You can keep wording classic and traditional or be more creative and fun, it is up to you!

Wedding invitation etiquette rules aren’t that complicated, they are much simpler and straightforward than you think and of course they’re there to serve as a guideline. The most important things is that have a beautiful wedding invitation that represents you, your love and the big day to come and communicates the vital details of the wedding.

All wedding invitations should include the following elements:
  • Who’s hosting
  • The request to come to the wedding
  • The names of the bride and groom
  • The date and time
  • The location
  • Reception information
  • Dress code
  • Separate RSVP card

Step – by Step to invitation wording:

The Host Line: Who’s Hosting

Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the hosts of the wedding, and are named at the top of the invitation. 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.

If it’s a collaborative affair hosted and paid for by the bride, groom and both sets of parents, you can also use “Together with their parents, Joanna and Mark request the pleasure of your company …”

What If Any Parents are Deceased?

To include a deceased parent just means rearranging the wording a bit. Try this, for example:

Joanna Ley, daughter of the late Mr. John Ley and Jacqueline Ley,
and
Mark Broadhurst, son of Mr. Roy and Jennifer Broadhurst,
request the honor of your presence…

What to Do If Any Parents are Divorced and/or Remarried

If the bride or groom’s parents are divorced and you want to include both as hosts, you can include them all, just keep your each parent on a separate line. If you’re going to include the name of stepparent, keep it on the same line.
This is an example of a bride with divorced (and remarried) parents’ wedding invitation wording:

Dr. Alex and Suzanna Williams
and Mr. James Tustin and Chloe Tustin
and Mr. Roger & Chris Lymath
invite you the wedding of their children
Gemma Lymath and Aaron Tustin

How to address the invitation and envelope.
Name on the Invitation Name on the Envelope
Married couple where both are well known Mr and Mrs John Ley [Mr and] Mrs John Ley (envelope)
Married couple with invited children Mr and Mrs John Ley, Joanna and Suzanna [Mr and] Mrs John Ley
Married couple where only the husband is known well Mr and Mrs John Ley Mr John Ley
A medical doctor Dr and Mrs John Ley [Dr and] Mrs John Ley
Single man Mr John Ley Mr John Ley
Single woman Miss Josephine Ley Miss Josephine Ley
Widowed woman Mrs John Ley Mrs John Ley
Divorced woman Mrs Julie Hart Mrs Julie Hart
Unmarried couple Miss Martha Williams and Mr Stephen Cox Miss Martha Williams and Mr Stephen Cox
Same sex couple Mr Edward Haysom and Mr Matt Beauchamp Mr Edward Haysom and Mr Matt Beauchamp
Single woman and guest where the guest is not known well Miss Josephine Ley and Mr Carl Patten Miss Josephine Ley
Church of England vicar where the spouse is not known well Reverend and Mrs Stuart Hicks The Reverend Stuart Hicks
The Request Line: Please Come!

There are many ways to ask for the pleasure of your guests’ company. Below are few options:

  • “the pleasure of your company”
  • “at the marriage of their children”
  • “would love for you to join them”
  • “invite you to celebrate with them”
  • “honour of your presence”
The Names of Bride and Groom

If there names haven’t been included in the host line, they should still take center stage a few lines down. Traditionally 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.

For a same-sex marriage, you can choose to go in alphabetical order or choose what sounds better. Whether it’s “Tasmin and Sonya” or “Sonya and Tasmin,” it’s going to be lovely either way.

The Date and Time

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.

The Location

The street address of a venue 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 county should be written out in full in either case.

Reception Information

Very formal invitations include this information on a separate card. Otherwise, it can be printed on the wedding invitation itself 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 the wedding reception is not immediately following the ceremony.

Dress Code

Wedding invitation etiquette dictates that the dress code, if it’s to be included on the invitation, is is the lower right hand corner of the invitation. If you don’t include a note on attire, the invitation will indicate the dress code. For example, if the invitation is very fancy, guests will likely anticipating a formal, black-tie affair, or conversely, if the invitation on the simpler side, that indicates a more casual dress code.

Separate RSVP Card

Most couples choose to include a separate response card for guests to fill out and return in the mail. You also have the option of having people RSVP via your wedding website. If that’s the case, include the website address on a separate card, just as you would with an RSVP card, and indicate that guests can let you know if they can come directly on the site.

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