Wedding Invite Wording And Etiquette


wedding invitation wording
photo credit: O Nosso Casamento via photopin cc
wedding invitation wording
photo credit: O Nosso Casamento via photopin cc

How to word wedding invitations is often one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding. It doesn’t have to be, however! Your invites are communicating the necessary info to your friends and loved ones, so keep this in mind and read on for a few tips and tricks!

The Invitation

The invitation must include the names of the hosts at the top of the invite, and feature the name of the bride and groom, names of the hosts (usually the bride’s parents), ceremony date, day of week, time and location. The word “and” between two names generally indicates two people are married (like the aforementioned parents) while the names of unmarried individuals, such as you and your groom, are stacked. The phrase “request the honor of your presence” is typically used for church weddings. If the reception is at the same location, you can simply state “Reception to follow” or “Dinner and dancing to follow.” Also refrain from using any abbreviations when creating invites!

Wording Examples

An example of a formal/traditional wedding happening at a church:

Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Hunter
Request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Odette Claire
to
Oliver Richards Temple
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
First Church
New Vernon, New Jersey

An example of a formal/traditional wedding held in a non-church setting:

Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Hunter
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Odette Claire
to
Oliver Richards Temple
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
The Standard Hotel
Miami, Florida

An example of a formal/traditional wedding held outside of a church and hosted by both sets of parents:

Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Hunter
And Mr. and Mrs. William Temple
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their children
Odette Claire
to
Oliver Richards
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
The Standard Hotel
Miami, Florida

An example of a less-than-formal/non-traditional wedding hosted by all parents and the bride and groom–there’s really a lot of options with this one, so feel free to get creative!

Together with their families
Odette Claire Hunter
&
Oliver Richards Temple
invite you to share in their joy
at the celebration of their marriage
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
The Standard Hotel
Miami, Florida

An example of a less formal wedding hosted by the bride and groom:

Odette Claire Hunter
&
Oliver Richards Temple
joyfully request
the pleasure of your company
at their wedding celebration
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
The Standard Hotel
Miami, Florida

Special Exceptions

Most couples today prefer to do something a little different with their invites. Check out a few recommendations for special exceptions:

Divorced Parents

Here’s an example of a formal and/or traditional weddings held in a church and hosted by the divorced parents of the bride (include parents’ names on separate lines):

Ms. Elaine Robbins
Mr. Bradley Hunter
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Odette Claire
to
Oliver Richards Temple
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
First Church
New Vernon, New Jersey

Use Similar Wording if One Parent Has Remarried

Ms. Elaine Robbins
Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Hunter
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Odette Claire
to
Oliver Richards Temple
Saturday, the twenty-third of June
two thousand and twelve
at half-past four o’clock
First Church
New Vernon, New Jersey

Wording For Additional Pieces

Wording for additional invites and thank-you cards can vary a lot depending on budget, style and ceremony. Check out a few options:

R.S.V.P. Cards

For formal R.S.V.P. cards, guests write in their responses in the blank spaces. This is a fun way to get personal and memorable responses.

The favor of a reply is requested by the thirty-first of May

____________________________________________________________

Another popular approach is the offer a series of checkboxes and lines to direct the information you want):

The favor of a reply is requested by the thirty-first of May

Name(s) _________________________

____________ will attend

____________ will not attend

or

The favor of a reply is requested by the thirty-first of May

M____________________________________

____________ Accepts with pleasure

____________ Declines with regret

Entrees

____Poultry

____Fish

____Vegetarian

Personalize how you request replies, such as “Kindly reply by” or “Kindly respond by”.

Save the Date Cards

Include your and your groom’s names and wedding date–other than that, have fun! Check out this sample:

Please save the date
Saturday, June 23, 2012
For the wedding of
Odette Claire Hunter
and
Oliver Richards Temple
Formal invitation to follow

Reception Cards

If your reception is held at a separate location from your ceremony venue, it’s typical to send a reception card along with the invitation containing all necessary information.

Activities Cards

Helpful for out-of-town guests, especially if several events are occurring over the course of a few days. Here’s a good sample:

Weekend Activities

Friday

Meadowood Winery Tour

1:00 pm

Please meet in the hotel lobby

Rehearsal Dinner

7:00 pm

Meritage Resort 875 Bordeaux Way

Saturday

Ladies Tea

11:00 am

Churchill Tea Room

Please meet in the hotel lobby.

Sunday

Farewell Brunch

11:00 am

Bouchon Bistro

6534 Washington Street

Information Cards

An information card is enclosed with your wedding invitation, and provides guests with any additional information you want them to know about (transportation information, lodging suggestions, etc.). Check out this sample:

Transportation will be provided to and from the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and reception. Shuttles will depart from the hotel lobby 45 minutes prior to each event and return every half-hour each evening beginning at 9 pm.

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Send rehearsal dinner invitations three to six weeks before the event. A much less formal invite, wording can vary depending on how black-tie your dinner is. Some suggestions:

You are cordially invited to attend the

Rehearsal Dinner

honoring

Odette and Oliver

on the eve of their marriage Friday, the twentieth of June

at seven o’clock in the evening

The Slanted Door

RSVP 415-222-5555

Or

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Temple

request the honor of your company

at the Rehearsal Dinner

honoring Odette and Oliver

on the eve of their marriage Friday,

the twentieth of June

at seven o’clock in the evening

The Slanted Door

RSVP

415-222-5555

Escort Cards, Place Cards and Favor Tags

Escort cards inform your guests where they will sit during the reception. Guests names are written on the envelopes with table numbers written on enclosed escort cards. Escort cards are usually displayed on a decorative table used just for this purpose. Check out this sample:

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Lewis Table 5

Or

Ms. Kimberly Hammond Table 12

Place cards generally feature the guest’s full name (e.g. Mr. Taylor Lewis), while favor tags have the guest’s name and the date of the wedding.

Thank You Cards

Opt to purchase thank you cards that match your wedding invites, or go for ones that are completely different–up to you! Etiquette regarding thank you cards includes:

  • Mentioning the gift by name and what you love about it
  • Say thanks for the “generous gift” instead of mentioning the amount for monetary gifts
  • Thank the person for attending if applicable

At Home Card

This card is included in the wedding invitation to inform guests of a new, post-wedding addresses, or perhaps a moving announcement. A sample:

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Temple

Will be at home

After September third

300 Broadway

San Francisco, California 94133

Monograms

Monograms are often used as signature emblems on wedding invitations. They traditionally feature the bride’s initials only. However, many couples today prefer to use both initials. If this is the case for you, use the first initials only. For example, if Jennifer and Mark are getting married, their monogram would be the letters JS (bride’s initial should come first).

Use a formal, married monogram for the post-ceremony reception pieces, such as place cards, table cards, menu cards, and thank you cards. Generally, the couples’ first initials appear on either side of the groom’s last initial. For example, once Jennifer Hammond and Mark Temple are married, their new monogram is JTM.

Final Thoughts

Whatever wording and format you decide on keep these tips in mind:

  • Use the correct names for invited guests whenever you can. If you don’t know the names of your cousin’s new girlfriend, ask! Using the correct names will make people feel welcome and honored.
  • Do not include registry information anywhere in your invitation cards. Rather, list the information on your wedding website or ask your family and wedding party to communicate it via word of mouth.
  • Do not print “no gifts” anywhere on your invitation. Even if that is your preference, this presumes your guests were planning to give gifts in the first place. Again, ask your family and wedding party to help with this message, but be aware that some guests may insists on giving you gifts.

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

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