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Wedding Invitation Wording Examples and Etiquette

When you’ve fallen in love with your perfect wedding invitations, they will glow with your unique style, theme, and colors. You’re excited to send them off to family and friends! Yet, among all the custom design elements that reflect your vision for the big day, you won’t want to overlook your personalized wording for the invitations.

Wedding invitation wording has a set of best practices deeply rooted in traditions of etiquette.

Wedding invitations are tiny packages bursting with big information. They tell your guests not only when and where your wedding will be, but also exactly who is invited. Sometimes they even tell your guests how to dress for the occasion.

While the exact wording of the invitation also considers the style and formality of your wedding, the “old” rules of etiquette are still honored by today’s couples and top wedding planners.

“As planners, we advise our clients on the ‘best practices’ for invitation wording which is deeply rooted in traditions of etiquette,” says Lynn Easton, founder of the wedding and social events planning company, Easton Events.

Wedding Invitation Wording Examples

For specific wedding invitation wording examples, this guide series will show you how casual, formal, religious and funny wording can be adapted to your invitation:

Lynn’s team relies on the classic book “Emily Post’s Etiquette” as the foundation for the rules, but personalizes the messaging to reflect the couple’s unique event.

“Just as weddings have evolved since the publication of Post’s Etiquette in 1922, so have the invitations! At the end of the day, your invitation is necessary to communicate the details of your big day but can be a creative and playful way to offer your guests a ‘first look’ into the wedding and set the tone for your celebration,” says Lynn.

Inspired yet? Here’s a look at the proper way to word your wedding invitations as well as some expert advice on how to avoid the most commonly made mistakes on wedding invitations.

The Elements of a Wedding Invitation

Although no two invitations are alike, they all share six important pieces of information:

  1. The host line
  2. The request line
  3. The bride and groom line
  4. The date and time line
  5. The location line
  6. The reception line

Although no two invitations are alike, they all share six important pieces of information.

The Host Line

The first line of a wedding invitation, the host line, tells your guests who is throwing your wedding.

Your parents, the groom’s parents, a relative, or even a combination of these people can host a wedding. Today, it’s also very common for couples to host their own weddings.

“The most common variations we see in wedding invitation wording reflect the hosts,” says Lynn. “We are seeing more couples hosting the weddings, as opposed to their parents. In this instance, we like to use ‘Together with our families’ in the heading of the invitations.”

How important is announcing the host? The host line of a wedding invitation serves many purposes.

First, it’s a way to tell your guests who is hosting your wedding. This simple announcement goes a long way. A wedding invitation is usually the first time your family and friends find out who is throwing your wedding. With that knowledge, guests can thank the hosts in person.

Plus, it’s a great conversation starter and wonderful way to make the hosts feel special throughout the day.

Finally, the wording of the invitation reveals the formality of the event. Is your wedding casual, formal, funny, or religious? The wording you choose will set the proper tone and prepare your guests for the upcoming celebration, and it all starts with the words you select to announce your hosts.

Below you can find specific wedding invitation wording samples according to who is hosting the event:

The Request Line

The request line is where the hosts requests the guest’s attendance to the wedding.

A wedding invitation for a traditional or religious ceremony might read: request the honor of your presence.

A casual way to write the request line would be: request the pleasure of your company.

If you’re getting married in a church, consider writing: invite you to witness their union.

Depending on the template or printing company you go with, you might be presented with a request line that matches the formality or style of the invitation.

The Bride and Groom Line

The third line is where you list the names of the bride and groom. The bride’s name goes first. For formal weddings, include the middle names of both the bride and groom.

When writing the bride and groom line on the invitation, focus on the bride. Her name goes first.

The Date and Time Line

The way you write the date and time depends on the formality of your wedding. If you’re throwing a casual affair, use numerals. For formal and traditional weddings, use figures for dates and years, spell out the month, and spell out the word “o’clock” for the time.

