Your etiquette for wedding invitations are not only a way to formally invite your guests to your wedding, but they also set the tone for the event. Your wedding invitation is the first glimpse your guests will have into your special day, and it’s important to get it right. The wording, formatting, and style of your wedding invitation should reflect your personality as a couple and the type of wedding you are planning.
The Basics of Wedding Invitation Wording
Wedding invitation wording typically includes the names of the hosts, the names of the couple, the date and time of the wedding, the location of the ceremony and reception, and RSVP information. Depending on the formality of the wedding, additional information such as dress code, wedding website, or reception details may also be included.
Formal vs. Informal Wording
The level of formality you choose for your wedding invitation wording will depend on the style and tone of your wedding. Formal wording typically includes full names and titles, while informal wording can be more casual and relaxed. It’s important to consider your guests’ expectations and your personal style when choosing your wording.
Including Host Names
If someone other than the bride and groom is hosting the wedding, their names should be included on the invitation. This may include parents, grandparents, or other family members. Host names are typically listed at the top of the invitation and can be written in a variety of formats, depending on the formality of the wedding.
The Request Line
The request line is a brief phrase that requests the presence of the guest at the wedding. Common examples include “request the honor of your presence” for a formal wedding or “invite you to celebrate” for a more casual wedding.
The Names of the Couple
The names of the couple should be prominently displayed on the wedding invitation. Traditionally, the bride’s name is listed first, followed by the groom’s name. However, modern couples may choose to list their names in alphabetical order or in a format that reflects their individual preferences.
Including Children on the Wedding Invitation
Deciding whether or not to include children on your wedding invitation can be a sensitive topic for many couples. Some couples may prefer a more adult-oriented wedding, while others may welcome the presence of children. If you do choose to invite children, there are a few things to consider when it comes to wording etiquette.
One common approach is to include the children’s names on the invitation, along with their parents’ names. For example, you might say “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family” or “John and Jane Smith and Children.” This makes it clear that children are invited and helps avoid any confusion.
Another option is to include a separate card with the invitation that specifically invites children. This can be a fun way to get kids excited about the wedding and can include details such as activities or special meals for children. Be sure to include the parents’ names on the invitation as well, so they know that their children are invited.
If you prefer a more adult-oriented wedding, it’s appropriate to simply address the invitation to the adults only. This can be done by using the parents’ names only, without any mention of children. For example, “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” or “John and Jane Smith” indicates that the invitation is for adults only.
Ultimately, the decision to include children on your wedding invitation is a personal one that should reflect your preferences as a couple. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and include children on the invitation to avoid any confusion or hurt feelings.
Curious to learn even more about wedding invitation etiquette? Check out our definitive post: The Ultimate Wedding Invitation Etiquette Guide.
Date and Time
The date and time of the wedding should be clearly stated on the invitation. The day of the week and the month should be written out in full, and the year can be written in numerals. The time of the ceremony should be stated using either the 12-hour or 24-hour clock.
The location of the wedding ceremony and reception should be clearly stated on the invitation. This includes the name and address of the venue, as well as any additional details that may be helpful for guests, such as directions or parking information.
If the reception is being held at a different location than the ceremony, the reception details should be included on the invitation. This may include the name and address of the reception venue, as well as the time that the reception will begin. If there is a separate reception card, it can be included with the invitation or sent separately.
If you have a specific dress code for your wedding, it’s important to include it on the invitation. This may include formal attire, black-tie, or casual dress. Including the dress code on the invitation can help your guests prepare appropriately and avoid any confusion.
RSVP information should be included on the wedding invitation to allow your guests to respond and confirm their attendance. This may include a separate response card or a request to RSVP via email or phone. It’s important to include a clear deadline for responses to help with your wedding planning.
If you have a wedding website, it can be helpful to include the URL on the invitation. This can provide additional information for your guests, including registry details, travel information, and accommodations.
The Order of the Wording
The order of the wording on your wedding invitation can vary depending on the format and style of your invitation. In general, the order should follow a logical sequence, starting with the host names, followed by the request line, the names of the couple, and the details of the wedding.
Tips for Writing the Perfect Invitation
When writing your wedding invitation, it’s important to keep in mind your personal style and the tone of your wedding. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect invitation:
- Use clear and concise language
- Keep the formatting simple and elegant
- Use appropriate titles and honorifics
- Proofread carefully for errors or typos
- Consider enlisting the help of a professional calligrapher for a polished look
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There are several common mistakes that couples can make when creating their wedding invitations. These include:
- Including too much information
- Using incorrect titles or honorifics
- Misspelling names or details
- Choosing fonts or colors that are difficult to read
- Failing to proofread carefully
Your wedding invitations are an important part of your special day, and careful attention to wording etiquette can help set the tone for a beautiful and memorable wedding. By following these tips and guidelines, you can create an invitation that reflects your personality as a couple and sets the stage for a perfect wedding.
- Should I include my wedding registry information on my invitation?
It’s not appropriate to include registry information on your wedding invitation. Instead, consider including a separate information card with your wedding website or including the information on your website.
- Can I use an online invitation service for my wedding?
While online invitation services can be convenient and cost-effective, they may not be appropriate for all weddings. Consider the formality and tone of your wedding when choosing your invitation style.
- Is it okay to invite guests to the ceremony only?
It’s not appropriate to invite guests to the ceremony only. If you have budget constraints or limited space, consider having a smaller wedding or inviting fewer guests to both the ceremony and reception.
- How far in advance should I send out my wedding invitations?
Wedding invitations should be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding date to allow your guests enough time to plan and RSVP.
- Should I include meal choices on my RSVP card?
If you have specific meal choices for your reception, it’s appropriate to include them on the RSVP card. This can help with your catering planning and ensure that your guests are able to enjoy the meal of their choice.
- What if I make a mistake on my wedding invitation?
If you make a mistake on your wedding invitation, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Consider sending out corrected invitations or including a note with the corrected information.
- Can I include additional information on my wedding invitation?
While it’s important to include all of the necessary information on your wedding invitation, it’s best to avoid including additional information such as directions, travel information, or accommodation details. Instead, consider including this information on a separate information card or on your wedding website.
- Can I send electronic invitations for my wedding?
While electronic invitations can be convenient and cost-effective, they may not be appropriate for all weddings. Consider the formality and tone of your wedding when choosing your invitation style.
- Can I include a map on my wedding invitation?
While it’s not necessary to include a map on your wedding invitation, it can be helpful for guests who may be unfamiliar with the area. Consider including a map on a separate information card or on your wedding website.
- What should I do if a guest doesn’t RSVP?
If a guest doesn’t RSVP by the deadline, it’s appropriate to follow up with them via phone or email to confirm their attendance. It’s important to finalize your guest list as soon as possible to help with your wedding planning.
Your wedding invitation is an important part of your special day, and careful attention to wording etiquette can help set the tone for a beautiful and memorable wedding. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can create an invitation that reflects your personality as a couple and sets the stage for a perfect wedding. Remember to keep it simple, elegant, and true to your personal style, and your wedding invitation is sure to be a hit with your guests.