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The Basic Rules and Tips for Wording Your Wedding Invitation

These days, couples are very creative with their wedding invitation wording.  However, no matter how creative your wording is and whatever wording format you use, there are some basic elements that should be included to make your wording proper. Based on these basic parts, you can then feel free to elaborate your wording to create your own.

Wedding invitations should include the following elements:

  • THE HOST LINE
  • THE REQUEST LINE
  • THE NAMES OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM
  • THE DATE AND THE TIME
  • THE LOCATION
  • THE RECEPTION LINE (IF APPLICABLE)

To help guide you, we’re breaking down what each part means and what it typically includes.

how to word your wedding invitation right

1.THE HOST LINE: The first line is often used to show who is hosting your wedding. Traditionally and primarily, the bride’s parents are the hosts. However nowadays, it can be any combination of the bride’s parent(s), groom’s parent(s), the bride and groom, step parents or the like.

Check out the examples of host wording over here and pick the one that suits you:

  • Parents Hosting:Mr and Mrs. Nathan Thomas //request the pleasure of your company // at the marriage of their daughter
  • Divorced Parents, Neither Re-Married: Ms. Helena Carter (mother comes first, always!) // Mr. Nathan Thomas // request the pleasure of your company // at the marriage of their daughter
  • Divorced Parents, Mother Re-Married:Mr. and Mrs. Randolf Harris // Mr. Nathan Thomas // request the pleasure of your company // at the marriage of their daughter
  • Divorced Parents, Father Re-Married: Ms. Helena Carter // Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas // request the pleasure of your company // at the marriage of their daughter
  • Both Re-Married: Mr. and Mrs. Randolf Harris // Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Thomas// request the pleasure of your company // at the marriage of their daughter
  • To Honor a Parent Who is Deceased:If you want to include the name of a parent who is deceased, you’ll need to rearrange things a bit, as someone whose passed can’t actually serve as a host. Try this, for example: Julia French, daughter of Mr. Adam French and the late Iris French
  • Bride and Groom Hosting:Bride’s name and Groom’s name (bride’s name always first)
  • Bride and Groom and Parents hosting:  Together with their parents/family
  • No designated host: Now it is totally up to you whether to name a host or not. If you’d rather keep things short and sweet, just give guests details of the who, what, when, and where.

Quick Tip 1: The word “and” in between two names traditionally implies that those people are married. Names of unmarried hosts or guests should be stacked; the exception is the Bride’s and Groom’s name.

Quick Tip 2: The names of married couples are on the same line. The names of divorced couples are on separate lines. The exception is the Bride’s and Groom’s name.

2.The REQUEST LINE:This is where you actually ask for the pleasure of your guests’ company. Whatever the occasion, there are certain timeless expressions that are always appropriate and will never go out of style. These include:

  • the honor (honour) of your presence is requested -or-request the honor of your presence (these are typically reserved for a church or place of worship)
  • cordially invite you to attend
  • request the pleasure of your company -or- the pleasure of your company is requested
  • invite you to celebrate with them
  • you are invited to attend
  • please join us as we celebrate

3.THE NAMES OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM:Traditionally the name of the bride always precedes the groom’s name. If the bride’s parents are included on the invitation and she shares their last name, then only her first and middle name are used. This same rule applies for the groom. If the couple is hosting by themselves, last names are needed.

For a same-sex marriage, you can do whatever you like. You may choose to go in alphabetical order or choose what sounds better. Whatever you place the names, it’s going to be lovely either way.

4.THE DATE AND THE TIME: This is the one line where I strongly advise you to stick to the basics, since you want people to actually come to your wedding. Time, date, and location should all be listed. For formal weddings, everything is written out in full (no numerals). For example:

four o’clock in the afternoon
Saturday, the second of June
Two thousand fourteen

5.THE LOCATION: The city and state should be written out in full in either case. For the street address, I have read many similar wording tips that say the street address of a venue is not usually needed, however here I will say that it is optional and it is never wrong to include it.

6.RECEPTION LINE: What’s coming after the wedding? Yes, it is the reception. If the wedding ceremony and reception are being held in the same location, there is no need for a reception card. At the bottom of the invitation, simply say “Reception to follow,” “Dinner and dancing to follow,” or something to that effect.

Here are Some Real Wedding Invitation Wording Examples from Elegant Wedding Invites:

organic floral navy shades wedding invitation card   rustic spring wedding stationery with mason jar and flowers

sparkly black and gold modern wedding invites

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