Wedding Invitation Wording

Best Practices & Ideas To Get Started

Line 1: Proper names of those hosting
Line 2: Request
Line 3: List relationship of the bride to the host
Line 4: Bride’s first and middle names only
Line 5: Groom’s full name
Line 6: Groom’s parents full names
Line 7: Day of the week, day and month of wedding
Line 8: Time of wedding and time of day
Line 9: Name of the location of wedding
Line 10: City and state where wedding will take place
Line 11: Reception information

Click Here to See Sample Wording For Traditional Weddings

Click Here to See Sample Wording For Non-Traditional Weddings

Wedding Invitation Wording Explained – 8 Steps

Source: A Guide to Wording Your Wedding Invitations Correctly

Step 1: Who is Hosting?
The first names your guests will see on your wedding invitation are those of the people who are paying for the event. Traditionally, this has been the bride’s parents, and so it reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Beazley or Kate and Marvin Beazley
If the bride and groom are hosting, then the line reads
Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. Sam Smith
Together with their families,
Jane Doe and Sam Smith

Step 2: The Request
The next line in a wedding invitation is the one that requests that your guests attend.
If your ceremony is at a place of worship, then the line should read:
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
The word daughter is used as an example and should be the gender of the person whose parents are hosting. If, on the other hand your ceremony is at home or other secular location, then the line should read:
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
would be delighted for you to attend
the marriage of their daughter
If the couple is hosting:
invite you to join us at the celebration of our marriage

Step 3: The Happy Couple
Etiquette says that the bride should be listed first, using first and middle names only. Then the groom should be listed, using both title and middle name.
So for example:
Nora Jane
Scott Andrew Jackson
A more modern alternative is simply,
Nora Beazley
to Scott Jackson

Step 4: Date & Time
Traditionally, these are spelled out:
Saturday, the seventh of June
two thousand and fourteen
at four o’clock in the afternoon
note that the month and day are capitalized. If it were a 4:30 ceremony, the time would read at half after four o’clock in the afternoon.
but for a less formal ceremony, you can also write
Saturday, June 7, 2014
at 4 p.m.

Step 5: The Location
If the ceremony is at a well known location, you needn’t include the address:
The Museum of Fine Arts
Houston, Texas
but for smaller locations, or your home, you’d want to write out the address.
The Art Club
49 Marquis Road
Blair, California

Step 6: Time for the Reception
Let your guests know there is going to be a party afterward . This can either be included on the wedding invitation or on a separate reply card.
On the wedding invitation, it would read
Reception to follow at the Briar Hills Country Club
If you’re not serving a full meal, it is nice to let guests know. You might write:
And afterwards for cocktails and cake in the Rose Room.
Dessert and dancing to follow
A separate reception card is often good to use if the ceremony and reception are in different places, or the reception doesn’t immediately follow the ceremony. It might read something like
8 o’clock
Parker Grand Hotel
342 Allen Road
Pike, Oregon

Step 7: Get Them to RSVP
Traditionally, R.S.V.P. was written on the invitation, and guests knew to reply on their own stationery. Now, most couples find that they get responses more promptly if they include a separate reply card.
This can be mostly blank, allowing guests to write a note, with a line such as:
The favor of a reply is requested before the first of June
Or it can be more detailed, such as
Please reply before the first of June
_________Will attend
_________Will not attend
You might also write:
Number of people in party_____

Step 8: Optional details
Optional details include telling your guests what to wear. Strictest etiquette tells you not to include information about attire on your invitation, but I think this is an outdated opinion. Guests appreciate clues about how to dress, and are not as instinctively knowledgeable as they used to be. To avoid someone showing up in blue jeans, include a line such as:
Black Tie
Other options: Semi-formal, cocktail attire, festive attire, creative black tie, white tie, black tie optional, dressy casual, informal. Definitions of these terms
Some couples who wish not to have children at the reception may write:
Adult reception
Which is more polite than writing No Children