The Location Line

This is where you write the address of the ceremony for your wedding. Use figures for numbered addresses, even if it’s a formal or traditional wedding. For formal and traditional weddings, spell out Avenue, Boulevard and other parts of a street name.

The Reception Line

The reception line tells your guests that there’s a party after the ceremony.

The reception line tells your guests that there’s a party after the ceremony and that they are invited. A simple way to communicate this is to write: Reception to Follow. Another formal option for the wording of the reception line is: Reception immediately following.

This reception line is appropriate for casual weddings or if you want to avoid purchasing separate Reception Cards. Use a separate Reception Card if you’re throwing a traditional or formal wedding.

Bride And Groom Invitation Wording Examples

There was a time when the bride and groom had little control over their wedding day. Parents would make major decisions and the bride had a few tasks, like buying gifts for her bridesmaids and making sure her hair and makeup were perfect. The groom? His primary job was to make it to the altar on time.

Today things have changed and brides-to-be and their partners are often going all in to plan their own weddings with every personalized touch. And while they’re hosting their own party, this doesn’t mean that tradition goes by the wayside. The etiquette of wedding invitation wording is just as important for couples today as ever.

For a bride and groom hosting your own affair, the wedding invitation gives guests a taste of your personal vision and is the place to announce that you’re hosting so everyone can join in the excitement of your wedding day.

“We’re definitely seeing more couples hosting their own weddings,” says Christine Zohrabians, Event Designer and Planner at Fancy That Events. “I always tell my couples to pay attention to etiquette, but I personally love the idea of including the parents in the invitations even if they’re not contributing to the wedding.”

Giving a Glimpse of Your Big Day Through the Wedding Invitation

As a bride-to-be hosting your own affair, you’re confident about your tastes and personal style, and this self-assurance radiates in every decision that you make. While you might have a team of helpers or a wedding planner by your side, your personal style will be present on every detail of your big day.

A unique wedding invitation that matches your vision – whether rustic or laden in luxury, casual or classically formal – is a detail you can get right with a little guidance on wedding invitation etiquette and a few examples of the right wording.

Your wedding invitation gives your guests a taste of this vision. It’s also the place to announce that you’re hosting. The wedding invitation might be the first time your friends and family learn that you’re throwing your own wedding, and this news can add to the joy and excitement of your wedding day.

The host line in the wedding invitation serves many purposes. First and foremost, it tells your guests who is hosting the event. Guests want to know who is hosting the party. This basic information makes them feel more comfortable; they know who to greet and thank at the event.

The host line also tells the guests who is organizing and paying for the wedding.

So where do you announce the host of the wedding?

The first line of the wedding invitation is reserved for the hosts of the wedding. But before you can start writing, you will have to consider the style and formality of your big day.

Your wedding invitation wording should complement the formality of your wedding, so it’s best to come up with the style of your wedding day before you write your invitations.

There are four styles to consider that will set the tone for the language you choose for your invitation: casual, formal, religious and funny.

When you’ve settled on a style, use this guide to find the proper wording for your wedding invitations wording without parents, or when the bride and groom are hosting. Proper wording for an invitation stating that the bride and groom are hosting follow below.

Casual Wedding Invitation Wording

You and your fiancé like things low key and that’s what you would like your wedding invitation wording to mimic. Classy yet casual is the style of this big day, whether it’s an outdoor wedding on the beach or a rustic wedding in your backyard. And yes, you can absolutely convey your venue and style with beach wedding invitations or fall-themed wedding invitations.

Though informal, casual wedding invitation wording should still reflect proper etiquette and feature all the important elements of a wedding invitation, from the host line to the time and place of the reception.

Casual example of wording with bride and groom hosting:

Kelsea Maynard and Matt Cuen

request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their union

June 17, 2017, at 12:00PM

San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA

Dinner and dancing to follow

 

Formal and Unique Wording for a Wedding Invitation

This day has been in the works for years now. The two of you like the idea of an elegant venue detailed with dripping jewels and lavish touches as the perfect place for your “I dos.” As the bride, you may want a traditional gown or the latest wedding dress by your favorite designer. You may want your ceremony to be in a historic cathedral or at a beautiful library. Perhaps more than any other wedding style, formal weddings call for proper wedding invitation wording.

