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Proper Wedding Invitation Wording

Feb 19, 2008
Wedding invitation wording can set the formality and mood of your affair in addition to providing the necessary information such as time, location and date of your wedding or reception. Deciding what to say and how to say it can prove to be a daunting task for many couples. Here are a few guidelines and examples to assist you in composing your own invitation wording.

The first choice you should make will be the invitation itself. For a formal or more traditional affair you will most likely choose a white or ecru card stock with little to no ornamentation. You may choose an invitation with a printed border or more colorful background for a smaller or less traditional wedding. Whichever invitation you choose, your wedding invitation wording should fit the formality of the invitation itself. Traditional invitations generally call for invitation wording that only provides the necessary information and follows strict etiquette rules, see below for proper wording choices. However, if you are planning a small or informal wedding, you may choose wedding invitation wording that reflects a more creative and contemporary style, including such details as poems, comic sayings, or romantic verses. If you chose to include a verse in your wedding invitation wording, we have compiled numerous verses for your consideration.

Once you've decided what to say, you will want to choose a typestyle or font in which to print it. For a more formal affair, we suggest selecting wedding invitation wording in raised lettering in black or charcoal ink colors. If you have chosen paneled invitations, consider using a straight line print because it will fit better in the "boxed in" format than a more fluid script. For a more modern affair, we suggest wedding invitation wording in a contemporary font which may be printed in an ink color that coordinates with your border or background. You may also choose a color such as fuchsia or sky blue for your invitation wording and then add the same colored envelope liner to accent that color choice. Whatever color ink you choose, we recommend raised lettering for your entire invitation wording. All of our wedding invitations use thermography, which is achieved by mixing a powder with the ink color, applying it to the paper, and then drying under heat. If done correctly it resembles engraving so closely, most people cannot tell the difference. Many people today are choosing beautiful papers with raised printing for their wedding invitation wording as a substitute to the more expensive and time consuming engraved invitations.

Below are a few more hints you may want to consider when choosing your wedding invitation wording:

Don't use nicknames in your invitation wording, instead use the first, middle, and last name. If someone strongly refused to use their full name in the wedding invitation wording, such as their middle name, don't use initials, simply do not include that name.

Only "Mr.", "Mrs." And "Dr." should be abbreviated. Write out all other titles.

Many people are choosing to use the traditional British spelling of "honour" and "favour" in their wedding invitation wording.

Write out days, dates and times and addresses. Also, the word "and" is always spelled out.

Proper Wording if Invitations for the Following Situations:

1. When the bride's parents are hosting the wedding:

(Ceremony Invitation with Reception Card)

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Ashley Beatrice
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones
on Saturday, the tenth of June
two thousand one
at half after six o'clock in the evening
Saint John's Catholic Church
2200 Main Street
Houston, Texas

Reception
immediately following the ceremony
2200 Main St.
Dallas, Texas

If everyone is invited to the reception and you do not wish to print a separate invitation to the reception, you may add the following wording:

Reception
immediately following the ceremony
Lakeside Country Club
100 Lake Shore Drive

2. If the bride's parents are hosting the ceremony, but the couple would like to include the groom's parents on the invitation, use the following:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Ashley Beatrice
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones
son of
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thomas Jones

3. When one parent is deceased, and survivor has not remarried

There is no reason why the living parent cannot host the wedding by themselves, which is the same as if one divorced parent hosts the wedding. This would be worded as:

Mr./Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his/her daughter
Ashley Beatrice
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones

However, the deceased parent may be mentioned using the following form. Note that the deceased parent may not host the wedding.

Ashley Beatrice Smith
daughter of Marcy Anne Smith and the late Steven Andrew Smith
and
Rodney Allen Jones
son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thomas Jones
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

4. When Your Parents are Divorced

4a. If the mother of the bride has remarried, and is using her new husband's name, the bride may include her stepfather on the invitation, using the following wording :

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brantley Carson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Ashley Beatrice Smith
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones

4b. If father has remarried:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Ashley Beatrice
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones

4c. If both parents have remarried:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brantley Carson
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of
Ashley Beatrice Smith

4d. If parents are divorced, but hosting together:
(some people also include the bride's last name in this form, to avoid any possible confusion. Some people also omit the and between the parents' names):

Mrs. Marcy Anne Nixon
and
Mr. Steven Andrew Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding of their daughter
Ashley Beatrice

4e. If mother is divorced and hosting alone:

Mrs. Marcy Anne Nixon

5. If the groom's parents are hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thomas Jones
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of
Miss Ashley Beatrice Smith
to their son
Rodney Allen Jones

6. When both the bride and groom's parents are hosting the wedding:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thomas Jones
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their children
Ashley Beatrice Smith

and

Mr. Rodney Allen Jones

7. If the couple is hosting the wedding themselves:

The honour of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Miss Ashley Beatrice Smith
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones

or (the titles "Miss" and "Mr." may also be used here):

Ashley Beatrice Smith
and
Rodney Allen Jones
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

8. Double Wedding

The older sister's name is listed first:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Andrew Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughters
Ashley Beatrice
to
Mr. Rodney Allen Jones
and
Abbey Katherine
to
Mr. Harold Shawn Hill
on Saturday, the twenty-third of June
at one o'clock in the afternoon
Saint John's Catholic Church
Dallas, Texas
About the Author
Annette Durrett has been in the wedding business for over 10 years helping brides prepare for their big day. To learn more about wedding invitation wording and etiquette read more at Wedding Invitations . Also, for information about all things wedding related visit us at AffordableWeddingInvitations.net.
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