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Wedding Invitation Wording & Etiquette 101

Discover the right way to formally word your wedding invitations, and discover wedding invitation wording examples.

Learn more about the many ways to word wedding invitations, see examples of wedding invitation wording, and find out how to use special invitation wording for unique circumstances!

real wedding photo malibu rocky oaks malibu california sterling engagements planner envelope liner illustration of venue wedding invitation suite
Photo: Callaway Gable

For a lot of couples, thinking of ways to word your wedding invitations can be potentially overwhelming. Invitation companies offer general suggestions, and custom studios will typically work with you to format your wording specifically but occasionally you're left with a quandary that leaves you completely in the dark! 

The first thing you will need to figure out when working on your invitation wording is who is hosting the wedding (i.e. who is paying for the celebration). Traditionally the bride's parents were the hosts of the wedding; however, these days it can be anyone from the couple to the groom's family, to split right down the middle!

From common invitation wording to unique, funny wedding invitation wording examples that will add a bit of humor to nontraditional wedding invitations, get ideas below:

What is the correct wording for a wedding invitation? 

How to correctly word your wedding invitation depends on a number of circumstances. One of the easiest ways to categorize the various invitation wording examples is to first decide who is hosting the wedding. Depending on who the wedding host is – whether it be you and your spouse-to-be, your parents, or both sets of parents – there will be different "rules" for wedding invitation wording. Get ideas, below!

When You (the Couple) Are Hosting the Wedding 

These days, more often than not, couples are hosting their own wedding celebrations. If you and your fiancé are hosting the wedding, here are some wedding invitation wording options to choose from: 

Formal Wedding Invitation Wording Suggestions (When the Couple Is Hosting) 

The pleasure of your company 

is requested at the marriage celebration uniting 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith... 

-

Because you have shared in our lives 

by your friendship and love, we 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

request the pleasure of your company 

at our wedding celebration... 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

joyfully request 

the pleasure of your company 

at their wedding celebration 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

request the honor of your presence 

at their marriage... 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

invite you to share in our joy 

as we unite in marriage...

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

are requesting your presence 

at their marriage...


Informal Wedding Invitation Wording Suggestions (When the Couple Is Hosting) 

We invite you to join us 

in celebrating our wedding 

on "date, year, time, location etc." 

Jane Brown and James Smith 

We would love you to share 

this special day with us 

as we join in marriage 

"date, year, time, location etc." 

Jane Brown and James Smith 

With joyful hearts we invite you to 

join us at our marriage ceremony and celebration 

"date, year, time, location etc." 

Jane Brown and James Smith

When You (the Couple) Are Hosting, but You Still Want to Include Family 

Perhaps you're hosting the wedding itself but you still want to include your family in the wedding invitation wording. Here are some options for including loved ones, parents, etc. in your invitation wording: 

Together with their families 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

request the pleasure of your company 

at their marriage ceremony and celebration... 

Jane Marie Brown 

and 

James Albert Smith 

together with their parents 

request the pleasure of your company 

at their marriage...

When the Bride's Family Is Hosting 

If the bride's family is hosting the wedding, a few options for the wedding invitation wording for your wedding invitations are as follows: 

Mr and Mrs Edward Brown 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the marriage of their daughter... 

(Option: Since the bride's parents' last name appears at the top of the wedding invitations as the host line, when listing the name of the bride there's the option to only list her first and middle name. If the bride doesn't have a middle name, sometimes the first and last looks good to balance out her fiancé's name below.) 

With joyful hearts 

Edward and Kristy Brown 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the marriage of their daughter... 

(Option: For a more casual wedding – think rustic, outdoor celebrations where the dress code for guests is casual attire – opting to have only the first and last names of the parents is an option.) 

It is with great joy that 

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brown 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the marriage of 

(Option: There’s always the option to omit “their daughter” from the last line since it’s supposed that Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brown are the parents of Jane Marie Brown.)

When the Couples' Families Are Hosting 

If you'd like to include both parents’ names on the wedding invitation, or if both parents are hosting the wedding, either of these options for wedding invitation wording are good choices: 

Mr and Mrs Edward Brown 

and Mr and Mrs Albert Smith 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their children... 

Mr and Mrs Edward Brown 

together with 

Mr and Mrs Albert Smith 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their children... 

The families of 

Mr and Mrs Edward Brown 

and Mr and Mrs Albert Smith 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their children... 

Mr and Mrs Edward Brown 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Jane Marie 

to 

James Albert Smith 

son of 

Mr and Mrs Albert Smith...

When the Groom's Family Is Hosting 

More uncommon, but certainly not unheard of, is the groom's family and/or parents hosting. Wedding invitation wording for a celebration where the groom's family hosts the wedding could be something like this: 

Mr and Mrs Albert Smith 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the marriage of Jane Marie Brown 

to their son 

James Albert Smith... 

Mr and Mrs Albert Smith 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their son 

James Albert 

to 

Jane Marie Brown...

What else is there to consider for wedding invitation wording? 

Some other points to consider when formatting your wedding invitation wording – regardless of whose parents are hosting the wedding – are as follows: 

Religious Wedding Wording Examples 

- "request the honour of your presence" is typically used for church wedding ceremonies 

- "the pleasure of your company" is used for ceremonies taking place in a secular venue 

- the adjoining "to" is used for traditional Christian weddings; "and" is used for Jewish weddings 

What Else Should Be Included In a Wedding Invitation? 

Under your names you'll want to include the following information on separate lines: 

- the date {example: Saturday, the first of May) 

- the year {example: two thousand sixteen} 

- the time {example: at four o'clock in the afternoon} 

- Under the date and time will be your venue. It's not necessary to include the full address if it's a well-known establishment, and you may omit the zip code from the address to keep the invitation more clean and formal. Example below: 

Montage Laguna Beach 
Laguna Beach, California 

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, California 

- Lastly, should you wish to include a dress code it can go at the bottom of your wedding invitation. Traditionally it appears on the lower right-hand corner but it can also be put in the middle if the wedding-invitation design looks better this way. Some options for your dress code would be: 

Black tie
Black tie optional or Black tie preferred
Formal
Semi-formal 

With a little thought, your wedding invitation wording can be as unique as you are – from the details of your ceremony to wedding reception invitation wording if you're having your celebration at two venues. Your unique wedding invitations will tell your story, so make it your own! Just remember to include a host line, your names, wedding date, time, and location, and you can verse your wedding invitation however you feel best fits you and your fiancé.

For more ideas and suggestions related to wedding invitation quotes and more, get answers to the most frequently asked wedding invitation questions, and discover how to correctly word your wedding invitations for special circumstances, find out what should be included in a wedding invitation, see our favorite online wedding invitations from Minted, Shutterfly & Zola, and learn how to address invitations for unmarried couples.

Opening photo by Callaway Gable; Planning & Design by Sterling Engagements; From Real Wedding: A Romantic Destination Wedding at a Vineyard Estate in Malibu