Wedding Invitation Wording: Our Tips & Samples

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He’s popped the question and you’ve gleefully accepted his proposal. Now it’s time to gather the guests! Once you have chosen your stationery, it’s time to put pen to paper or fingers to keys and find out what goes in your wedding invitations! Wedding invitation wording can leave many couples feeling a little frazzled, so we’ve put together a list of wedding invitation samples, essential details to include and some optional extras.

Let’s start with the introduction wording as this can often be the most challenging element. You may want to follow wedding invitation etiquette with regard to the hosts of the wedding.

If the Bride’s Parents are Hosting

Traditionally, the bride’s parents would pay for/ host the wedding. When this happens, etiquette suggests her parents extend the invitation to guests.

Mr & Mrs Mark White request the pleasure of your company at
the marriage of their daughter Ciara Leah Taylor to Edward Joseph Harris

If Both the Bride and Groom’s Parents are Hosting

When both sets of parents are hosting, or you’d like to mention the parents on both sides, it’s customary for the bride’s parents to be listed first on the wedding invitations. If you want to save space on the invite, or if both sets of parents and the couple are contributing, you can include all the names. This also works for blended families.

Together with their families Ciara Leah Taylor & Edward Joseph Harris
invite you to celebrate their marriage

If the Couple are Hosting

Should the bride and groom be hosting the wedding themselves, then the parents’ names do not need to be included. You might even decide to use less formal wording.

Ciara Leah Taylor & Edward Joseph Harris invite you to share
the joy of their marriage

If a Same-Sex Couple are Hosting

Wedding invitation wording etiquette is similar for same-sex couples; where there will be two brides or grooms, it’s really a matter of preference which name will go first. Placing the names in alphabetical order is a nice touch or, alternatively, do what feels right for you. If one set of parents is paying for the wedding, you could put those names first on the invitation.

Sara Harvey & Tracy Anne Hudson request the pleasure of your
company at their marriage

If a Deceased Parent is Being Honoured by Those Hosting

Honouring a deceased parent by including their name on your invite is a lovely way of keeping their memory alive.

Ciara Leah Taylor daughter of Mark Taylor and the late Jessica Taylor & Edward Joseph Harris son of Andrew and Audrey Harris request the honour of your presence at their marriage

If Step-Parents are Hosting

There are many wonderful combinations that make up a family. Including your step parents or parents’ partners to the hosting lines is a beautiful gesture. You may be wondering how you can make it work – it really doesn’t have to be complicated! In the case where both parents have remarried, you can use their married names.

Mr & Mrs Mark White together with Mr & Mrs Andrew Shaw
request the honour of your company at the marriage of their daughter

If a Second Marriage is Included in the Hosting

If this is a second marriage, you can use the same format and wording as a traditional invitation. However, if the bride still has her name from the previous marriage and the couple is hosting, you might want to add a Ms in
front of her name or omit titles altogether. 

Ciara Leah Taylor & Edward Joseph Harris request the pleasure of your presence at their marriage

If Divorced Parents are Hosting

Where parents are divorced, haven’t remarried and are hosting the wedding together, write their full names ensuring to change your mother’s if she has returned to her maiden name. In the case where one or both have remarried, write your parents’ full names noting your mother’s new surname.

Mr Mark White & Mrs Jessica Blake request the pleasure of {guest’s Name}
at the marriage of their daughter

Set the Tone

The tone of your invites should be taken into consideration; some couples might opt for more lighthearted language over formal, traditional wedding invitation wording. Remember, it’s your day and while it is nice to consider tradition and etiquette, you want to make sure that your identity as a couple shines through.

The All-Important Details

Once you have decided on the introduction from the hosts, there some essential details that you will need to include regardless of the tone of your invite.

  • Names of the Couple – This might seem like a given but make sure to include the names of the bride and groom if they weren’t included in the hosting line at the top of the invite.
  • Invitation – Ensure you include the request to attend the wedding. You can also add the names of who you are inviting if you wish, although the names on the envelope should suffice.
  • Requests – If it’s an adult’s only event, be sure to include this to avoid any awkwardness on your big day.
  • Location – Remember to include the whereabouts of the reception if it differs from the ceremony.
  • Specifics – Be sure to include whether the invitation is for the ceremony, reception, evening party or all of the above. If you are inviting some guests only to the reception, consider separate evening wedding invitations.
  • Date and Time – What could be worse than latecomers stealing your thunder as you walk down the aisle? Adding ‘sharp’ after the time will ensure guests are seated and settled for your grand entrance.
  • RSVP Details – Often included on the wedding invite itself. However, some people prefer to include the details on separate response cards.

Optional Additions

In addition to the essentials, there are some other particulars you may want your guests to take into account. Adding details unique to your day will add a personal touch to your invites.

  • Dress Code – Have a theme in mind? Whether it is a black-tie event, destination wedding or a particular colour scheme you have in mind for your guests, include a suggested dress code.
  • Dietary Requirements – It’s a good idea to give the guests the option to flag any dietary requirements ahead of time and let caterers know before the celebrations begin.
  • Gift Registry – It can be considered bad taste to include your gift registry on your invitations, but including an enclosure card in the envelope or on the website is a nice touch. If you would prefer no gifts, you can include something like ‘Your presence is present enough’ or ‘No gifts please, bring only your appetite and your dancing shoes’.
  • End Time – If your reception venue has a curfew or you want the evening to end at a certain time, simply add the line ‘Carriages at…’ and the time of your choice.
  • Accommodation – Adding accommodation suggestions is a nice touch, especially if you have family or friends travelling to your wedding or if you are getting married in another town, county or country.
  • Wedding Website – Especially practical if you have guests travelling from abroad, you have opted for a destination wedding or if your celebrations will take place over a whole weekend. Your wedding website will come in useful for adding travel details, accommodation options and your wedding itinerary.
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