Formal example with bride and groom hosting:

Kelsea Maynard and Matt Cuen

request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their union Saturday, the seventeenth of June two thousand and seventeen at twelve o’clock noon

San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow

 

Casual, formal, religious or funny, capture your personality and style in every wedding detail.

Religious Wedding Invitation Wording

Your big day represents a sacred union with responsibilities, duties, and a whole lot of love. Your faith will have a big part in your big day at a church venue with your closest loved ones, in the eyes of all. Religious wedding invitation wording adheres to traditional etiquette with room for spiritual language that’s unique to your faith. A religious wedding invitation can also feature a quote from scripture. If you’re planning a religious wedding, make sure that the wording of your invitation observes any specifications that your church or religion requires.

Example of wedding invitation wording for religious ceremony with bride and groom hosting:

Kelsea Maynard and Matt Cuen

invite you to share their joy as they are united in the Lord Jesus Christ

Saturday, the seventeenth of June

two thousand and seventeen

at twelve o’clock noon

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl

San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow

 

For a bride and groom with a great sense of humor, let your fun-loving spirit make your guests smile when they open your wedding invitation and shine on when it’s time to dance!

Funny Wording for a Wedding Invitation

The two of you have a great sense of humor and everyone knows it. The lighthearted spirit that you both share will shine and you want your guests to smile when they open your wedding invitation. Even when using funny wording for your invitations, it’s wise to stay gracious and respectful.

Funny wedding invitation wording samples:

Kelsea Maynard and Matt Cuen

are gettin’ hitched & request your presence

June 17, 2017 at noon

San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Dinner and dancing and open bar to follow

 

Invitation Wording Examples For Parents Hosting Wedding

Are your parents hosting? Step parents? It’s a blessing and an honor to have designated hosts for your wedding day – especially when the hosts are your parents. The host line of the invitation is a way for the bride and groom to honor the hosts and thank them.

“A proper wedding invitation sets the tone for respecting the family that has raised you,” says wedding planner Christine Zohrabians of Fancy That Events. “Adding your parents’ names on the wedding invitation can also bring everyone together to honor them for their love and support.”

“One of the biggest trends in wedding planning right now is families coming together to pitch in for the wedding,” says Christine Zohrabians, Event Designer and Planner of Fancy That Events. “While we love to see this, it can complicate the wording on the wedding invitation. I usually tell couples to pay attention to etiquette but also make sure they are comfortable with the final wording.”

While your invitation will follow rules of etiquette, you’ll still have unique wedding invitation wording when you’ve personalized it to honor your host and style.

“A proper wedding invitation sets the tone for respecting the family that has raised you,” says Christine. “Adding your parents’ names on the wedding invitation can also bring everyone together to honor them for their love and support.”

Design personalized wedding invitations with your unique wording to invite your guests and honor your parents as hosts of your big day.

Whether your parents are paying for the entire event or contributing to the festivities, your hosts have agreed to throw your wedding and it’s a wonderful experience to honor them as such. Before you write the invitation, make sure you have the right spelling of the names, especially if the hosts are not your own parents. Check and recheck!

The following are examples of how a wedding invitation might be worded when the parents are hosting.

Wording for Bride’s Parents Hosting

Just as tradition has it, the bride’s parents host the wedding. The host line will include a request from the bride’s parents at the marriage of their daughter.

Casual wedding invitation wording example for the bride’s parents hosting:

Please Join Us

In Celebration of the Marriage of

Lindsay Jensen and Stephen McKormick

October 6, 2017

At 11 O’Clock in the Morning

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Jensen request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter.

Dinner and dancing to follow.


