After selecting the perfect invitation design, the next step is to carefully consider the wording. Wedding invitation wording entails including essential details like the date, time, and location, but there are other important aspects to address as well.
First and foremost, it is crucial to note that additional information such as the wedding website, directions, valet information, and accommodations will be provided on a separate insert card. Having a wedding website allows for sharing registry details, which are not traditionally included as a written card in the invitation package.
Ensuring a professional and engaging tone throughout the invitation will set the right expectations for your guests and help them navigate the event smoothly.
The host line
The first line of the wedding invitation is where you indicate the hosts of the wedding, traditionally the ones who are financially supporting the event. In the past, this responsibility usually fell on the bride’s parents, and mentioning their names on the host line was a way of showing gratitude for their generosity. However, in modern times, more couples are either self-funding the wedding (in which case, you can skip the host line altogether) or receiving financial contributions from both sets of parents. In this scenario, you can either list the names of all parents or opt for a simpler approach such as “Together with their parents” or “Together with their families.”
- Traditionally, using the word “and” between two names indicates that those individuals are married.
- If your parents are divorced and you want to include both as hosts, you can include all of their names, ensuring that each parent is listed on a separate line.
- If you wish to include the name of a stepparent, place it on the same line.
- Hosts who are not married should be listed on separate lines.
- It is not necessary to list names in order of contribution.
- If you would like to honor a deceased parent by including their name, some rearrangement is required, as a deceased person cannot actually serve as a host. A common way to pay tribute is by including their name alongside a member of the couple’s name, such as “Olivia French, daughter of Susan French” or “Olivia French, daughter of Michael French and the late Susan French.”
The request line
The request line serves as an invitation to your wedding, where you cordially request the presence of your esteemed guests. This section sets the tone for your celebratory occasion. For a formal wedding, employ language that reflects the significance of the event, such as “request the honor of your presence…” For a more casual affair, adopt a less formal approach, inviting your loved ones with phrases like “Would love for you to join them…” or “Want you to come party with us…”. Here are a few additional aspects to consider:
“The honor of your presence” traditionally denotes a religious service. Some couples choose to use the British spelling by writing “honour,” which evokes a more formal and traditional ambiance. (Note: If you opt for “honour” on the invitation, we suggest matching it with “favour” on the RSVP card, as in “favour of your reply.”)
“The pleasure of your company” (or similar variations) is appropriate for non-religious ceremony locations.
the couple’s names
Determining the order and format of names for wedding invitations might seem straightforward, but once you delve into the specifics, things can get a bit complicated. Whose name takes precedence? Should last names be included? What about middle names? Rest assured, there are no definitive right or wrong answers. The choice ultimately depends on what feels most comfortable to both parties involved. However, allow us to offer a few suggestions to guide you:
For couples of different sexes, it is customary to begin with the bride’s name, followed by the groom’s name. If the bride’s parents’ names are listed at the top, you may choose to include only the bride’s first and middle name (without the last name), while listing the groom’s name in full. Alternatively, you can list the groom’s first and middle names, followed by the line “Son of Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Wong.”
For same-sex couples, you have the option to list the names in alphabetical order according to the last name or in any order you prefer (or that complements the invitation design).
For a more relaxed and casual vibe, you may opt to include only the first names.
Remember, the goal is to create an invitation that reflects your personalities and preferences as a couple. Feel free to customize the format to suit your desired tone and style.
Traditionally, it is customary to spell out the complete date and time for formal occasions. For instance, if your ceremony is scheduled for September 15, 2024, at 4:30 p.m., the wording should indicate, “Saturday, the fifteenth of September, two thousand twenty-four, at half after four in the afternoon.”
Remember to capitalize the day of the week and the month, while keeping the year in lowercase. Additionally, avoid using the conjunction “and” when spelling out the year.
When presenting the time, use phrases like “four o’clock” or “half after four o’clock.” Please note that “half after” is the more traditional approach to denote time. However, in less formal invitations, alternatives like “half past four o’clock” or “four-thirty” can also be used.
Traditionally, unless your event takes place during specific times like 8, 9, or 10, there is no need to include phrases like “in the afternoon” or “in the evening.” In such cases, clarity can be achieved by specifying “in the morning” or “in the evening.” However, some stationery designers may include these phrases for aesthetic purposes. The decision to include them rests with you and your designer.
Please remember that evening officially begins at five o’clock, while any time before that is considered afternoon.
It is crucial to recognize that while these formal rules for date and time are often followed, modern invitation designs may opt for numerals. Using numerals is also preferred for more informal weddings. It is important to maintain consistency in the level of formality throughout your wedding, from the invitation wording to the attire, ceremony, venue, and reception.
Please provide the ceremony venue details as follows: “Venue Name” on the first line, followed by “City, State” on the second line. For formal weddings, it is recommended to spell out the state name instead of using abbreviations. Typically, the venue’s street address is omitted unless it is a private residence. Zip codes are generally not included.
If the reception will be held at the same venue as the ceremony, you can simply state, “Reception to follow” or “Dinner and dancing to follow.” In the event that the reception takes place at a different location, you have the option to list the venue on the subsequent line or include a separate insert card (referred to as a reception card) with the complete address of the venue, inviting guests to join. If you are not serving a complete meal, this would be an opportune moment to inform guests by stating something like, “Cake, punch, and celebration to follow” or “Please join us after the ceremony for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing.” This line can also be utilized to creatively set the tone for the reception, for example, “Join us for an elegant dinner following…” or “An evening of drinks, dancing, and merriment awaits.”
Including a line about the dress code for the wedding is not mandatory, but it can provide valuable assistance to guests. However, in case the wedding follows a black-tie dress code, it becomes imperative to explicitly mention it on the invitation. Failing to include dress code information will result in guests inferring attire details based on the formality of the invitation itself. For instance, if the invitation is elaborate, guests will likely anticipate a formal affair. The dress code line should be positioned on a line subsequent to the reception location.