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One Minute Guide To Wedding Invitation Wording

Updated on November 15, 2014

10 Steps to the Perfect Wedding Invite


Writing a wedding invitation used to follow a very formal format, but these days it's more of a relaxed process. This having been said, there are still guidelines to follow for writing well received invites for your potential guests. The steps can be broken down into ten areas that will take you no more than a minute of your time to review and you will be on your way to organizing your invites with proper wedding invitation wording.

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Step One: Addressing the Invite

The people inviting the guests should always be the ones who are paying for the event. More traditionally it is the bride's parents, but nowadays it can be the bride and groom or the groom's parents. Either way, you will write "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or "John Smith and Judy Hall" at the top of the page. If more than one couple is paying for the wedding, the correct wedding invitation wording would be:

Mr and Mrs James Smith

Together with

Mr and Mrs Malcolm Hall

Step Two: Requesting Their Presence

If the ceremony is going to be held in a church the wedding invitation wording should be "request the honor of your presence..". However, if the ceremony is being held in another location the wedding invitation wording can be "would be delighted for you to attend.." or "would be delighted for you to join us..". You can then add "at / for the celebration of their children's marriage ceremony". If the couples themselves are the hosts the wording can be "at the celebration of our marriage". So a wedding where the bride's parents and the groom's parents are paying to hold it in a church would read:

Mr. and Mrs. James Smith

Together with

Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Hall

Request the honor of your presence

At their children's marriage ceremony

Step Three: Who is Being Married?

Whichever way you choose to write the first two sections, just be sure the grammar is correct when all the parts come together. You should write next the name of the couple, and the bride's name is traditionally the first on the list for wedding invitation wording. It would say "Judy Hall to John Smith", and the format is flexible.

Step Four: When?

Sticking with tradition, wedding invitations usually spell numbers and time out in full, so 2pm becomes Two o'clock in the afternoon. Of course, no one worries about such detail nowadays so it is up to you if you comply.

Step Five: Where?

When the ceremony is somewhere everyone knows about it is not necessary to write the exact address. Otherwise, write the name of the location followed by the address in the same way you would on an envelope.

Step Six: Will There Be a Reception?

Let your guests know if there will be a reception immediately following the ceremony, or specify the time. Include the venue information if it is in a different location from where your vows are said. If there will be a selection of dinner entrees include those choices on the RSVP cards.

Step Seven: Know Who is Attending

Be clear with your RSVP date so you don't over cater or have higher expectations for more guests. The best idea is to include a section or card they can fill out and mail back to you, but also include a phone number for those who prefer to call. It can be disappointing forking out money for people who don't show up, and empty seats don't look great in photos either, so if you have to call around to follow up on some people it is probably a good idea.

Step Eight: Provide Directions

Along with the RSVP cards you should also include clear directions or a small map for people to follow. This will prevent people being late because they have trouble finding the venue.

Step Nine: Dress Code

Let people know how you are expecting them to dress to avoid any discomfort. If your beach is at the wedding but you still want black tie, say so. The wedding invitation wording could be "Formal Dress" or "Cocktail Dress".

Step Ten: The Envelope

It is a nice touch to include the names of every guest in the household on the envelope and RSVP card. That way everyone will feel included and know they rightfully have a place their as someone you care about.

Follow these simple steps, but remember no one is overly particular about wedding invitation wording these days, so you do have some room for creativity and a personal touch. More important than formalities is for you to be happy and proud of the first notification guests receive of your wedding.

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