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Help - Most Common Mistakes on Wordings / Verses

  • Abbreviations
  • Time
  • Dates
  • Symbols
  • Capitalization
  • Zip Codes
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • And vs. To
  • Respond Date
  • Consistency
  • Additional Tips

  • 1. Abbreviations

    To be socially correct, all words should be spelled out on invitations, accessory cards and envelopes . EX: “Road” instead of “Rd.”, “Boulevard” instead of “Blvd.”, “Indiana” instead of “IN”.


    • Honorifics may be abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., military rank, etc.).
    • “St.” or “Sts.” may be used for “Saint” or “Saints”.
    • Numerical time should use the abbreviations “a.m.” and “p.m.”.
    • “Junior” or “Senior”, when used in a name, are correctly abbreviated “Jr.” or “Sr.”. They should always be separated from the last name by a comma.

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    2. Time

    Invitations require time to be spelled out, whereas numerals may be used on accessory cards.

    • Invitations:

      • Time should be spelled out.
      • Time should never be capitalized.
      • Time, on the hour, should be followed by “o’clock” (Note: lowercase and apostrophe).
      • Do not use “o’clock” if the time is not on the hour.
      • Time, not on the hour, should be hyphenated. EX: “two-thirty” instead of “two thirty” or “two forty-five” instead of “two forty five”.
      • Time should always be followed by “in the morning”, “noon”, “in the afternoon”, “in the evening”, or “midnight”.
        • 12:01 a.m.-11:59 a.m. is morning.
        • 12:00 p.m. is noon.
        • 12:01 p.m. – 5:59 p.m. is afternoon.
        • 6:00 p.m.- 11:59 p.m. is evening.
        • 12:00 a.m. is midnight
    • Accessory Cards:

      • Time may be spelled out, following the invitation rules above, or numerals may be used.
      • When numerals are used, they should be followed by “a.m.” or “p.m.” (Note: lowercase and periods)
      • “Immediately” may be used as a substitute for time. The use of “immediately” and a time is redundant.
        EX: “Reception immediately following ceremony” is correct, whereas “Reception immediately following ceremony at six o’clock in the evening” is incorrect.

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    3. Dates

    On the accessory cards, date and time formats should be consistent. If time is not provided, you may spell out the date, abbreviate it, or use a numerical date.

    • Invitations:

      • Date should be spelled out.
      • Date should be preceded by the day of the week, spelled out.
      • Day of the week and date should be separated by a comma.
      • Year is printed on a separate line and may be omitted, if desired.
      • Month and year should not be separated by a comma.
      • EX: “on Saturday, the fifth of June
        Two thousand and four”
    • Accessory Cards:

      • If time is used on the accessory card, be consistent with the date. In other words, when spelling out the time, spell out the date. If you use numerical time, use a numerical date.
      • If time is not used, any of the following formats are acceptable:
        • on Saturday, the fifth of June
        • on Saturday, June 5, 2004
        • on Saturday, June 5th
        • June 5, 2004

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    4. Symbols

    We often see the use of symbols to represent words. This is increasingly popular, yet remains a social faux pas. EX: “Mr. & Mrs.” instead of “Mr. and Mrs.”

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    5. Capitalization

    Etiquette dictates the following protocol:

    • Names of people and places are always capitalized.
      • “corner” as in “corner of Fifth and Main Streets” is not capitalized.
    • When spelling out the year, capitalize the “t” in Two: Two thousand and eight.
    • Sentences (or each new thought on an invitation) always begin with a capital letter.

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    6. Zip Codes

    They do not belong on invitations or most accessory cards. They are appropriate on outer envelopes, r.s.v.p. envelopes and at home cards.

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    7. Spelling

    Ask someone else to proofread your wording, paying close attention to proper nouns. Many common words are often misspelled, or misused. EX: "night" is better than "nite". Should it be "to" or "too"?

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    8. Grammar

    • Pronouns should be consistent throughout your invitations. If using first person pronouns (I, we, us, our and me), use them everywhere. If using third person pronouns (them, they, their), use them everywhere.
    • Do not use punctuation at the end of a line, such as commas and periods, in your invitation wording.

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    9. And vs. To

    • When parents for both bride and groom are issuing the invitation, the word between the bride and groom’s names should be “and”, not “to”.
      Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
      Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith
      request the honour of your presence
      at the marriage of their children
      Mary Anne
      Richard Allen
    • When the invitations are issued by parent(s) of just the bride or just the groom, the word between the bride and groom’s names should be “to”, not “and”.
      Ex. Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
      request the honour of your presence
      at the marriage of their daughter
      Mary Anne
      Mr. Richard Allen Smith

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    10. Respond Date

    • Respond date should be two to four weeks before the wedding date.
    • Respond date should ALWAYS be before the wedding date. You would be surprised how many people get these two dates switched.

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    11. Consistency

    • Use the same ink color on your invitations and accessory cards.
    • Use the same typestyle on your invitations and accessory cards.
    • Use accessory cards that match your invitations.

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    12. Additional Tips

    • Make sure you have filled out all necessary information for every item.
    • Make sure you have ordered enough. It is much cheaper to order a few extra initially than it is to order a few extra later.
    • If your wedding date is more than six months away, it is considerate to send Save The Date cards six to twelve months before the wedding and invitations four to six weeks before the wedding.

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