Sending out your invitations is one of those milestones in the lead up to your wedding day that makes your impending nuptials feel real. Once your family and friends can hold that card in their hands, the countdown really begins!
In the past, wedding invitation wording was fairly straightforward: The bride’s parents request your presence, the names of the bride and groom followed, the ceremony location was listed, dates and times were spelled out, and guests were invited to attend the reception that followed. This is a great option, but modern brides may want to inject some creativity and personality into their invitations, and there’s plenty of room for that. After all, the invitation will hang on refrigerator doors and be pinned up on cork boards of invitees all over the country for months, so why not make it stylish, special, memorable, and all your own?
The way your invitation is worded will work hand in hand with the design elements you choose. If you want to make a splash with a large font or highlight the names of the bride and groom to-be, you might want to keep your wording somewhat minimalist. If you need room to include both sets of parents or want to use personal or humorous text, perhaps your design elements will play more of a supporting role. What’s important is that you make the card your own.
Let’s look at the text of a wedding invitation line by line so you can decide which traditions you feel work for you, which rules you want to break, and how to best represent the celebration of your love in those few short lines that will appear on your invitation.
The traditional way to begin a wedding invitation is to name the hosts of the wedding, who are traditionally the bride’s parents. However, who you name as your host is completely up to you. You and your fiancée may be contributing to the cost of the wedding and therefore be considered hosts, or you may simply wish to honor all of the parents, regardless of who is footing the bill. Another option is to eliminate the idea of a host altogether.Some examples:
If a parent has passed away, there are also graceful ways to include him or her in the celebration:
If parents have divorced and one or more has remarried and you wish to include any step-parents as hosts, you are welcome to do so; simply use a different line for each of the couples.
In other words, there is no wrong way to announce your hosts!
The purpose of the invitation, of course, is to ask your loved ones to attend your wedding, and again, there are many ways to do so. The traditional “request the honour of your presence” (using the British spelling of “honor”) has been used in the past to indicate a religious ceremony, while “request the pleasure of your company” traditionally designated a secular one. Currently, of course, you are free to use any request language that feels right to you. Some inspiration:
Peter and Melissa Brennan And Geoffrey and Marsha Thomas Invite you to celebrate with their children Ariel and Bradley
If you are in a very modern mood, it is possible to dispense with the formal request—after all, it is implied that you are requesting your invitee’s presence given that you have sent them an invitation!
The Names of the Bride and Groom
Traditionally, the bride is first. When her parents are the hosts, her first and middle names are included, and the groom’s full name is used along with his title. However, there really is no way to mess up the way you style your names—they’re your names, after all!
Ariel and Bradley Invite you to celebrate their marriage
The Ceremony Information
Hopefully these lines are straightforward and come without too many decisions. You, of course, want to name the date, time, and place where your ceremony will take place. Placing the day before the month gives a more formal feel, as does spelling out any numbers involved. Any combination of spelling out or numerals will work, however, and may be determined in large part by the style and design of the card.
It is generally unnecessary to include the street address of the venue unless it will take place at a private residence or its omission would otherwise leave guests wondering where they should go.