Everyday Etiquette – Invitation Wording – Honoring a Deceased Parent


Can I still honor my father in the wording on my invitations even though he is deceased? (My mother is not remarried).


The Everyday Etiquette Answer:

Dear Joanne,

What a wonderful thought. When I got married, my mother was deceased, so only my father’s name was on the invitation. Traditionally, deceased parents are not listed on the invitation but remembered in the program.

Several years ago, the exact situation came up with a customer in my stationery store. I did some research and found that “Emily Post’s Etiquette” by Peggy Post offered interesting wording for such situations. Since then, I have always suggested this as an option for remembering a deceased parent. Here is an example:

Mary Catherine Williams
daughter of Mrs. Christopher Williams and the late Mr. Williams
Thomas Scott Carson
son of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Carson
request the honour of your presence

It is improper to have your mother and late father issuing an invitation (ie. Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Williams). Therefore, the above wording is necessary.

Otherwise, you could use the following wording and have the minister remember your father during the wedding service and honor him in your program.

Mrs. Christopher Williams
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Mary Catherine

In my opinion, either is a very good solution. You just need to choose the one that makes you feel good. Have a wonderful wedding.

Ms. Carey

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