How to Word Your Wedding Invitations

Deciding on invitation wording can be an overwhelming task! We’ve compiled this guide for you to take the stress out of planning for your invitations, and provide you with some examples. There is quite a bit of conflicting info out in the world regarding invitation etiquette, so when in doubt, we always refer back to Emily Post!

The information that is typically included in a wedding invitation is broken down into five sections: the host, the request, the couple, date and time, and location.

1. HOST

The first line of the invitation lists the host(s) of the event. Traditionally, the bride’s parents act as host, but it’s common to have the groom’s parents, both sets of parents, or the bride and groom hosting. You can leave the host line out completely, or alternatively use “together with their families”.

2. REQUEST

Use “the honor of your presence” for weddings at a place of worship. “The pleasure of your company” is used for secular locations. The old English spelling of “honour” can be used for traditional or formal weddings.

3. THE COUPLE

The bride’s name goes first, followed by the groom’s name. Use only the first and middle name if the parents’ names are listed. Formal invitations include the groom’s title. If the bride’s parents are hosting but you want to list the groom’s parents, do so after the groom’s name.

4. DATE & TIME

The date and time should be spelled out. Include a hyphen in numbers over twenty (twenty-three). Including the year is optional, but do not use “and” (two thousand and eighteen is incorrect). “In the afternoon/evening” is optional. Use “half after” for half hours.

5. LOCATION

List the ceremony location along with the city and state. The street address is optional (it’s a good idea if the venue is not well known, or if there are multiple venues with similar names in the city), but leave off the zip code.

6. OPTIONAL INFORMATION

If the ceremony and the reception are at the same venue, it’s common to include “reception to follow” (or similar wording). If they are at different locations or you have more reception details to include, you would use a separate card for the reception.

You can also include information about the suggested dress code (black tie, formal attire, black tie optional) if the invitation is to the ceremony and reception. Attire is generally listed in the lower right corner of the invitation.

TRADITIONAL WEDDING INVITATION WORDING SAMPLES

These first three invitation wording examples follow traditional wedding etiquette and would be perfect for a formal wedding.

OPTION 1

bride’s parents hosting at a religious location

 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith

request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Amelia Grace

to

Douglas James Walker

 

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

two thousand twenty

at four o’clock in the afternoon

 

Jarvis United Church

3001 West 10th Street

Greenville, North Carolina

OPTION 2

both parents hosting at a secular location

 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith

together with

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Walker

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their children

 

Amelia Grace

to

Douglas James

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

two thousand twenty

at half after four o’clock

 

Longstraw Farms

662 Jolly Road

Ayden, North Carolina

OPTION 3

couple hosting at a secular location

The pleasure of your company

is requested at the marriage of

 

Amelia Grace Smith

to

Douglas James Walker

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

two thousand twenty

at half after four o’clock

 

Longstraw Farms

662 Jolly Road

Ayden, North Carolina

reception to follow

TRADITIONAL WEDDING INVITATION WORDING VARIATIONS

These next three wording examples are variations on the traditional wording, adjusted to fit different hosting situations.

OPTION 4

parents and couple hosting

 

Together with their families

 

Amelia Grace Smith

and

Douglas James Walker

 

request the pleasure of your company

at their wedding ceremony

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

two thousand twenty

at half after four o’clock

 

Longstraw Farms

662 Jolly Road

Ayden, North Carolina

 

dinner and dancing to follow


OPTION 5

groom’s parents hosting, black tie

 

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Walker

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of

 

Amelia Grace Smith

to their son

Douglas James

 

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

two thousand twenty

at half after four o’clock

 

Longstraw Farms

662 Jolly Road

Ayden, North Carolina

 

and afterward at the reception

black tie

OPTION 6

bride’s divorced (and remarried) parents hosting

 

Mr. and Mrs. Michelle Lewis

together with

Mr. Robert Smith

request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

 

Amelia Grace Smith

and

Douglas James Walker

 

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

at four o’clock in the afternoon

 

Jarvis United Church

Greenville, North Carolina


CONTEMPORARY INVITATION WORDING SAMPLES

Finally, these last three invitation wording samples are examples of modern wedding invitation wording.

OPTION 8

bride’s parents hosting

 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith

invite you to share their joy

at the marriage of their daughter

 

Amelia Smith

to

Douglas Walker

 

Saturday, April twenty-first

at four o’clock

 

Longstraw Farms

662 Jolly Road

Ayden, North Carolina

reception immediately following

OPTION 7

couple hosting

 

Amelia Smith

and

Douglas Walker

 

invite you to join them

as they are united in marriage

April 21, 2018 at 4 o’clock

 

Longstraw Farms

662 Jolly Road

Ayden, North Carolina

reception to follow

 

merriment to follow

OPTION 9

bride and groom hosting

 

Because you have shared in our lives

by your friendship and love, we

 

Amelia and Douglas

invite you to share our joy

as we are united in marriage

 

Saturday, the twenty-first of April

at half after four o’clock

 

Jarvis United Church

Greenville, North Carolina

 

merriment to follow

When all is said and done, it’s your wedding. As long as you include the basic info (who, what, where, and when), your guests will make it to the wedding. And most importantly, make sure you and your fiance (and your families) are comfortable with the wording you decide on.

Andi Workman