Wedding Invitation Wording

You’ve selected your dream invitation, and now it’s time to decide on your wedding invitation wording. I know it can be hard to navigate. There are so many different variations and scenarios to think through. It may even seem arbitrary to you, but the wording actually does serve a purpose in keeping proper wedding etiquette. I’m going to break down each of these lines.

  • Host Line
  • Request Line
  • Names
  • Date and Time
  • Location
  • Optional Lines

1. Host Line

The host line is where you state who is hosting your wedding. Basically, who is paying for your wedding? You’ll list the hosts’ names here. This may be one set of parents, both sets of parents, the couple, or all of the above!

If the bride’s parents are hosting, use:

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Jackson

If both sets of parents are hosting, use:

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Jackson
along with Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

If everyone is hosting, use:

Together with their families

2. Request Lines

After the host line, you will use the request lines to do the actual inviting. It’s common for people to just choose their preference here, but it actually depends on the location of your ceremony.

If your ceremony is in a house of worship (a church), use:

request the honor of your presence

Some people choose to use the Old English form of “honour” for a very formal wedding.

If your ceremony is not in a house of worship, use:

request the pleasure of your company

For the next line, if the bride’s parents are hosting, use:

at the marriage of their daughter

If both parents are hosting, use:

at the marriage of their children

If everyone is hosting, you’ll put the request lines underneath the names, and use:

at their wedding ceremony

3. Names

Obviously, this is where you list the couple’s names. The bride is always listed first.

If the bride’s parents are hosting, only include the bride’s first and middle names if she shares the same last name with her parents. You can also include the groom’s title if you want to be extremely formal.

For example,

Elizabeth Anne
Mr. Charles David Smith

If both parents are hosting, include full names for both the bride and groom without their titles.

For example,

Elizabeth Anne Jackson
Charles David Smith

If the couple is hosting, include full names with titles for formality.

For example,

Ms. Elizabeth Anne Jackson
Mr. Charles David Smith

4. Wedding Date and Time

The first line is for the day of the week followed by the date with the number fully spelled out. The year should also be completely spelled out in words. Please note, there is no “and” included in the year. That is only used to make note of decimal places in word form.

When writing out the time, the time of day is not necessary (afternoon or evening). However, if you do choose to include it, anything before 6:00 p.m. is considered afternoon. Also, use “half after” for weddings that fall on the half hour.

For example,

Saturday, the twenty-fifth of June
two thousand twenty-two
half after five o’clock in the afternoon

5. Wedding Location

It’s only necessary to include the venue name with the city and state. Typically, the street address is left off unless it’s a private residence. Even then, it’s proper to omit the zip code. The venue address can be included on a detail card or on your wedding website. Make sure to spell out the states instead of abbreviating it.

6. Optional Lines

“Son of” Line – Some couples like to include this line if the bride’s parents are hosing but they still want to acknowledge the groom’s parents. You would sit them directly under the groom’s name.

Reception Line – Typically, the reception line is used when the reception is at the same location as the ceremony. It’s usually worded as “Reception to follow” or “Dinner and dancing to follow”. It’s standard to include a separate reception card for different venues. However, I have more couples opting to go a little modern in order to eliminate this card.

For example,

Reception to follow
Huntsville Botanical Garden

Attire Line – Usually, you should leave the dress code off your wedding invitation unless it’s absolutely necessary. For example, if your wedding is a black tie affair, you can include “black tie” in the bottom right corner.

What NOT to Include

Registry – It’s considered rude to include this on your invitation. Luckily, guests already know they’ll be able to find your registry on your website. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of gifts!

Wedding Website – It’s best to put your wedding website on a separate card altogether. You can use a small website card or include it on a larger detail card with other information.

RSVP Info – If you’re collecting your RSVPs online, I know it can be tempting to put your RSVP info on your invitation in order to eliminate an extra card, but it’s best to put this on a separate card. It’ll start to look messy and cluttered if you try to fit it all.

Now that I’ve broken down every line, you can feel confident putting together your own wedding invitation wording!

xo, Gracie