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Wedding Invitation Wording & Etiquette 101

Discover the right way to formally word your wedding invites!

Wedding Invitation Wording & Etiquette 101

heidi-jimenez-of-zenadia-design-shares-wedding-invitation-wording-101-tips
Photo: Courtesy of Zenadia Design

Heidi Jimenez expert advice Invitation Wording 101 Zenadia Design
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!

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

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...

A less formal way of inviting your guests would be:

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

Perhaps you're hosting but still want to include your family. Here are some options for including loved ones 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...

If the bride's family is hosting, a few options 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, 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 – 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.)

If you'd like to include both parents’ names on the invitation, or if both parents are hosting, either of these options 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...

More uncommon, but certainly not unheard of, is the groom's family hosting. Wording for a celebration where the groom's family hosts 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...

Some other points to consider when formatting your wording are as follows:
- "the honor of your presence" is typically used for church 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 ceremonies

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 and sixteen}
the time {example: at five 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. 

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 invitation. Traditionally it appears on the lower right-hand corner but it can also be put in the middle if the design looks better this way. Some options for your dress code would be:
Black tie
Black tie optional/preferred
Formal
Semi-formal

With a little thought, your invitation wording can be as unique as you are. Just remember to include the host, your names, date, time, and location and you can verse your invitation however you feel fits you and your fiancé.

Get answers to the most commonly asked wedding invitation questions here, and discover how to correctly word your wedding invitations for special circumstances. 

Opening photo courtesy of Zenadia Design

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