Wedding Invitation Wording - Guidelines & Tips

If you're like most of my brides, the activities surrounding your wedding are the first 'formal' events you've planned and naturally you want everything to be perfect.  This starts with the invitation wording and I'm here to help!

When ordering your wedding invitations with Chelsey Emery you have the option to completely customize the wording on your invitation to accurately reflect the style and tone of your event.  While this is great if you know exactly what you want to say, if you don’t – it can also be completely overwhelming!  We have put together some guidelines and etiquette tips for reference, but unless you are inviting Emily Post to your wedding, feel free to adjust and modify them to suit your personal event.  Sometimes even the oldest rules are meant to be broken –

  • Step 1 : Identify the Host – Typically the names listed first identify who is hosting (paying) for the event.
  • Step 2 : Identify the Request – Formal wedding invitation have one of two requests.  If the event is being held in a place of worship the phrase ‘request the honor of your presence, at the marriage of their daughter’ is used.   ‘Request the pleasure of your company, at the marriage of their daughter’ is used for secular locations.  If the couple is hosting, it is common to use ‘invite you to join us at the celebration of our marriage’. 
  • Step 3 : Identify the Bride and Groom – Traditionally the bride is listed first and if she shares a lastname with her parents, only the first and middle names are included.  The groom is identified with title (Mr. / Dr. / etc.), first, middle and last.  A more modern interpretation often includes just the first and last names of both parties. 
  • Step 4 : Identify the Date and Time – The date and time are always spelled out, with the month and day being capitalized.  There is no ‘and’ when writing out the year, a correct example is two thousand twelve, not two thousand and twelve. 
  • Step 5 : Identify the Location – If the ceremony is at a well-known location the street address does not need to be included.  The zip code never needs to be included on the wedding invitation.

Step #1 has the most variables in my opinion.  There are a number of different situations that can complicate this seemingly easy task - For example, what if your parents are divorced but both are paying and your mom is remarried?  We cover a number of different suggestions for identifying the Host or Hosts in our ETIQUETTE section as well as suggestions for wording for more casual events.