You have your wedding theme all picked out down to the subtle details (that only you will probably notice). You have your dress—the dress—the one that is perfect for you and only you! You have already paid deposits on all of your vendors, but still have about five months to your big day. What is next? The invitations! Even if you already know exactly what color and style you want, you may need help with the wording. The etiquette of your invitations should reflect your event. If you are hosting a backyard barbecue and want a casual tone, go for it! They are your invitations, and you can make the rules. However, if you dream of a more traditional affair, you will want to know what to include, and how to say it.
Our professionals at The American Wedding have perfected the wording of wedding invitations. First, you have to pick from a few different categories to set the tone of your invitation. You should determine the following:
• Bride’s parents hosting
• Bride and groom’s parents hosting
• Bride, groom, and parents hosting
• Bride and groom hosting
• Bride, groom, and children hosting
• Groom’s parents hosting
Now you may be wondering why this detail is so critical in the wording of the invitation. The opening line of the invitation will list these names first. For example, “(The bride’s parents) Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the honor of your presence…” Whoever is hosting the event—or, essentially, paying for it—should be listed first on the wedding invitations.
Although it is traditional for the bride’s parents to host their daughter’s wedding, the formalities of weddings have changed over the decades. (Take a moment to view Bridal Guide to see what else has changed!) If both parties are going to be actively and financially involved, Our Marriage offers a breakdown of who should be in charge of each expense. If you are on a budget, Martha Stewart Weddings offers a great list of budget dos and don’ts when it comes to asking and assuming about who pays for what. If you are stressed about asking your parents for money for the big day, The Alternative Bride gives an outline of how to be respectful about this discussion. Although you should not just blurt it out, you do need to be outspoken about your expectations. Everyone needs to be on the same page, in terms of budget!
After you have determined who is hosting the wedding, you can personalize the wording even more. Common phrases for introducing the bride and groom on the invitation include:
• “(Parent’s names) request the honor of your presence at the marriage of (bride’s name) to (groom’s name) on (date) at (time)”
• “(Parent’s names) have the honor of announcing the marriage of (bride’s name) to (groom’s name) on (date) at (time)”
• “(Bride’s and groom’s names) invite you to share in the joy of the beginning of their new life together when they exchange vows on (date) at (time)”
• “(Bride’s and groom’s names) together with their children (children’s names) invite you to share with them a celebration of love on (date) at (time)”
Although each wording is a slightly different, all of the phrases will include the necessary names along with the time and date of the ceremony. If you wish to spell out the date and time, that is up to you. For example, it may read “Sept. 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm” or “the sixth of September two thousand and fifteen at four o’clock in the afternoon.” These factors are determined by how formal or casual your wedding theme is. Ensure you are using the proper grammar and punctuation by reviewing GrammarBook. The ceremony venue name and location address is then listed at the bottom of the invitation. Likewise, you may opt to spell out the entire address, opposed to using abbreviations.
If the ceremony and the reception are at the same venue, the reception information may be included in the ceremony wording. It can be as simple as “dinner and dancing to follow.” However, you may need a separate reception card that lists the time, location, and order of events. To determine what ceremony and reception venues are available in your area, The Knot is an ideal site.
Since 1919, our team at The American Wedding has offered beautiful, yet affordable, wedding invitations. As a USA-based company, you will feel confident knowing your merchandise will be stylish. Our goal is to provide top-rated customer service, as well as quality products.