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Ideas for Traditional Wedding Invitation Wording

Ideas for Traditional Wedding Invitation Wording

The number one question couples ask me is “here is our situation….how do we word this invitation?” While a seemingly daunting task, wording an invitation is pretty simple. While there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to wedding invitation language, all you have to do is follow a few rules of etiquette and basic grammar.
First, who is hosting the wedding? In the wedding industry the person “hosting” is typically the person “paying” for the ceremony and reception. If the Brides’ parents are hosting then the first few lines of the invitation would read:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hoffman
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Lindsay Diane
to
David Joshua Liebman

correct wording for wedding invitationsWere the families want to name the groom’s parents but not include them as a host, they may identify the groom as “son of” the groom’s parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hoffman
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Lindsay Diane
to
David Joshua
Son of
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Liebman

However, more and more I see that the groom’s family is either sending a sizable check to the bride’s family, or perhaps paying for all of or a portion of the catering bill, band, flowers, etc. In that case it may be more appropriate to include the groom’s parents as a “host”:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Frank Hoffman
along with Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Liebman
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Lindsay Diane
and
David Joshua

Weddings are also becoming a family affair, where everyone is chipping in to pay for the event. The bride, the groom, their parents, and step parents. In that situation we might say:

Together with their parents (or families)
Lindsay Diane Hoffman
and
David Joshua Liebman
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage
Or
The honour of your presence is requested
at the marriage of
Lindsay Diane Hoffman
and
David Joshua Liebman

ideal wedding invitation wording and language“Honour/honor of your presence” or “pleasure of your company”? “Honour/honor of your presence” is typically used when the wedding ceremony is held in a house of worship. “Pleasure of your company” covers pretty much everything else. While often used, the phrase “cordially invited” improper for a wedding invitation.
Honor or honour is strictly preference… how traditional do you want to go? If your wedding is a bit more traditional than the old English way of spelling honour is the way to go. If not, then “honor” is a better choice.

The rest of the invitation will follow a standard pattern; day and date, year, time, location, city and state. If your wedding and reception are in the same venue, name your venue and then at the bottom of the invitation say “dinner and dancing to follow” or “reception to follow.” For example:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Frank Hoffman
along with Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Liebman
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Lindsay Diane
and
David Joshua
Saturday, the nineteenth of June
Two thousand seventeen
at four o’clock
The Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reception to follow

example of good wording on a wedding invitationDates and times should be spelled out, such as “Sunday, the first of June” and “Two thousand eighteen” and “four o’clock.” The words “in the afternoon” or “in the evening” are not necessary.

There is no “and” when spelling out the year. For example, “Two thousand nineteen” not “Two thousand and nineteen.”
Do not capitalize every line, only proper names and the year.

Only include the address of the venue if you think your guests won’t be able to find it on their own.

If you must list an attire (everyone has that cousin who will show up in jorts and a Hawaiian shirt) list it on the bottom right hand side of the invitation or reception card.
Good luck!

1 Comment

  1. Great article. You make it sound so simple. Looking forward to the next post.

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