How to Write the Perfect Wedding Invitation

Aug 30, 2021 | Save the Date Announcements, Wedding Invitations

Simple word choices that get everyone to your wedding

Sure, lots of details need to be checked off when planning your wedding. But the wording on your invitation is nothing to stress about. Some invitation printing companies make it super easy, such as thebestweddinginvitations.com. Click on Text, and the design tool automatically suggests options and phrases as you design your stationery pieces.

Or if you’re starting from scratch, here’s an effortless guide that will have you wrapping up this task in no time. Let’s start at the top of the invitation and work our way down.

The Hosts

Generally, this introduction acknowledges who is hosting or paying for the wedding. Often it’s the bride’s parents and including them recognizes their generosity. But times they are a changin’, my friend, and, these days, the parents of either the bride or groom, or both, may host the wedding and be featured at the top of the invitation. Or the couple themselves host the wedding. If so, you can list your names and include the phrase, “Together with their parents,” “Together with their families,” or “Together with our families” if you like. Or skip the host line altogether if it doesn’t fit your vibe. Instead use intro wording such as “With open hearts,” or “With great joy…”

Examples of Hosting Lines:
-Mr. and Mrs. Michael Stirling Sonner (1 couple hosting, very formal)
-Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Michelle Sonner (1 couple hosting, 2 first names, formal)
-Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Tang and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Mayhorne (2 couples hosting, formal)
-Paul and Marcy Vokmann together with Josh and Elsa LeBlanc (2 couples hosting, less formal)
-Lynn Horne (1 couple divorced)
 Ernie Hoch

Extra Touch:
-If the hosts are married, use “and” between their names.
-Unmarried hosts should be listed on separate lines.
-Do not list hosts in order of who paid more.
-If you want to acknowledge a deceased parent, you can mention them, not in the host section per se, but with a line like, “Sara Smile, daughter of John Smile and the late Janet Smile.”

The Request

Here is where you’ll invite your guests to the wedding. The phrases you choose help communicate the type of ceremony you’ll be having. “Request the honor of your presence” often indicates a religious service. Whereas language like “request the pleasure of your company” can mean a secular event.

The Event

At this part, you are sharing what you want the guests to attend. If the bride’s family hosts, the invitation may read “to the marriage of their daughter.” If both families host, it may say, “at the marriage of their children.” And “at the celebration of their union” is adaptable to many circumstances, regardless of who is hosting.

Examples of Event Lines:
“invite you to their wedding”
“invite you to share in our festivities”
“would love for you to join them”
“request your presence”
“joyfully request the pleasure of your company”
“as they tie the knot”
“as we say, “I do!”

Extra Touch: Feel free to add your personal touch. Including a line such as “invite you to celebrate their joy” gives the invitation a more modern welcoming. The formality or informality of your language should also match that of your event.

Couples Names

This section takes center stage! In a traditional invitation, include the couple’s first and middle names. But if that’s not your style, drop the formality of the middle name. It’s really up to you.

Name Conventions
-For different-sex couples, first list the bride’s name, then the groom’s. If the bride’s parents’ names are listed at the top, then just the bride’s first and middle names can be used.
-The groom’s full name, or his first and middle are listed, followed by the line, “son of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Hernandez.”
-For same-sex couples, list the names alphabetically by last name or in the order you choose—or according to what looks best on the invitation.
-If you want a less-formal affair, choose to use only first names on the invitation.

It’s your day. Put your mark in the wording of your names and include what feels genuine.

Date & Time Specifications

Here, indicate when and at what time the ceremony takes place. Traditionally, date and time are spelled out. If your ceremony is held on November 19, 2022, at 3:30 p.m., the wording would read, “Saturday, the nineteenth of November, two thousand twenty-two, at half after three o’clock.”

Language Tips:
-The day of the week and the month should be capitalized.
-The year should be lowercase.
-There is no “and” in the year.
-Time of day is written as “three o’clock” or “half after three o’clock.” Less traditional would use “half past three o’clock” or “three-thirty.”
-There is no use of “in the afternoon,” or “in the evening”  unless the event is at a time like 8, 9, or 10 when the clarity is useful. Then you should designate “in the morning” or “in the evening.” Sometimes, these phrases are used to fill in gaps in the invitation design.
-Evening begins at five o’clock. Morning hours end at noon.  

Extra Touch: Break these formal rules, as you like, for more modern invitation designs or informal weddings by using numerals.

Location

When it comes to location, be as clear as you can. You want to be sure your guests arrive at the right place at the right time, so skip abbreviations. List the ceremony venue on two lines as follows:
Venue Name
City, State

Formal invitations spell out the state name. Street addresses and zip codes are normally not included though you may decide to include them.

Extra Touch: Be sure to proofread these specifics. You want everyone to get to the church—and reception—on time! Also, include your wedding website on the invitation packet somewhere else so guests can refer to it for directions, hotel rooms, shuttles, etc. Your goal is to make it easy for everyone to join your wedding day.

After the Vows

Tell your guests what to expect after the ceremony. Is there an off-site reception? Dinner and dancing? Cake and champagne? Enjoy sharing some hints along with the facts.

If the reception will be at the same venue as the ceremony, you can print, “Reception to follow” or “Dinner and dancing to follow.”

If the reception is at a different location, list it on the following line or include a separate reception card inviting guests to the reception. Print the venue’s full address on the card.

Language Tips
-Dinner and dancing under the stars
-Bring your dancing shoes! Music to follow immediately after dinner
-To celebrate our nuptials, please join us for a dinner reception
-The celebration continues with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner
-Dine and dance in the dazzling lighted garden
-Join them for their first evening as a couple…drinks, dinner, cake

Extra Touch: If you’re not serving a full meal, let your guests know by describing the event, such as “Cake, punch and overflowing joy to follow.” Here’s your opportunity to show your personality. A line like, “A delicious dinner and terrible toasts to follow” can turn a standard invitation into a special one that really sets the mood.

Extra Invitation Details

Dress Code: Adding a line about the wedding’s dress code helps guests be comfortable at your wedding. Otherwise, they infer it from the information and style of the invitation. If your wedding is black tie, absolutely note it on the invitation. List it after the reception location.
Wedding Website: Include this on the reception card or another piece of stationery, not the invitation itself. Be sure to list it on your save the date card too.

Have fun selecting and customizing your invitations to reflect the two of you and your wedding celebration. Think of it as your opening act. Your invitation will have your family and friends looking forward to your big day. To find your perfect stationery suite, browse by style or designer online at thebestweddinginvitations.com

 The Best Wedding Invitations selects the best designers in the wedding universe to bring you a stunning selection of invitations. 250+ colors, paper choices, foils, motifs, hand-tied ribbons, frames, foil artwork, and more create the wedding invitation suite that reflects your unique style. Browse by theme, stationery item, or designer—and customize your suite.

The Best Wedding Invitations is managed and produced by printers who have been creating greeting cards for almost four decades. Our experience in delivering quality print to discerning clientele is a natural fit to wedding celebrations.
You can be confident that you will have the perfect invitation suite to match your wedding vision.

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