Choosing The Right Wording For Your Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitations are the first glimpse your guests will see of your theme and the first impression they’ll have of your big day. After you’ve chosen the perfect invitations, it’s time to get to work filling them in with the right wording. 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.

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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
  • 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

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 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
Susan Jones to  Neil Wood
at St Mary’s Church, Milton,
on (date), (month), (year),
at (time)
(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 honor of your presence at the marriage of their
daughter
Natasha Ruth Hanks
to Tim Hugh Brown
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 Hanks
to Tim Hugh Brown
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 Hanks
together with
Mr & Mrs Brown
and their son
Tim Hugh Brown
request the honor of your presence
at the wedding of
Natasha Ruth Hanks
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 Hanks
to
Tim Hugh Brown
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 Hanks
to
Tim Hugh Brown
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 Hanks
to
Tim Hugh Brown
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 honor 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…

 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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Credits:

Originally Written by Leanne Smith-Confetti

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