Your wedding invitations are the first glimpse at the styling and feel of your wedding. They provide the guests with ideas on colours, how formal the day will be and whether it will be a religious one or not. There were many traditional rules for wording your invitations, and what you included with it, however times have changed, and people are getting more and more creative about how they design their wedding stationery and also how they word them.
So what should you include? And how do you address certain elements of your wedding ‘rules’ without meaning to offend your guests? Children or no children… that’s a big one!
So, for all those who need that extra help, here’s how to word your wedding invitations.
To start with, look at who is hosting your wedding. Traditionally, the brides parents would host the wedding, and therefore the invitations would be sent from them. However nowadays, the grooms parents may even host, or the couple themselves. Whoever pays for the wedding should be addressed in the first line.
- Mr and Mrs Bevins formally invite you to the wedding of their daughter, Julia Bevin to Alexander Jones. (Brides parents as hosts)
- Together with Mr and Mrs Jones, Mr and Mrs Bevins invite you…. (Both parents as hosts)
- Together with their families, Julia Bevins and Alexander Jones invite you…(Couple to host with help from families)
- Julia Bevins and Alexander Jones invite you…. (Couple to host)
The next line after the names is the invitation line. This can be worded in any way you like really, although certain phrases indicate whether the wedding is religious ceremony or not.
- Request the honour of your presence (In a Place of Worship)
- Would be delighted at your presence (Informal wedding ceremony)
- Invite you to celebrate their wedding (Informal wedding ceremony)
- Invite you to the reception (Reception only)
Bride and Grooms Names
This can come before or after the request line, depending on who is hosting the event. If the parents are hosting, they would state their names, add the request line, and finish with the bride and grooms names.
For example, Mr and Mrs Bevins request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their daughter Julia Marie to Alexander Ray Jones. Because the daughter would have the same surname as the parents, her name is not repeated. Traditionally, the brides name would go on one line, the ‘to’ on its own line followed by the grooms name on another line.
If both sets of parents host, then you can add the surname of the bride. For example, Together with Mr and Mrs Jones, Mr and Mrs Bevins invite you to celebrate in the marriage of Julia Marie Bevins and Alexander Ray Jones.
When the couple host, the request line would come after the bride and grooms names, and surnames can be left out.
Increasingly, couples are having a much less formal approach to their invitations by dropping the surnames, however, the etiquette when arranging the names is to put the brides name first. This started with the tradition of the brides parents hosting, thus giving away their daughter. However ‘Ladies first’ still holds true for invitations regardless of who is hosting.
An example, Together with their families, Amelia and Michael invite you to join them as they exchange vows.
Date and Time
When writing the date and time, tradition states that it should all be written in words, rather than numerals.
Saturday the Third of December, Two Thousand and Sixteen at Half past Two in the Afternoon.
Here you would write the day, date, month and then the year.
Modern times have brought about numerals in the wedding invitations, especially since incorporating typography design.
Saturday 3rd December, 2016 at 2.30PM
To fully write the date in numerials is not advised however, 3/12/16. Your wedding is much more important than a casual date, and it can be misread easily when written like this.
The next line would be where the wedding is taking place. Traditionally, the Church/House of Worship would be written with no abbreviations, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London not St Paul’s Cathedral, London
With more weddings being held outdoors or in gardens, the street address of the wedding is often written. However the postcodes are still not necessary on the invitations. Queen Elizabeth Park, Tugun, Queensland
If the reception is in the same place as the ceremony, a simple line of Reception to follow, can be written. Some weddings have the reception at another venue, and in these cases, you could include a separate address for this on the invite, or if there is limited room, another reception card can be used.
Reception to follow at Room Sixty Three, Brisbane
Other ways of including the reception line, which are less formal and more fun are,
- Dinner and Dancing to follow
- Canapés, Drinks and Dancing to follow
- Adult reception to follow
- Merriment, Dinner and Love to follow
There can be other bits of information to include in the invitations, and finding the space, and wording can be hard. A good idea is to include information cards into your wedding pack so that you can cover all these things without sacrificing design. It can help when trying to word the no children allowed policy, or dress code, etc..
With all this in mind as a great place to start, its good to remember, that this is a guide, and creating an invitation that is truly unique to you and your beloved is up to you. Include these traditions, or tear them up and start again. The choice is yours! But most of all, have fun, relax and enjoy the process!