The love of your life has popped the question and I am sure your Pinterest wedding board is busting at the seams full of amazing ideas! I am sure at this point you have crossed some major items off you wedding planning checklist and at the point of starting the design process for your wedding invitations. If you are DIYing your invitations, the invitation wording can be a daunting feat… but if you have a stationery designer they got your back. No need to fret because I have put this post together so you don’t have to stress before the dress.
If you are using the traditional wording format, then this post is for you! I am sharing the traditional wedding etiquette with you along with providing samples to help with sensitive scenarios you might come across (i.e. divorced parents, deceased parents, etc…) But if I am going to be totally honest with you, this is your wedding so feel free to do with this information as you see fit… make sure the invitations provide the basic information to your wedding guests… and hopefully everyone involved with this wedding is happy with the end results!
The first line of the invitation indicates the host of the event! Traditionally, it is the bride’s parents but it is the 21st century so anything is up for grabs… it can be the groom’s parents, both set of parents or alternate for everything is “Together with their families”. In regards to deceased parents, it can be tricky depending on how recent the parent has passed or the living parent has remarried. If the passing of a parent was recent, you could word it “Ms. Jane Smith and the late Mr. John Smith”… but if the living parent has remarried or it has been a long time, I usually recommend honoring the parent in a different way in lieu of being on the invitation.
In the traditional sense, “request the honor of your presence” is used. In very formal weddings, honor is spelled “honour”. An alternative is “request the pleasure of your company”. Like I said, this is for the traditional wording for invitations… there are other phrases you can add here… but that’s for another post.
I would hate for people to not know who the bride and groom they are coming to celebrate! The bride’s name always goes first... even if the Groom’s parents are hosting the wedding. Both the bride’s and groom’s name will only have their first and middle names if their parent’s have been mentioned prior. If the bride’s parents are the only ones mentioned you can also have the groom’s parents named after his… “John David… son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith”
4. DATE & TIME
Three words can easily caption this section of the invitation… SPELL. IT. OUT.
Spell out the date and time… use half hours in lieu of “thirty” (i.e. half past five in the afternoon). Five PM is considered afternoon… six PM and later is considered evening.
In regards to the year, it is not two thousand AND nineteen but two thousand nineteen. And it is definitely not traditional to put the year as “twenty nineteen”… but if you are not going the traditional route then have at it.
List the ceremony location and follow it with the city and state. There is no need to put the actual address unless there is multiple locations in the city with that name. You can put the full address (minus the zip code), it is just optional…
If the ceremony and reception are at the same venue then you can add at the bottom “reception to follow”. If they are separate, wedding etiquette is to put it on a “reception card”. The reception card provides your guest the actual location as well time (if there is a major time gap) and what is the expected attire if you are not putting it on the bottom right of your invitation... Like I mentioned previously, the “reception to follow” is traditional, but there are other phrases to be used.
Here are some samples of invitation wording to help you get the ball rolling for your wedding invitations. I know everyone’s circumstances are different (i.e. divorced parents. deceased parents, etc…) but these samples are just a basic template for you to follow and I can help you along the way.
If you are done trying to figure it out and want someone to create your invitations for, Taylor Williams Paperie & Design is more than happy to help take that stress off your shoulders. If you are interested in beginning your custom wedding stationery design process with me, I would love to hear more about you, your sweetheart, and the wedding! Please complete out my wedding invitation questionnaire and we can get this ball rolling!