Invitation Wording and Etiquette

Wording & Etiquette

Invitation wording can seem complicated, but it’s easy to break down in to a few simple parts. Usually whoever is hosting (i.e. paying for) the wedding usually gets top billing. Traditionally, this was the bride’s parents. Now many couples pay for their own weddings, both sets of parents help pay, there may be step-parents involved, or maybe everybody is pitching in. Some couples may also choose to recognize a deceased parent. There are ways to address all of these.

Wedding invitations usually take a formal tone, but depending on the couple and the event, a more informal wording might be appropriate. Themed or destination weddings might have wording that reflects that.

Check out some of our wording samples for invitations, response cards, and reception cards. Just remember there are no hard and fast rules. Feel free to mix and match lines to create the wording that’s right for you. If you have any questions, please contact us. We’re happy to put our nearly decade of experience to work to come up with the perfect wording for your invitations!

  • DO be consistent with formatting. If you’re going to use middle names or middle initials, do so for both names. With parents names, use titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc) for everyone or not at all.
  • DO write in the third person on formal invitations. Using “we” should be reserved for more casual invitations.
  • DO capitalize the first word of the invitation and the names of any people, locations, etc. and any line that would be the start of a new sentence.
  • DO consider the location of the wedding. Ceremonies in a house of worship usually use “request the honor of your presence.” Ceremonies in other locations usually use “request the pleasure of your company.”
  • DO spell out all numbers, dates and times on the invitation (…on the fifth of March, two thousand twenty-four at five o’clock in the afternoon). Anything between noon and 6:00 pm is “afternoon”. Anything after is “evening”.
  • DO spell out the city and state in the address.
  • DON’T use normal punctuation. Periods are not used, other than after a title (Mr., Mrs., etc.). Commas should be use in dates and if needed in the middle of a phrase.
  • DON’T mention if children are not invited on the invitation itself. That should be included on how the envelope is addressed (Mr. and Mrs. John Smith vs. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family or Mr. and Mrs John Smith, Timothy and Katie). Some people choose to mention an “adult reception” on the reception card, as an added safeguard. There are also ways to customize the response cards to politely address this as well.
  • DON’T include any references to gifts or registries in the invitation, as you don’t want to imply that people are expected to bring a gift to attend. Most will, but including this information can come across as rude. This should be included with wedding shower information, wedding websites or other forms of communication.