Learning how to write a wedding invitation, and what to include, doesn't vary much, whether you are having a traditional or contemporary wedding. The purpose of the wedding invitation is to give guests all the information they need about the upcoming event. Luxury wedding invitations and stylish wedding invitation envelopes may add to people's appreciation of your planning and the significance of the event, but don't overlook the importance of letting people know when and where the event will take place.
Wedding Invitation Essentials
There are rules governing how the wedding invitation is laid out and what information is included. Make sure you've got all of the following:
Who the Hosts Are
The hosts of the wedding issue the invitation. Traditionally, whoever is paying for the event is listed first on the invitation. In years past, it was always the bride's parents. An invitation like this would read
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
John and Jane Doe
Times have changed, and the bride and groom may be paying for the wedding. In this case, the couple's name appears first:
Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. Joe Smith
An alternate wording acknowledges that both families are hosting:
Together with their families,
Jane Doe and Joe Smith
Request your attendance
Where the Event Takes Place
Next, your invitation politely requests that your guests attend the happy event. Again, etiquette dictates the wording, for a ceremony at a house of worship use the following:
Request the honor of your presence
For non-religious ceremonies use this language:
Request the pleasure of your company
There are several other ways to request your guests' attendance at a secular ceremony, including
would be delighted for you to attend
invite you to join us at the celebration of our marriage
Who Is Getting Married
The bride's name is listed first using first and middle name only. Then groom is listed with title, middle name and last name.
Mr. John Dave Doe
You can also use the following for a more modern touch:
to John Smith
It is traditional to spell everything in the date out. Do not use abbreviations. Do use the day as well as the date.
Saturday, the first of June
two thousand and ten
at two o'clock in the afternoon
For ceremonies on the half hour, the time would read "at half after two o'clock in the afternoon."
A ceremony held at a well-known location doesn't need to include the address. If you go this route, be sure to include directions to the location on a separate sheet of paper. Include information on parking as well.
Museum of Modern Art
Locations that aren't well known need the address written out. Again, include brief driving directions as well as information on where to park on a separate piece of paper.
The Diamond Club
1250 Valley Drive
You may include the reception information on the wedding invitation or on a separate card. If included on the wedding invitation, use the following words:
Reception to follow at [reception site]
It is helpful to specify whether the reception includes a meal or is just cake and beverages/
After-the-ceremony cocktails and cake at The Hilton
Dessert and dancing to follow
A reception card is used if the ceremony and reception are in different places, or the reception doesn't immediately follow the ceremony.
Reception to follow at Eight o'clock
5000 Airport Lane
Including a response card for guests to RSVP is much easier. A simple card allows the guest to check yes or no and the number attending. If there are dinner choices, such as steak or fish, include this on the reception card and let the guests check off their choices.
Finally, be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the guest's name and address written in the sender's corner. This lets your guests simply fill out the reception card, slip it into the envelope and mail it back to you. Avoid the temptation to let guests RSVP by e-mail, telephone or text message. Instead, gather the returned cards and put them in a safe place. This will give you an instant reference point that can't be accidentally deleted or lost in a sea of e-mail messages.
While it might seem like a simple task, deciding how to word wedding invitations can quickly get confusing. Whether you are having a church wedding, a non-denominational wedding or a completely different wedding entirely, the wording on your wedding invitation should match the upcoming event perfectly.
You are not the average couple, so why have the average wedding invitations? Stand out with these fun and quirky invitation ideas.
When wording your wedding invitations the first and most important thing to consider is providing all the information that is needed to attend the wedding.