etiquette

The Proper Etiquette to Invitation Wording

Your wedding invitation displays one of the most important messages, that you want to share your celebration with your nearest and dearest family and friends. It will tell your guests where you will marry and indicate the religious or nature of your ceremony, as well as the formality (or informally) of the big day. 

All wedding invitations should honor the tradition of serving the role in telling your guests the proper information, allow a timely response time to arrange for potential travel, and preface the proper attire for the nature of the ceremony. 

Stationers can supply an endless amount of paper options, text assortments, colors, etc. for you to select from. Only then will you move on to the next step: WHAT SHOULD IT SAY?

Invitations are customarily written in third-person, ranging from formal to informal, including wording for different situations. 

When the bride's parents issue the invitations:

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wayne Henson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Madeline Claire
to
Mr. Thomas Lee Anderson
Saturday, the sixth of August
two thousand sixteen
at a half past three o'clock
First Baptist Church
New Orleans, Louisiana

When the bride's parents issue the invitation & include the groom's parents:


Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wayne Henson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Madeline Claire
to
Mr. Thomas Lee Anderson
son of

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Anthony Anderson
...

ย 

*The words "honour" and "favour" ("the favour of your reply is requested...) are traditionally written in the British style for a more formal invitation. The American spellings "honor" and "favor" are also accepted if the couple or parents prefer.


Modern day, it has become more customary that the couple issues the invitations. 

When the couple issues a formal invitation:

The honour of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Madeline Claire Henson
to
Thomas Lee Anderson
...

- OR -

Madeline Claire Henson
and
Thomas Lee Anderson
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage...


 

In many weddings, the bride's families are both involved and may be listed on the invitation in "lump sum" with the couple:

Together with their families
the honor of your presence is requested
at the marriage of
Madeline Claire Henson
to
Thomas Lee Anderson
Saturday, the sixth of August
two thousand sixteen
...

 

 

There are many different situations that may cause a revision or alteration of any of the above wording formats. Perhaps the parents are divorced, but are still acting as co-hosts. Perhaps the bride or groom has a step-parent that is acting as a co-host in place of the bride or grooms natural parent. Here are some guidelines below for those types of situations to consider when working out the wedding invitation wording. 

DIVORCED PARENTS
If the divorced parents are co-hosting the wedding together, the formal wedding invitation would read both parent's full names (the mothers current name if remarried). The mother of the bride would appear first, following by the father.
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Bates
and
Mr. Raymond Henson
...

STEPPARENTS
When the bride is been raised primarily by a parent and stepparent and the other natural parent is not co-hosting the wedding, the appropriate wording would be to include the formal name of the mother's new last name, but to use the full name of the bride if different than the mother's last name (if she decided to take the stepfathers last name).
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Bates
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her (or his) daughter
Madeline Claire Henson
...

MILITARY TITLES
When the bride and/or groom or the parents of the bride or groom are members of the military services or serving active duty, their military titles are used. All military titles are spelled out and not abbreviated on the invitation, mailing addresses, or any other stationery. 

ABBREVIATIONS
You should not abbreviate "Doctor" as you would on other phrases (Mr., Mrs., Ms.). You can abbreviate Sr. and Jr. if wished. You should spell out any other words, like the state, road, street, etc. 

DATE & TIME
Formally, the date is written out "the twenty-second of April." The full date of the wedding, including the year, is always included and the year is formally written out "two thousand sixteen."

RECEPTION INFORMATION
The invitation to the wedding may be combined with the invitation to the reception, or you may send a separate reception card. If you are hosting a reception afterwards, a RSVP card is traditionally included. 

 

 

MISTAKES TO AVOID
-Triple check the spelling of your invitation & have your venue confirm the address of the ceremony & reception
-Do not include any mentioning of gifts or registries on your invitation. 
-If you do not wish to include children, you do not have to invite them. However, you should never add "adults only" or "no children" on your wedding invitation. You simply do not include them on the addressing of the envelope. 
-If it's important that you have the dress attire on the invitation, you would simply state "black tie" on the reception card.

 

HOWEVER...

With ALL of that said, do not hesitate to think outside the box. You do not have to conform to tradition if a more off-beat whimsical design is more your suit. This is your big day, and at the end of it, you are inviting your nearest and dearest to celebrate along side you and your future spouse. ...your way.