Invitations & Invitation Wording
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"Traditional Wedding Etiquette"Invitations & Invitation Wording

Author: Jennifer - Internet Sales Coordinator & Team LeaderApril 2006

Being in the business of invitations, we understand that the invitation is seen by your guests before anything else in the wedding. It can set the tone of a wedding and indicate the degree of formality. Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding, starting with the invitations. Because we want every bride's invitations to be perfect, we at Invitation Consultants wanted to bring you tips on making your invitations not only beautiful, but proper as well.

INVITATION WORDING (view our sample wording section)
To start to think about what you want your invitations to say, you must consider who is hosting the wedding. The most common choices are the bride's parents or the couple themselves. If the bride's parents are hosting, you may want to open the invitation with, "Mr. and Mrs. John Stevens request the honour of your presence..." Many ask if it is correct to spell honour with the u, however, this is the traditional spelling. Today, unusual family situations or step-parents can make the wording challenging. If the parents that are hosting the wedding are divorced but are co-hosting the wedding, both sets of names should appear on the invitation. In this case, the bride's mother's name should appear first. Another common question is what to say if the bride or groom has a deceased parent. It is acceptable to mention this parent, as long as the invitation does not appear to be issued by the deceased. If you are unsure of how to start the wording of your invitation, have the first line of the invitation be the name of who is hosting the wedding, whomever this may be, requesting your guest's attendance.

Many couples feel that they would like to act as the hosts of their wedding. If the couple is hosting, then starting with the couple's names is perfectly acceptable. An example of this would be "Tori Peterson and Justin Weiber invite you to share with them in the joy of their marriage." This would be a less formal way of wording your invitation. If you wanted to convey more of a sense of formality, you could say "The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of Shannon Larkin to Jeffery Peters..."

Do not forget to include the date, time and location of the wedding, or you can do this on a separate reception card. You also need to let your guests know reception information. You can do this either on the wedding invitation or on a reception card. If you choose to order a reception card, it needs to include the time and place of the reception. If the reception is immediately following the ceremony, you can indicate this on the reception card.

No punctuation should be used except when phrases that require separation are in the same line. An example of this would be inserting appropriate commas into the date line. Also, it is appropriate to have punctuation after abbreviations, such as Mr. or Mrs.

Spell out all numbers and dates. This includes times and dates on the invitation and streets and cities on the return address on the invitation envelope. However, long numbers in a street address should be written in numerical form.

Include the year of the wedding. Traditionally, formal invitations did not include the year, but now it is considered correct to include the year. If you want to use a more formal language, spell out the year.

Use only R.s.v.p. or Regrets Only. Do not use both together.

If you are using a R.s.v.p. card, you need to include a date to R.s.v.p. by, a line for your guests to provide their name, and a line to indicate if the guest is unable to attend.

Check the spelling of wording in your invitations, especially of uncommon words, such as the name of the hall or street names.

Order extras. No matter how well you plan, you may need extra invitations or envelopes.

Plan ahead. It is not worth it to stress about putting together the invitations and addressing them. It is better to receive your invitations early than to receive them late. The rule of thumb is to start addressing your invitations no later than 2 months before the wedding, and mail them out six to eight weeks before your wedding day.

By following these simple guidelines, you are providing your guests with all the information that they will need to attend your wedding. You are also using language that will set the tone for your big day. The most important thing is to plan ahead and have fun with your invitations. They are a keepsake that you can cherish forever.