Wedding Etiquette 101 – How to Word Your Invitations

By admin | 12.06.2017 | 0 Comments

So, you’ve chosen your date, booked your venue, sent out your save-the-dates and now you’re starting to write your invitations. There is a certain etiquette to follow when wording your invitations and it can all feel like a bit of a minefield. Fear not, The Angels have created a brief “how-to” below.

First let’s get the basics correct, your invitation should include the following:
Your name and the name of your fiancé, including last names.
The date, location, and time of the wedding.
The location and time of the reception.
Reply information.

Etiquette says that a traditional wedding invitation is made of heavy card, it should be 8 x 6 inches folded in half the text on the first (outer) page. This is usually in black copperplate script on a cream or white matte background.

traditional-wedding-invitation

If you’ll be tying the knot in a less-than-traditional setting, the wording of the wedding invitation can be as creative as you like. However, if you’re holding a church wedding there’s a lot more to consider, your parents are the ones inviting all the guests, but your parents are divorced? How do you handle stepparents? Read on for solutions to these and other invitation-etiquette quandaries.

Your parents are divorced but are still hosting the wedding together.
The proper way to word an invitation when the bride’s parents are divorced is to list the names of the bride’s parents at the top of the invitation. The bride’s mother’s name should be on the first line and her father’s name should go on the line beneath it; do not separate the lines with “and.” If the bride’s mother has not remarried, use “Mrs.” followed by her first name, maiden name, and married name.

Your divorced parents have remarried.
Traditionally, only the parents’ names appear on the invitation. But if you would like to include your stepparents, it’s perfectly acceptable to list them. Place your mother (and her husband, if she’s remarried) first, and include your last name.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward William Burch
Mr. and Mrs. John Anthony Price
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Lily Anabelle Price

One or both of your parents are deceased.
If one parent is still living, that parent should issue the invitation. If your mother has not remarried, you should place “Mrs.” before her name.

If neither of your parents are alive, the invitation may be issued by you or other relatives, such as your grandparents (in which case you should handle it as you would divorced parents who have remarried), or you and your fiancé.
Miss Lily Anabelle Price
and
Mr. George William Smith
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage

modern-calligraphy-wedding-invitation

You have been married before.
If your parents are issuing the invitation, include your married name:
Mr. and Mrs. John Anthony Price
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Lily Anabelle Price

Or you and your fiancé may issue it yourselves:
Lily Anabelle Price
and
George William Smith
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage

You or one of your parents is a doctor.
It is perfectly acceptable for medical doctors to use their titles on wedding invitations; academic doctors should not use theirs. If your mother is a doctor but your father is not, place her name, preceded by “Doctor,” on the invitation above your father’s. If your father is a doctor, it should read “Doctor (or “Dr.”) and Mrs. John Smith” on the same line. Using the word “and” in between the names indicates that they are still married.

Your mother uses her maiden name.
List your parents on separate lines, mom first, separated by the word “and” to indicate that they are still married.

Monogram-classic-wedding-invitation

The groom’s parents are issuing the invitation.
List your fiancé’s parents on the invitation as you would your parents, and include your last name.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Graham Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of
Miss Lily Anabelle Price
to their son
George William Smith

You’re paying for your own wedding.
If you have a good relationship with your parents, honor them by placing their names at the top of the invitation, especially if this is a first marriage and you are holding a traditional ceremony. If you prefer, or if the wedding is informal, most people will assume you’re hosting the event if you issue your own invitation.

modern-printed-wedding-invitation

You don’t want guests to bring children.
Not everyone knows that the only people invited to an event are the ones to which the invitation is addressed. If you have friends who feel their little ones are always included, a quick phone call to tell them that your reception isn’t set up for children will get your point across―and it’s nicer than printing “No children, please” on the invitation or the response card.

You would like guests to contribute to a charity rather than give gifts.
As altruistic as this request is, it still isn’t considered appropriate to place a reference to gifts on a wedding invitation. Instead, let your wedding party help get the word out.

Can’t find a solution to your specific question? Remember that the goal is to make people feel comfortable. When in doubt, it’s always better to break the rules to spare feelings, keep the peace, or both.

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