Wedding Etiquette: How to Word Wedding Invitations

Planning your wedding can be stressful but most of all, it should be fun! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the smaller details, booking venues and working through budgets, etc., so we’ve put together some wedding invitation etiquette tips to help you enjoy the wedding planning process.

First things first; who is hosting? The answer to that question will bring about a few different scenarios. Traditionally the bride’s parents are the one’s paying for the majority of the wedding, so we’ll start there. If the bride’s parents are the hosts, include their names on the invitation and leave off the bride’s last name. For example:

“Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Lauren Elizabeth and James Robert Brown…”

If the groom’s parents are the one’s hosting your big day, include their names instead and place the groom’s name before the bride’s. For example:

“Mr. and Mrs. Adam Brown request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their son, James Robert and Lauren Elizabeth Smith…”

If both parents are contributing to the wedding, what we traditionally see are the bride’s parents first and the groom’s parents listed under the groom’s name. For example:

Traditional: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children, Lauren Elizabeth Smith and James Robert Brown son of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Brown…”

For couples and parents hosting together, couples hosting or paying for the wedding themselves but would like to include their families out of respect, or to simplify complex relationships such as divorced or remarried parents, use an approach that is fully inclusive and simple without being too specific. For example:

“Together with their families, Lauren Elizabeth Smith and James Robert Brown request the honor of your presence at their marriage…”

Next up on the list, when and where is your wedding happening? Following with tradition, it is customary to spell out all numbers and locations on the invitation and the accompanying envelope. This includes the wedding date, time, A.M. or P.M. and street name abbreviations. For example:

“…Saturday the twenty-first of June two thousand and fifteen at half after four o’clock in the evening”

“Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church 6653 West Chatfield Avenue Littleton, Colorado”

Some housekeeping items to remember:

  • Consider the line breaks on the invitation as punctuation so there’s no need for additional commas or periods.
  • Include a reception line, “Reception to follow” at the bottom of your invitation.
  • Never include mention of a registry on the wedding invitation itself as it’s considered rude. However you can create a wedding website and include your registry information there; check out Wedding Wire for a site that will even match your invitations from The American Wedding!

We hope this helps! Be sure to check out our wedding stationery etiquette and addressing inner and outer envelopes advice on the blog and let us know what other wedding etiquette advice you’d like to see!

Sources: The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings