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6 Details to Include on Your Wedding Invitations

When it comes to designing your wedding invitations, there are so many decisions to make. Sometimes verbiage is the last thing you’re thinking about! I’m here to help guide you through the ins and outs of wording etiquette.


The first thing to remember is the invitation is primarily a service to your guests. Its function is to communicate with your guests and relay information to them. You also want to set up your suite so your guests can respond appropriately (more on this point in a later blog post!) With this in mind, you want to include all the details they need to know, and do so in a tasteful manner that matches the tone of your wedding day. For formal affairs, you will want to use more traditional and formal verbiage. For gatherings that are more on the casual side, you can stick to the basics. Some elements will be rearranged in order depending on your wording choices, but each element should be included somewhere on your stationery. Here are 6 details to include on your wedding invitations, with formal and casual wording options for each item!


1. List the Host(s) and/or Hostess(es)

Open the invitation with mention of the host/hostess. Traditionally, this is the person funding the largest portion of the wedding, the bride’s parents. Many couples today are sharing costs between themselves and both sets of parents. Some couples fund their entire wedding themselves. Whoever is paying for the wedding celebration, be sure to acknowledge them in the opening of the invitation, as they are the individuals inviting guests.


Examples:

  • Bride’s parents— “Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith” “Dr. and Mrs. Jack Smith” “Mr. Jack Smith and Ms. Debbie Brown” (separated)

  • Both families— “Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hayes”

  • Couple and both families — “Together with their parents” “Together with their families”

  • Couple alone — skip this step and simply list bride & groom’s names



2. Bride and Groom’s Names

Next, list the couple’s names. You can do this several ways. In a formal voice, you can list the couples first, middle, and last names, or just first and middle names. More casually, you can opt for first names only. Which ever voice you are writing in, be sure to list the bride’s name first. This is the rule of thumb for all wedding correspondence and signage!


Examples:

  • Formal, full names — “Johanna Marie Smith [to/and] Hudson Elliot Hayes”

  • Formal, bride first/middle, groom full — “Johanna Marie [to/and] Hudson Elliot Hayes”

  • Semi-formal, first/middle — “Johanna Marie [to/and] Hudson Elliot”

  • Casual, first only — “Johanna and Hudson”


3. Request to Attend

Invite your guests to join you in the celebration. This is the active part of the invitation — the actual invitation! As with the other portions of your verbiage, there are lots of options for this in a large range of formality. You can choose this part based on your previous choices for host names and couple’s names. This part may also be switched in order with the bride and groom’s names depending on formality level.


Examples:

  • Formal — “request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their [daughter/children]” followed by couples names, “request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of...”

  • Semi-formal, both families + couple hosting — “joyfully invite you to join in celebration of their marriage” “invite you to join in celebration of their union”

  • Semi-formal, both families hosting — “joyfully invite you to join in celebration of the marriage of their children” followed by couples names

  • Casual, couple hosting — “invite you to their wedding celebration” “invite you to share in celebration of their marriage” “would love for you to join them”


4. Date and Time

Make sure your guests know when you’re celebrating! You can list this information formally with fully spelled-out time and date, semi-formally with a mixture of the two, or casually with only numerical details.


Examples:

  • Formal — “the twenty-fifth of August, two thousand twenty two at half past four o’clock in the afternoon”

  • Semi-formal — “the 25th of August, 2022 at 4:30 in the afternoon”

  • Casual — August 25th, 2022 at 4:30pm”



5. Location

This verbiage will vary depending on your venue. For weddings with multiple venues, list only the ceremony site on your invitation and put the other locations for cocktail hour and/or reception space on a separate card. For weddings with an all-in-one venue, list the venue name and city/state. Always write out the full state name without abbreviations. If you wish to list the full venue address, do so on a separate card. Never include the ZIP code on your stationery, as ZIP codes are strictly for postage services and guests may find the venue address without that piece of information.


Examples:

  • Black Bird Farm, Columbus Grove, Ohio

  • Crimson Lane, Ada, Ohio

  • 19 Hawthorne, Lima, Ohio

  • Greencrest Manor, Battle Creek, Michigan


6. Closing

Your closing should indicate any kind of reception or celebration after the ceremony, without listing every detail for that reception. Details about time and location may be listed on a separate card.


Examples:

  • Dinner and dancing to follow

  • Formal reception to follow

  • Cocktails and dinner to follow

  • Formal reception immediately following





Bonus!

This is optional, and typically reserved for couples that have a specific dress code request. If you have a dress code you would like your guests to follow, you can put this on the invitation in the bottom right corner.


 

Now that we have looked through all the individual parts that make up your wedding invitation verbiage, let’s put it all together! Here are some examples of full invitation wording with varying levels of formality. If your family circumstances require you to list multiple parents including separated and remarried, late parents, or some combination of situations, your stationer or planner can help you with wording etiquette that will honor everyone involved!


Formal Wording:

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith

request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter

Johanna Marie

to

Hudson Elliot Hayes

on the twenty-fifth of August two thousand twenty two

at half part four o’clock in the afternoon

Greencrest Manor

Battle Creek, Michigan

Formal reception immediately following


Dr. and Mrs. Jack Smith

and Ms. Debbie Brown

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their children

Johanna Marie

and

Hudson Elliot

on the twenty fifth of August two thousand twenty two

at half past four o’clock in the afternoon

Greencrest Manor

Battle Creek, Michigan

Join us for a formal dinner reception immediately following.

Black tie


Semi Formal Wording:

Together with their parents

Johanna Marie

and Hudson Elliot Hayes

invite you to join in celebration of their union in marriage

the 25th of August, 2022

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Black Bird Farm

Columbus Grove, Ohio

Dinner and dancing to follow


Together with their families

Johanna Marie Smith

and Hudson Elliot Hayes

joyfully invite you to join them for a celebration of their marriage

the 25th of August, 2022

at 4:30 in the afternnon

Black Bird Farm

Columbus Grove, Ohio

Cocktails and Dinner to follow


Casual Wording:

Johanna Smith

and Hudson Hayes

invite you to their wedding celebration!

August 25th, 2022

4:30 pm

Crimson Lane Ada, Ohio

Dinner and Live Music to follow


Johanna

and Hudson

are getting married!

Join us for a ceremony and celebration

August 25th, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Black Bird Farm

Columbus Grove, Ohio

Dinner and Drinks to follow

 

I hope this guide and wording suggestions are helpful to you in your planning! These are suggestions, and I am a huge advocate for couples choosing their own traditions for their wedding day. If you have an amazing idea for wedding invitation wording or if you did something unique for your invitations, I would love to hear about it. Comment below or email me with all the unique ideas!


Cheers and happy planning!