Now that you've chosen your invitation layout, it's now time to take on wedding invitation wording.
Luckily for you we have created super handy wording forms with numerous drop down sections to guide you through the entire process. Whether you want to keep the wording classic and traditional or creative and modern it is up to you, but whatever route you choose, there are still basic formatting elements that should be included no matter what.
The good news is that wedding invitation etiquette rules aren't that complicated and no matter the case, they're there to serve as a guideline.
The most important rule of all is that you create a beautiful wedding invitation that represents you, and perfectly articulates to your guests the day you have planned while communicating clearly all of the important details your guests need to know.
To help guide you, we're breaking down what each section means and what it typically includes.
Typically there are 5 sections to an Invitation…
1. Who is Hosting / Request to Attend
2. Names of the Couple
3. The Date & Time
4. The Venue
Section 1 - Who is Hosting / Request to Attend
Traditionally, when the parents are the hosts of the wedding they are named at the top of the invitation. However, including the names of both sets of parents as hosts is a gracious option if both parents are contributing to the big day.
eg. Mrs & Mrs Smith Request the Pleasure of your company
at the wedding of their Daughter/Son
These days however, more and more couples are either paying for the wedding themselves
(in this case, you can omit the host line entirely) or receiving financial contributions from parents on both sides—in this case, you can list all parents' names or opt for something simpler like,
e.g ”Together with their parents" or "Together with their families.”
The most important thing to keep in mind about the host line is to word it in a way that feels comfortable to you both as a couple.
There are many ways to ask for your guests' company at your wedding,
here are few of the most popular options:
eg. Request the Pleasure of your Company
eg. The Pleasure of your Company is requested
To celebrate the wedding of“
“The honour of your presence”
Is traditionally used to denote a religious service as this evokes a more formal and traditional feel.
Your invitation can also change the order of this wording if you are choosing to have a line to write your guests names. So bear this in mind when thinking about the type of design you want. If your invitation has a dark background we wouldn’t recommend having a line to write names.
Section 2 - The Names of the Couple
The names of the couple should always be the main focus of the invitation.
Here is where font choice is so important as it can really lead the style and look of the design.
Also, you need to think about if you just want your first names only, or if you want to include your full names. This again can completely change the layout of your design.
Traditionally the name of the bride always precedes the groom's name.
Formal invitations issued by the bride's parents refer to her by her full name then the groom by his full name and title.
eg. Miss Jane Marie Smith
Mr John Richard Allan
More couples however are choosing to have just their first names only.
Again this completely comes down to your preference and will reflect what style of wedding you are having, whether its a traditional formal affair or a more fun and relaxed vibe.
For same-sex couples, the traditional rule of the woman first and man second isn't applicable. Whether it's "Rachel and Samantha" or "Gavin and Brian," it's going to be lovely either way, you can choose to either go in alphabetical order or simply with what sounds better.
Section 3 - The Date and Time
For formal weddings, everything is written out in full (no numerals).
Time of day is spelled out using “o'clock. The use of a.m. or p.m. is optional.
For a less formal wording style, numerals are the more common choice.
Number Form e.g 26/05/2021
Simple Text Form e.g. Saturday 26th May 2021
Formal Text Form e.g. Saturday, Twenty Sixth of May, Two Thousand and Twenty One
Section 4 - The Venue
If you are marrying in a church or chapel first you would put this address then
“reception to follow” and the reception venues full address details.
Be sure to include the full address so your guests have this informations for sat navs etc.
Section 5 - Conclusion
If your ceremony and reception is all in the one place traditionally you would finish your invitation with one of the following options.
"Reception to Follow"
"Dinner & Dancing to Follow"
Alternative Conclusions can also include RSVP information if you are choosing not to have a separate return RSVP Card.
For very informal weddings, particularly those being hosted by the bridal couple, the wording and style of the invitation can be as creative as you wish - the only limit is your imagination!
You may also wish to add your personal wedding website address and your email address to the invitation as a way to RSVP. Many couples are now choosing to complement their wedding invitations with their own custom-built wedding website. A wedding website is a great way to keep your wedding guests up to date with all of your wedding arrangements and you can also put your wedding photos online after your wedding for all to enjoy!
The wording is very similar throughout except for a few subtle changes.
In section 1 make sure to include
“at an evening reception”
So your guests know their invitation is for an evening reception only!
Section 2 - Remains the same.
Section 3 - The time changes to suit your evening reception.
Section 4 - You only include the details of the reception Venue.
Section 5 - You include what time the reception will end.
Traditionally this is worded along the lines of…
e.g “Carriages at Midnight”
As one of our clients, we will help guide you through the entire process and make it as easy as we can for you. Understanding what actually goes in to wording helps give you a better understanding about the role of a stationery designer and how they help work out all the components above whilst also creating a beautiful design for you.
The above is just the guide to the basic invitation, there are so many more elements which go into your invitation design in the form of RSVP Cards and Information cards. We recommend keeping your invitation to the five steps above then letting your guests know any extra info they need on an additional card.