How to Word Your Wedding Invitations

Nothing sends me into a wedding planning panic like the idea of messing up the invitations (besides maybe the groom not showing up). While the rules of how to word your wedding invitations aren’t complicated, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the basics before you press that “Order” button.

From the very formal to the very casual, all invitations follow pretty much the same structure. Every invitation should clearly state the following information:

  • Who is hosting
  • A request to attend
  • The names of the bride and groom
  • The date and time
  • The location
  • Information about the reception
wedding invitation wording example

Via Elli

Only include a location for the reception if it’s somewhere different than the reception, and only include a time if it’s not immediately following the ceremony.

Dinner and dancing to follow
vs.
Reception to follow at 7:30 PM  // Gramercy Gardens Hotel

If you’re sending paper invitations, include the RSVP card as a separate piece of paper. If you’re counting RSVP’s by hand, include the “Attending” and “Regrets” check boxes.

wedding reply card wording example

Via Elli

Otherwise, simply include your wedding website URL and a request for the invitee to RSVP online.

In the case that you’re not using a wedding website, you might also want to include the dress code information on the bottom of the invitation card. If you are using a wedding website, simply direct your invitees there for more information on dress code, directions to the venue, and lodging information. 

Formal invitations

Throwing a fancy fête? Your invitations will likely follow convention a little closer.

formal wedding invitation wording example

Via Elli

In a traditional wedding, if the bride’s parents are hosting, the bride’s name might be written as her first and middle name, with her last name omitted (unless it’s different from that of her parents).

Drs. Harold and Marie Goldman
Request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Janice Sadie
to
Jorge Don Rivera

Otherwise, if both sets of parents are hosting, all parents’ names are written out before the bride and groom’s. 

Mr. and Mrs. Doug Washington
And Mr. and Mrs. Geoff Brown
Request the honor of your presence
At the marriage of their children
Tracy Michelle Washington
And
Manny Stanley Brown

Note: Traditionally, the bride’s name is featured first on the invitation. For same sex marriages, names are usually listed alphabetically.

Formal invitations feature more formal word choices (ex. “Request the pleasure of your presence” vs. “Join us for”), and the date and time are written out in full, with no numerals.

Saturday, the first of JuneTwo thousand nineteen
At half past three in the afternoon

Casual Invitations

For less-than-formal affairs, you have a lot more flexibility. While you still need to include all the same information, you can make the wording your own. Feel free to use numerals and drop middle names and titles.

If everyone’s hosting the wedding

Usually, when the couple and both sets of parents share a part in hosting, the invitation will include the couple’s names and the phrase “together with their families.”

wedding invitation wording example together with families

Via Elli

If you’re hosting your own wedding

Simply omit any verbiage about your parents.

wedding self-hosted invitation wording example

Via Elli

Once you’ve locked down the wording, and brushed up on wedding invitation etiquette, the fun can really begin. Your wedding invitations should reflect the style of your wedding and your style as a couple. There is absolutely no shortage of beautiful invitation designs out there, print and electronic. Get out there and find yours!

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