP information stating, “The favour of a reply is requested by June 20, 2005,” or write it on your reception invitation.  A formal response should be returned to the bride on the guest’s personal stationary.

Note : Place a stamp on the response card envelope before assembling the invitations and placing them into the envelopes.

A Formal Response – if there is no reply card enclosed.

Ms. Shannon Pleasance

accepts with pleasure

your kind invitation

for Sunday, the twentieth of June

Or

regrets that she is unable

to accept

 

Note

  • Using email responses is also relatively new and is appropriate for informal (never formal) weddings.
  • Because it is so new and some may not be comfortable with sending emails for a wedding reply, it would be best to include a land address to reply to also.
assembling wedding invitations

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/353321533235810579/

Assembling Wedding Invitations

You may have a number of enclosures, with which you will need to ‘stuff’ your envelopes—separate reception invitations, response cards, maps, at-home cards, etc. Lay everything out in the order in which each will be placed into the envelope, making sure that you have the same amount of each item.

Enclosures can be placed on top of or inside of the traditional engraved double sheet invitation, which folds like a book with the printing on top.  With the multi-fold invitation in which the printing is on the inside, the enclosures are placed inside the first fold. All enclosures would be placed facing the back flap of the envelope on top of the invitation, so the guest can read each as she opens the invitation—most important on the bottom to least important on top.  For example:

  • Invitation
  • Tissue, if used
  • Reception invitation
  • Response card

Note

  • Usually the tissue paper is thrown away.
  • Response envelope is placed behind the response card, printing of the names facing up toward the back of the outer envelope.
  • If there are other enclosures such as maps, at-home cards, or name cards, these are placed in order of size inside the envelope.
  • If using an inner envelope, the printing would be facing the back of the outer envelope.

 

wording wedding invitations

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529595237401621932/

See our list of top sites for buying Wedding Invitations

Enhanced by Zemanta
About the Author

Related Posts

  1. Marilyn Bucec

    I have a question. Is it every proper or etiquette for the bride to “hand deliver” the wedding invitation to the guests at her bridal shower? These people at the shower are on the wedding list for an invitation, but wondered if it was proper etiquette for the bride to hand deliver the invitation. She considers this to be a cost-saving issue and feels that it is more personal by doing so. Just wanted an authoritive and proper answer to present to her.
    Thanks

  2. donna

    Since wedding invitations should be sent 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding, and showers are usually held much closer to the wedding date, handing them out personally wouldn’t make sense. But, for very informal weddings it would be fine to hand deliver the invitation. If this is a formal wedding the invitations should be sent by mail since it may appear as if you’re trying to get off cheap by not spending on postage. Be careful how you deliver this information, especially if it is unsolicited. If you have more questions please visit Top Wedding Questions

  3. Emily

    How do you word it, if the brides parents are pitching in, but the groom’s parents are not. But the couple is still paying for some of it?

  4. donna

    Emily, this depends on who is the perceived host. This may or may not be the person(s) who are paying. Typically the host is the person(s) paying/planning the wedding, traditionally the bride’s parents. However,with more women leaving home and being independent before they marry, the couple is now hosting their own wedding. Please visit Top Wedding Questions to ask more in-depth questions. You can offer more details there.

  5. Rebecca

    I agree. However, even today, we often give a nod to the parents who contribute and list them as hosts–some traditions stay with us a long time. So if you’d like to follow this tradition, the bride’s parents would be listed as host at the top of the invitation. The groom’s parents could (optional) be listed under the groom’s name as: son of XXX.

  6. Joanna

    Ah that’s a good idea Rebecca, this way the parents are not left out or feeling left out and it is just the polite way, I think, to do anyway.
    Joanne

  7. Top Wedding Sites

    All are contributing. Mother and Father of the bride are divorced and both remarried. Groom’s parents are still married to each other:

    Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Mother
    Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Father
    Mr. and Mrs. Groom’s Parents

    Parents of the bride are contributing, but the couple wants to include all parents on the invitation. Groom’s parents are divorced and remarried.

    Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Mother
    invite…
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    the son of Ms. Groom’s Mother and Mr. Groom’s Father

    There is nothing more to say about deceased parents. The name always goes under the bride or groom’s name as: also the daughter/son of the late… .

  8. Rachel

    I’m curious to know how you would word a wedding invitation issued by a bride’s parents, but the bride wants her title shown (she’s a vet). Usually, the bride wouldn’t have any title in front of her first and middle name if the invitation is being issued by her parents, but she really wants to show off her hard work and get the recognition she deserves. What do you think?

  9. Top Wedding Sites

    Unless the bride and groom are hosting their own wedding, there really isn’t really isn’t a proper way that I’m aware of to include the bride’s doctor designation.

  10. Aisle Say! Wedding Papers

    If the couple is sending out announcements / save-the-date cards, it is not necessarily improper for titles to be used for both bride and groom. The vet bride could include her title that way and still retain the traditional wording on her invitation. So their save-the-dates could say something like “Please reserve the date of March 3rd, 2010 to attend the wedding of Dr. Bride and Mr. Groom. A formal invitation is en route to you.” At the same time I have seen some invitations that include titles for everyone, so it might say something like “Mr. and Mrs. Parents of the Bride request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their daughter Dr. Bride to Mr. Groom, son of Mr. and Mrs. Parents of the Groom.” Nowadays I don’t think that it would be necessarily improper, just perhaps unusual, especially if everyone else is titled. In that case though I think you would include the full names of everyone so the bride would be listed on the invitation as Dr. Bride Lastname, so it’s not just randomly Dr. Emily or something like that.

  11. Rebecca

    I agree. Good suggestion, although I hestitate to use the word “announcement” for these. We really don’t send out engagement announcements anymore–don’t want to confuse anyone :)

    Additionally, if her wedding is not formal, she can use her title on the wedding invitation. Formal, tradtional language is only “required” for formal invitations any more. It is also becoming more and more appropriate for women to use their titles anyway. We really are moving away from a woman being viewed as daddy’s little girl and more as her own person, capable of having her own title. But, for now, if the wedding is formal, and especially if parents are funding the event, the old fashion, traditional wording is used–no title for the bride.

  12. Sarah

    I am wondering if there is any alternative to “the late” in invitation wording for a deceased parent(s).

    Thanks!

  13. Rebecca

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know of an alternative. And, please remember that if the deceased is mentioned he/she is listed as: also the son/daughter of the late …(under the bride/groom’s name).

  14. Lynn

    My fiance and I are eloping in September(a second marriage for both of us) and plan to host a reception at next summer. My question is regarding a save the date/announcement. I’d like to send one mailing that would serve as both an announcement of our marriage and a save the date, but can’t come up with appropriate wording. What would you suggest?

  15. Top Wedding Sites

    Hi Lynn – You’ll get a faster reply over at our sister site, Pop the Questions Home of Top Wedding Questions

Leave a Reply