Formal wedding invitation wording example when the bride’s parents host:

A Celebration of Love

10.06.17

Lindsay Jensen and Stephen McKormick

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Jensen request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter

San Francisco City Hall / 11:00 AM / 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl / San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow


Example of religious wedding invitation wording for a ceremony hosted by the bride’s parents:

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Jensen request your presence at the sacred union of their daughter

Lindsay Jensen to Stephen McKormick

who will vow their lives to each other Saturday, the sixth of October two thousand and seventeen at twelve o’clock in the afternoon

San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow


Funny wedding invitation wording example when parents of the bride host:

Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Jensen request the pleasure of your company with joyful hearts

Lindsay Jensen & Stephen McKormick

are getting married because

our little girl said yes!

10.06.17

12 o’clock in the afternoon

San Francisco City Hall | 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl

San Francisco, Ca

Dinner and dancing and an open bar to follow

Are your parents hosting? Step parents? It’s a blessing and an honor to have designated hosts for your wedding day – especially when the hosts are your parents.

Wording for Groom’s Parents Hosting

When the groom’s parents are hosting the wedding, it’s only right to include their names at the top of the invitation. In some cases, the invitation is the first time the bride’s side of the family is introduced to the groom’s parents and many guests will be relying on the invitation as a resource to learn their names.

Example of casual wedding invitation wording for parents of the groom as hosts:

Mr. & Mrs. Jax Hester request

the pleasure of your company at

the marriage of

Kate Milne to their son Luke Hester

Friday, October 6, 2017

Eleven o’clock in the Morning

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl

San Francisco, Ca

Dinner and dancing to follow


Formal wedding invitation wording sample honoring the groom’s parents as hosts:

Mr. and Mrs. Jax Hester request the honor of your presence at the marriage of

Kate Milne & Luke Hester

The ceremony will begin at twelve o’clock noon

June 17, 2017

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl

San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow


Example of wedding invitation wording for religious ceremony when the groom’s parents are hosting:

Kate Milne & Luke Hester

Mr. & Mrs. Jax Hester request the honor of your presence at the sacred union of their son Luke to Kate as they unite in Christ

Saturday, the seventeenth of June

two thousand and seventeen

at twelve o’clock noon

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow


Funny example of wedding invitation wording for a celebration hosted by the groom’s parents:

Mr. and Mrs. Jax Hester request your presence at the marriage of

Kate Milne & Luke Hester

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 12:00PM

San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, Ca

Dinner and dancing to follow (did we mention open bar…)

Using the phrase “together with their parents” or “together with their families” is inclusive wedding invitation wording for parents hosting.

Wording for Bride and Groom with Step Parents

Mom’s divorced from Dad who has a new wife and everyone’s helping out with the wedding expenses. Now you’re wondering how you’re going to word these invitations. Should you leave out a parent?

“I’ve seen many situations in which couples leave out certain step parents or divorced parents because one has raised them more than the other,” says Christine. “But it’s very common for these couples to regret this decision later. I always encourage couples to think deeper about these decisions and to include all parents involved.”

Using the phrase “together with their parents” or “together with their families” has become popular for these situations because it is all-inclusive.

Example of casual wedding invitation wording for the couple with step parents hosting:

Together with their families

Michelle Murakami & Jeremy Payton

invite you to attend their wedding celebration

June 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl

San Francisco, Ca

Dinner and dancing to follow


Formal wedding invitation wording sample:

Together with their families

Michelle Murakami & Jeremy Payton

request the honor of your company at their marriage

Saturday, the seventeenth of June two thousand and seventeen at eleven o’clock in the morning

San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow


Religious wedding invitation wording example:

Together with their parents &

in the eyes of Christ

we request your presence at their marriage of

Michelle Murakami and Jeremy Payton

Saturday, the seventeenth of June

two thousand and seventeen at eleven o’clock in the morning

San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow


Example of funny wedding invitation wording:

Together with their parents

Michelle Murakami and Jeremy Payton

Are Getting’ Hitched! and you’re invited to celebrate

June 17, 2017 11:00 AM

San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, Ca

Fabulous food, fun, and festivities to follow

Touch and feel every detail of your wedding day. Shutterfly offers five free samples of your unique and personalized wedding invitations.

