• Cristina Mantua

Wedding Etiquette - Chapter 1 ( Part 2 - Wedding Invitations)

This is a continuation of our previous blog post Part 1 - Wedding Invitations. As we mentioned before, we know there is a lot of confusion around this topic so we put together some information based on our experience with our clients. In this part of the wedding invitations etiquette, we are going to focus on the wording of the invitation itself.

Wedding Invitation Wording


Almost always I get asked by my clients about the wording in the invitations and I get it, it can be overwhelming, that is why having a professional that can point you in the right direction will help you eliminate stress and make the planning process more enjoyable.


It is up to you which route you want to go with your invitation wording to set the tone of the wedding. It can be classic and traditional or creative and contemporary. You want to make sure you will not hurt any one's feelings. Regardless of which way you go, there is some basic information and rules that should be included no matter what


Below, I am going to break down the invitation wording by sections to explain the different variations.


The Wedding Host


Traditionally, the parents of the bride are the hosts of the wedding, meaning they are the ones paying for it, so they are issuing the invitation. This is not always the case, sometimes this scenario can change. It could be both sets of parents, or the couple and both set of parents, or the couple only.


Wedding Invitation Wording


These are standard wedding invitation samples depending on different contexts:


Host: One set of parents

If one set of parents are hosting the wedding, list their names formally. In this case, it is the parents of the bride. It is normal to leave off the bride's last name, unless the bride has a different last name than her parents. If that is the case, then include her full name. If there are additional people hosting the wedding, the bride's last name should also be included.


Mr. and Mrs. David Martin

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter


Host: Both sets of Parents


If both parents are hosting, each set of parents should be listed on separate lines. Start with the bride's or whoever’s name falls alphabetically first. There’s no need to use last names for the couple since they are already in the greeting, unless, if either of them has a different last name than their parents. Then list out their full name, in addition to the full names of their parents.


Mr. and Mrs. David Martin

and

Mr. and Mrs. William Watkins

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their children


Host: The couple and their families


If the couple and their families are hosting the wedding, the invitation starts with the bride's name, followed by the groom's name, and finally the parent's names, starting with the bride's parents. Or you can list the couple’s names in alphabetical order, followed by their parents’ names in corresponding order. You can word the invitation as below.


Stacy Martin

and

James Watkins

together with their parents

Mr. and Mrs. David Martin

and

Mr. and Mrs. William Watkins

request the honor of your presence

at their wedding


or


Together with their families

Stacy Martin

and

James Watkins

request the pleasure of your company at their wedding


Host: The couple


If the couple are the ones hosting their own wedding, the invite wording will look slightly different. The greeting will skip the host line and begin with the request line, you can word the invitation as below.


The pleasure of your company

is requested at the wedding of

Stacy Martin

and

James Watkins


or


Stacy Martin

and

James Watkins

request the pleasure of your company

at their wedding


How to word the invitation if one of the parents is deceased


If any of the parents is deceased and you still want to include their name, you will need to make a few modifications, since someone whose passed cannot actually serve as a host. A way to include a deceased parent is simply to rearrange the wording a little bit. You can word the invitation as below.


Stacy Martin, daughter of Mr. David Martin and the late Patricia Martin,

and

James Watkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Watkins

request the honor of your presence

at their wedding



How to word the invitation if any of the parents are divorced and remarried


This can be a tricky situation, since you don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I know reading all these guidelines about wedding etiquette can be boring, but in situations like this you will be thankful they exist, trust me it will save you from offending anyone.


Parents divorced and remarried


If the bride or groom's parents are divorced and you want to include both as hosts, you can include them all, just keep each parent on a separate line. If you're going to include the name of step-parent, list your mom and stepfather first, followed by your father and stepmother. In this situation, you will include your full name on the invitation. Only use the “and” for married couples such as in “Mr. and Mrs.” Do not add an extra “and” to the second line. The example below is for the bride's parents, but the same rules apply for the groom’s parents, if you choose to list them on the invitation.


Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Flinn Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Smith to James Watkins Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Watkins

The Request Line


There are many ways to ask for the pleasure of your guests' company. The request line should correspond with the type of venue you're getting married in.


Honor or Honour of your presence


Honor and Honour are both traditionally used to indicate the ceremony will be held inside a church or another place of worship. The British spelling of honour can be used, especially for formal events.


The Pleasure of your company


This is used for weddings outside a place of worship. Below are other wording options for the request line:

  • "at the marriage of their children"

  • "would love for you to join them"

  • "invite you to celebrate with them"


The Bride & Groom


No one would forget to add this to a wedding invitation, but you might be wondering whose name should go first on a wedding invitation. Well, always list the bride first and then the groom's name. If the bride's parents are hosting the event, use her first and middle name. Only add her last name if her parents are divorced or if the bride has been married before and does not use her maiden name.Then you will add the groom by his full name and title. If both families are hosting, refer to both the bride and groom by their full names first, middle and last. If the couple is hosting the event, you can list their full names or first and last names, and their titles are optional. 


For a same-sex marriage, it is going to be lovely either way, but I always recommend to stick with whomever's name comes first alphabetically.


Event Date and Time

Everything is written out in full, including the day, month, year and time. There is no "and" between two thousand twenty. Time of day is spelled out using "o'clock" or "half after three o'clock." The use of a.m. or p.m. is optional. For casual weddings, numerals are fine. Afternoon is from noon to half past four. Evening weddings begin at five o'clock or after.


Saturday, the third of October Two thousand twenty at half after four o'clock in the evening


Location


Spell out the city and state. For formal wedding invitations, the street address of a venue is not usually needed, unless omitting it would lead to confusion or your wedding is taking place at the host's residence. Zip codes are never included. 


Reception


Formal wedding invitations omit this information on the main card, and include it on a separate card. Otherwise, if the ceremony and reception are held at the same venue, you can include "and afterward at the reception" or, "reception immediately following", assuming there is room on the invitation. When the reception is elsewhere, the location goes on a different line.


Dress Code


You can include the dress code in the lower right corner of the invitation. If you don't include a note on attire, the invitation will indicate the dress code. If the invitation is very fancy, guests might anticipate a formal, black-tie affair, or conversely, if the invitation is on the simpler side, that indicates a more casual dress code.


RSVP Card


Most couples choose to include a separate response card for guests to fill out and return in the mail. You also have the option of having people RSVPing via your wedding website. If that's the case, include the website address on a separate details card as you would with an RSVP card, and indicate that guests can let you know throughout the site if they can come.


To be Continued...

What is the best way to let guests know you’re hosting an adults-only wedding?


The best way to do so is with your envelope addressing. So stay tuned for our next blog! We really wanted to cover in detail everything related to wedding invitations so we decided to break it down in three separate parts. In our previous blog post, Chapter 1 (Part 1 Wedding Invitations) we touch topics about who and how to invite your guests. In our next blog Wedding Etiquette - Chapter 1 (Part 3 Wedding Invitations) we will share what to write in the envelope, and other tips to consider. So stay tuned and don't forget to subscribe to receive notifications about new posts and updates.


Need some guidance during the process? Contact us to learn how we could team up and create something amazing.


Have a sweet day,


Cristina Mantua – Owner and Lead Designer at HWE


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