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Choosing the Right Wording for Your Wedding Invitations

23rd January 2017 |By | 5 Comments

Your invitations are the first glimpse your guests will see of your theme and the first impression they’ll have of your big day. Once you’ve found your perfect stationery, it’s time to choose the wording for your wedding invitations. Don’t worry if you’re not a budding Shakespeare, we’ve put together a range of classic and contemporary wedding invitation wording for you to choose from.

Choosing the Right Wording for your Wedding Invitations | Confetti.co.uk

Woodland themed wedding invitations

What should you include on your wedding invitations?

No matter their style or your degree of formality, when it comes to the right wording for your wedding invitations, be sure to include:

  • names of the bride’s parents or other hosts
  • first name and surname of the couple including their titles (Sir, Lady, Dr 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 or theme
  • time guests can expect the day to come to an end
  • whether children are invited

rustic vintage art deco gatsby stationery by theme style

Above: Stylish stationery selections: Black & Gold Opulence | Rustic Country | Contemporary Vintage

Who sends out the wedding 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

Dr Susan Jones to Dr 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

and

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 having a joint wedding, the name of the older sister and her future husband should go first.

The traditional approach

If you want to follow traditional invitation style, here are a few conventions to note:

  • 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 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.

See the gorgeous range of wedding stationery in the Confetti shop & from our Confetti-approved stationery vendors.

Kate Thompson
Written by

Kate Thompson is the features editor and wedding expert at Confetti. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years and has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.

5 Replies to “Choosing the Right Wording for Your Wedding Invitations”

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  3. Mary Jones

    How do you write the title for a mother of the groom who is divorced but still uses her married name? Mrs Mary Jones
    My son wants to write Ms Mary Jones I have never used Ms What is the proper way? My opinion once a Mrs always a Mrs right?

    Reply· May 23, 2017 9:58am
  4. Kasi Albertini

    There is clearly a treasure trove of good thinking here. A big thank you for putting your heart and soul into this. For those of us who are short on time to research these things ourself, this is a god send.

    Reply· Jun 10, 2017 12:49am
  5. April

    My fiance was raised most of his childhood by a different family that “took him in” and is including one of the boys in the wedding. This family did not legally adopt him. On our website and program do I list him as foster brother or brother? We don’t want to hurt his real beother’s feelings who is not in the wedding.

    Reply· Jun 23, 2017 1:32pm

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