Formal Wedding Invitation Wording: Examples & Pro Tips
The one thing we get asked about time and time again as stationery pros? Wedding invitation wording. The way you word your invitations, after all, will give your guests an idea of what they can expect from the event itself. From what to include (and what not to include) to how to tackle that finicky hosting line—below, we’re breaking down all you need to know when crafting your text for wedding invitations. Read on for our top tips.
Pro Tips for Formal Wedding Invitation Wording:
To keep your invitations formal, elegant, and elevated—we always recommend following a handful of guidelines as you craft your wedding invitation wording:
Don’t abbreviate: From date-and-time to city-and-state, spell out everything on your wedding invitations. The same goes for addresses on the envelope—use “Boulevard” or “Street” as opposed to “Blvd.” or “St.” (Psst...check out our pro tips for how to address wedding invitations.)
Don’t include “and” in the year: “Two thousand and nineteen” is a no-no. Proper wedding invitation wording would be “Two thousand nineteen”.
Time is never capitalized: Use “at half after four in the afternoon” as opposed to “At Half after Four in the Afternoon” *The exception here would be if you’re using all capital letters for your wedding invitation wording, like in this wedding invitation example.
Use “half after” to describe times that are not on the hour: It is never “three thirty” or “half past.” Instead, use “half after three in the afternoon”.
Hyphenate compound numbers when writing the date: “Saturday the twenty-fourth of May”
What to include in your wedding invitation wording
Your invitations should always include a few basic things for your guests. These include:
Date & Time
Reception Line (optional—you may omit this or include it on a separate card)
What not to include in your wedding invitation wording
When it comes to proper wedding invitation etiquette, there are a few things that should never make their way into your wedding invitation wording. These include:
Your registry information: Instead, include your wedding website on a separate card, and then link to your registry on your wedding website.
The bride’s married name: While you’ll likely be changing your name after you’re married, you’re not quite there yet. Be sure to use your current/maiden name on your invitations and not your soon-to-be married name.
“No kids”: While it’s perfectly acceptable to request no little ones, you want to address this in a thoughtful, considerate way. The line “no kids” can feel a bit abrasive. Instead, opt for something like “An adults-only affair” or “While we love little ones, we kindly request the presence of adults only.”
Wedding Invitation Wording Samples for Different Hosting Scenarios:
From divorced to deceased, there are a number of different scenarios to account for when crafting the hosting line of your invitations—this can often be the trickiest part for engaged couples to navigate. Below are some samples to help you as you think through your text for wedding invitations:
Bride’s Parents Hosting
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Martin request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Grace Anne to Carter Raymond Jones Saturday, the fourth of October two thousand twenty half after four o’clock St. Mary’s Catholic Church 111 Main Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Both Parents Hosting
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Martin along with Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Wilson cordially invite you to attend the marriage of their children Grace Anne to Carter Raymond Saturday, the fourth of October two thousand twenty half after four o’clock The Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reception to Follow
Grace Martin and Carter Wilson request the pleasure of your company at their marriage Saturday, the fourth of October two thousand twenty half after four o’clock The Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee, Wisconsin Reception to Follow
Bride’s Parents Divorced, Stepparents not Mentioned
Mrs. (or Ms.) Joan [Current Last Name] and Mr. Tyler Clayton cordially invite you to attend the marriage of their daughter Grace Anne Clayton to Carter Raymond Wilson Saturday, the fourth of October two thousand twenty half after four o’clock The Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee, Wisconsin Reception to Follow
Because a deceased parent cannot technically request the presence of guests or issue an invitation, you’ll typically want to leave them off of your invitation. If the widowed parent has been remarried for some time, you might want to include the step parent’s name instead (using the same rules from above). However, if it’s important to you to honor a deceased parent, you can include “the late” in front of their name.
Grace Anne Clayton daughter of Joan Clayton and the late Tyler Clayton and Carter Raymond Wilson son of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Wilson request the pleasure of your company at their marriage
Wedding Invitation Wording Request Line Examples:
There are a number of proper ways to word the request line on your wedding invitations. A few of our favorites include:
request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
invite you to share in their joy at the marriage of their daughter
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
invite you to share and celebrate the marriage of their children
invite you to join them in the celebration of their union
invite you to share in their joy as they become husband and wife
request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their union
joyfully invite you to share in a celebration of love and commitment
Pro Tip: “Request the honor/honour of your presence” is typically used for religious ceremonies held in a church, temple, or another place of worship. You may choose to use either the American spelling (honor) or the British spelling (honour), either is correct. If you choose to use the British spelling you should match the formality on your reply card by using “favour of your reply”. If your wedding will be held at a non-religious venue, use the phrase “request the pleasure of your company” or another more casual request line instead.
The bottom line? Getting your wedding invitation wording right is imperative when it comes to setting the tone for an elegant, elevated celebration. Use today’s tips to guide you as you craft your wording—and, as always, be sure to get a second set of eyes to look over everything before you approve your digital proof for printing.
Want more tips for stunning stationery? Download our Free Guide to Elegant Wedding Invitations.
When it comes to common wedding invitation mistakes, we’ve seen it all. From poor timing to bad design to the cringe-worthy typos, there’s an endless array of “oh-no” moments that can take your wedding-invitation game down a notch (or twenty) as fast as you can say I do!. To help you avoid the blunders we’ve seen brides make time and time again, then, we’ve rounded up some of the most common wedding invitation mistakes and—more importantly—our top tips for avoiding them. Read on, brilliant brides.