When it come to invitation wording etiquette, couples are often intimated by the variety of options available, but in fact the rules are actually much simpler and straightforward than you think. And in most cases, there’s more than one way to do it, so feel free to riff off these wording rules to create your own. To help guide you, we’re breaking down what each line means and what it typically includes.
Section 1: The Host Line
Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the hosts of the wedding, and are named at the top of the invitation, even for very formal affairs. However, including the names of both sets of parents as hosts is a gracious option no matter who foots the bill. Also, more and more couples these days are hosting their own weddings, or do so together with their parents. So, here are a few host line examples
1- When the bride’s parents host the wedding:
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Colleen Marie to Ryan Michael Cronin Saturday, the twenty-third of May at four o’clock Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church New York, New York
2- When the groom’s parents are included on the invitation:
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Colleen Marie to Ryan Michael Cronin, son of
Mr. and Mrs. Jason Rigby Cronin Saturday, the twenty-third of May
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski and Mr. and Mrs. Jason Rigby Cronin request the pleasure of your company at the wedding reception of their children,
Colleen Marie and Ryan Michael Saturday, the twenty-third of May
3- When the bride’s divorced parents are both listed on the invitation (in general, the invite is sent by the parent who raised her):
Diane Jean Chrzanowski (or Mrs. Robert Cheney, if remarried) and Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski (or Mr. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski) request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Colleen Marie to Ryan Michael Cronin
4- When the couple would like to host the event themselves:
The honour of your presenceis requested at the marriage of Miss Colleen Marie Chrzanowski to Mr. Ryan Michael Cronin Saturday, the twenty-third of May
5- When the couple would like to include their families (divorced or married) and host their own wedding:
Colleen Marie Chrzanowski and Ryan Michael Cronin together with their parents request the pleasure of your company at their wedding
Section 2: The Request Line
“honour of your presence”: “honour” spelled British-style with a “u” indicates a ceremony in a house of worship.
“the pleasure of your company”: indicates the ceremony is taking place outside a place of worship.
“at the marriage of their children:” indicates both sets of the couple’s parents are hosting.
Section 3: Bride and Groom Lines
The name of the bride always precedes the groom’s name. Formal invitations issued by the bride’s parents refer to her by her first and middle names, the groom by his full name and title; if the couple is hosting by themselves, their titles are optional.
Section 4: Date and Time Lines
For formal weddings, everything is written out in full (no numerals). The year is optional (the assumption being your wedding is on the nearest such date). Time of day is spelled out using “o’clock” or “half after five o’clock.” The use of a.m. or p.m. is optional. For casual weddings, numerals are fine.
Section 4: Location Lines
The street address is not usually needed, unless omitting it would lead to confusion or your wedding is taking place at the host’s home. The city and state are written out in full.
Section 5: Reception Lines
Very formal invitations include this information on a separate card. Otherwise, it can be printed on the invitation if there is room; if the ceremony and reception are held in the same location, you may print “and afterward at the reception” or “reception immediately following.” When the reception is elsewhere, the location goes on a different line. Include the time if not immediately following the ceremony.
Section 6: RSVP Lines
Most couples these days choose to include a separate response card for guests to fill out and return in the mail. For more informal celebrations, some couples skip the separate response card and ask guests to reply electronically via the couple’s website, printed on the bottom of the invitation.
For more inspirations visit our Pinterest page.