Choosing The Right Wording For Your Wedding Invitations

May 11, 2014. Written by

You’ve chosen your wedding invitations… now you just need to think what to say on them…

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What to include on wedding invitations

Although your wedding invitation wording may differ – depending on the degree of formality you want to convey – you might want to make sure it includes the following:

  • names of the bride’s parents or other hosts
  • first name of the bride
  • first name and surname of the bridegroom and his title (Mr/Lieutenant/Sir etc)
  • where the ceremony is taking place
  • date, month and year of the wedding ceremony
  • location of the wedding reception
  • address to which guests should reply
  • a reply date

You might also wish to include:

  • details of any dress code/theme
  • time guests can expect the day to come to an end
  • whether children are invited

Who sends out the invitations?

Invitations are always sent from whoever is hosting the wedding ‐ traditionally the bride’s parents. The wording becomes more complicated if parents are divorced or if the couple are holding the event themselves. The usual wording for a traditional invitation is:

Mr & Mrs James Jones

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Susan to Mr Neil Wood

at St Mary’s Church, Milton,

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

and afterwards at (reception venue).

RSVP: (host’s address).

More wording examples

Who is hosting your wedding? Below are sample wordings for:

  • the bride’s parents
  • both sets of parents
  • you’re hosting your own wedding
  • you with both sets of parents
  • a single parent
  • a divorced parent with their spouse/bride or groom’s step parent
  • jointly hosted by divorced parents

The bride’s parents

Mr & Mrs Hanks

Request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter

Natasha Ruth

to Tim Hugh

son of

Mr & Mrs Brown

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

Both sets of parents

Mr & Mrs Hanks

and

Mr & Mrs Brown

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Natasha Ruth

to Tim Hugh

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

 

You’re hosting your own

Ms Natasha Ruth Hank

sand

Mr Tim Hugh Brown

request the pleasure of your company

at their marriage

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

You with both sets of parents

Mr & Mrs Hanks

and their daughter

Natasha Ruth

together with

Mr & Mrs Brown

and their son

Tim Hugh

request the honour of your presence

at the wedding of

Natasha Ruth

and

Tim Hugh

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

A single parent

Mr Hanks

requests the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of his daughter

Natasha Ruth

to

Tim Hugh

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

A divorced parent with their spouse bride or groom’s step parent

Jane & Tom Hanks

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of Jane Hanks’ daughter

Natasha Ruth

to

Tim Hugh

son of Mr & Mrs Brown

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

Jointly hosted by divorced parents

Mr Hanks

and

Mrs Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Natasha Ruth

to

Tim Hugh

son of

Mr & Mrs Brown

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

St Cuthbert’s Church, Styal, Cheshire

Invitations from someone other than the bride or groom’s parents

If the host of the wedding is neither the bride nor the groom’s parents but another relation, you should word the invitation omitting the word daughter/son and adding the hosts’ relationship:

  • grandparents = granddaughter/grandson
  • aunt and uncle = niece/nephew
  • godparents = goddaughter/godson
  • foster parents = foster daughter/foster son
  • brother = sister/brother
  • sister = sister/brother

Invitations for joint weddings

If, for example, two sisters are getting married, the name of the older sister and her future husband should go first.

The traditional approach

If you want to follow traditional invitation style, there are a few rules to follow:

  • Invitations are generally written in the third person.
  • The bride’s name should appear before the groom’s.
  • When listing the time, date and venue, the time and date should be written first and the venue last.
  • Use titles, such as Dr, Mrs, etc when appropriate.
  • ‘The honour of your presence’ or ‘The pleasure of your company’ is the normal choice of wording. The former is often used for invitations to religious ceremonies such as a church wedding; the latter for invitations to an event in a non‐religious venue.
  • How you break up the lines is up to you. Generally, names, times and places are placed on separate lines.
  • Wording can be adapted to accommodate different circumstances due to death, divorce and re‐marriage on the bride’s side. For example:
    • (if either parent is widowed):
      Mr James Jones / Mrs Pamela Jones, requests the pleasure…
    • (parents are divorced):
      Mr James Jones and Mrs Pamela Jones request the pleasure…
    • (parents divorced, mother remarried):
      Mr James Jones and Mrs Paula Matthews request…
  • Continental Europeans and practising members of the Jewish community send cards including the names of both sets of parents eg: Mr and Mrs James Jones request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Susan to Neil, son of Mr & Mrs Simon Berg.

Inviting children

If children are invited, make this clear by including their names on their parents’ invitation. Parents might assume that the invitation is for them alone if their children’s names are not specified.

It can be tactful to include a short note to parents, such as: ‘Much as we would like to invite all the children of our friends, it is only possible to accommodate the children of close family’, or, ‘We are sorry we are unable to accommodate children’. If you are inviting children, let parents know if you have made special childcare arrangements: ‘We have arranged child‐minding facilities for the duration of the service and/or reception’.

Invitations to the reception or an evening party

If space is limited at your ceremony venue, you may wish to invite more guests along to the reception afterwards. You may then decide to invite even more guests for your party in the evening.

A reception invitation will ‘request the pleasure of your company’. An evening party invite can be equally formal, but can also be informal depending on the style of your wedding.

 

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