Wording for Deceased Parent

It’s your big day and of course your parents are just as excited as you are to be a part of it, even those that aren’t with you anymore. A deceased parent will be there with you in spirit and on paper as well. Including the name of a late parent on your invitation is a beautiful way to honor, respect, and include them on your special day.

Example of casual wedding invitation wording for late parent:

Mr. & Mrs. Garrett Starkey

and Mr. Tom Hennessey & the late Mrs. Lacey Hennessey

request the honor of your company

at the marriage of their children

Melissa Starkey & Cameron Hennessey

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl. San Francisco, Ca

Dinner and dancing to follow


Formal example of wedding invitation wording:

Mr. & Mrs. Garrett Starkey and Mr. Tom Hennessey &

the late Mrs. Lacey Hennessey request the honor of your company

at the marriage of their children

Melissa Starkey & Cameron Hennessey

Saturday, the seventeenth of June two thousand and seventeen

at twelve o’clock in the afternoon

San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl

San Francisco, Ca

Reception to follow

Expert Planning Tips for Wedding Invitation Wording

There is so much to think about when planning a wedding! To simplify the process and help you avoid some of the commonly made mistakes, we asked some of our favorite wedding planners to share expert tips:

Don’t forget to proofread. The most commonly made mistakes on wedding invitations are misspelled words and typos. While most people usually misspell the names of people and places, it’s also common to see typos on simple words.

“Don’t send to print without getting a second and third (and fourth!) set of eyes to proof-read your invitation,” says Lynn of Easton Events.

Use information cards when necessary. Wedding invitations shouldn’t be crammed with too much information. An overloaded invitation can be seen as an eye sore and might also be illegible to your guests. Instead, use the additional pieces in the wedding invitation suite to convey the extra details about your wedding day.

Apart from the main invitation, a typical wedding invitation suite can include a Reception Card, an RSVP Card, a Directions Card, and even a card for Accommodations with a list of places to stay for your out-of-town guests.

An overloaded invitation can be seen as an eye sore and might also be illegible to your guests. Instead, use additional pieces in a wedding invitation suite to convey extra details about your wedding day.

Consider your culture’s etiquette. Your culture might have traditional rules of etiquette that differ from the country you’re getting married in.

“If you’re planning a traditional or religious wedding, it might be more appropriate to follow the rules of etiquette according to your own culture,” says Christine Zohrabians, wedding planner and designer of Fancy That Events.

“For example, American couples usually write the bride’s name first on the wedding invitation, while Middle Eastern couples write the groom’s name first. If you’re a Middle Eastern couple getting married in America, you might want to go with the rules of etiquette from your home country.”

How to Address Your Wedding Invitations

With the wording of your wedding invitations ready to go, you might be eager to start the next step: addressing the envelopes. This part, too, requires knowledge of wedding etiquette and we suggest starting here for more Examples of How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes.

As with most of your wedding day details, the wording on the envelope is also influenced by the style and formality of your wedding day. This article can help you prepare the wording and select the proper stamp for your wedding invitation envelopes.

Shutterfly Wedding Invitations

Now that you know how to write the proper messaging for your wedding invitations, it’s easy to customize the wording on your wedding invitation with Shutterfly. Select the invitation, then click the “Personalize” button to add the details of your big day. Add your details and choose how you want them to be sent. You can send them back to you, or save a step and allow Shutterfly to address and stamp your envelopes.

Get five different invitation style samples customized with your personal details, colors and style with our free samples today. Just use the code 5WEDINVITES at checkout. When you touch and feel your future wedding invitation, you’ll know you’ve found the one.

See and feel your favorite invitation selections in a range of colors and designs with your own wedding date and details with five free samples from Shutterfly.