How to Word Your Invitations for Every Type of Wedding
Your invitation suite is your guests' first introduction to your wedding day. These invites do a lot more than convey the who, what, when, and where of your upcoming nuptials—they're also a chance to show off your wedding style, long before the big day arrives. This means that that your paper goods should match the vibe of your wedding—that starts, first, with finding a suite that fits the bill, and second, with appropriately wording the details.
Think about it this way—it doesn't make much sense to invite guests to your black-tie fête with a super-casual, conversationally-worded invite. If you're confused as to which paper goods and wording elements best fit your own nuptials—there are so many ways to say "You're invited!"—we're here to help. Whether you're throwing a casual, colorful party or a traditional, religious affair, we've proffered up our expertise on how to perfectly word your invitations. We've even included a perfectly-suited invite that encapsulates the overall vibe of your wedding.
You'll have to click through to discover the specifics, but the overall message is simple: go for appropriate. Don't feel the need to use super-formal language if your nuptials' vibe is more dinner party than wedding reception. And if you're throwing a celebration that errs towards the casual side, feel free to let your personality shine through—you're inviting your family and friends (who know you best!), after all!
Though framed in chic, modern design, this invite is classic at heart. (Maybe a bit like you?) It begins with standard host and request lines, introducing the couple. If your parents are divorced, list their names on separate lines. If remarried, the spouse can be named as well.
Then, move on to the request line. The phrase "The pleasure of your company" doesn't just have a nice ring—it also indicates a nonreligious venue. (The term honor/honour is reserved for religious spaces.) When you get to the RSVP card, make sure it matches the invitation's tone. Consider the optional British spelling of "favour"; this is often considered more formal.
Pancake & Franks "Rosemoon" Wedding Collection Invite and RSVP with Envelopes, from $890 for 100, pancakeandfranks.com
This enchanting set follows conventional etiquette to a T, complete with classic script. This is the model to follow if one set of parents is hosting the day, starting with a joyful ceremony in your family church, temple, or other place of worship.
Here's what you need to know about wording: Titles get their own line. If one parent has a professional title, it should be spelled out and can be listed first. When it comes time for the request line, go for formal. For a sacred space, a request line conventionally asks for the "honour" of your presence. As for names? The bride's name is brief. The traditional approach is to list her first and middle name, while including the full name of her fiancé.
When writing out the venue, it's appropriate to omit the street address, as long as the location won't be confusing. City and state (like everything else) are spelled out fully. For the RSVP section, convey that a personal response is desired. The RSVP address is at the bottom left corner. Guests use their own stationery to reply.
Kleinfeld Paper "Unconditionally" Wedding Invitation Suite, price upon request, kleinfeldpaper.com
This elegant design takes minimal to the max with pared-down wording that leaves room for a nature-inspired design to come to life. The flexible structure of the suite allows for the expected who, what, where, and when—but skips unnecessary info. The host lines, for example. If both sets of parents are playing this role, the first and last names of each couple are included.
With more casual wording, middle names are often omitted. (Same goes for the bride and groom.) For the request line, take a modern, all-inclusive approach by inviting guests to "share in their joy"—a warm welcome that suits an event with dual sets of hosts. Additionally, feel free to use digits—semiformal rules mean you don't need to fully spell out numbers. Timing and details are also simplified. A general statement of dinner and dancing to follow is plenty. The website card directs guests online for any other necessary information.
Rachel Marvin Creative "Brenna" Invitation suite, price upon request, rachelmarvincreative.com
Casual and Colorful
Some couples are less worried about traditional etiquette and more concerned with throwing a fabulous party. A lively suite like this confetti-inspired one can cue that right up (particularly when guests see the post-wedding brunch invite!). Keep the casual vibes coming by skirting the whole "who's paying" question. Maybe others are pitching in, or maybe you're funding your wedding alone. In any case, a "together with their families" host line is useful for honoring parents. (Vague wording can also ease a delicate stepparent situation.)
Also, feel free to break with traditional etiquette. Conversational wording is fine for an informal request line (and throughout the suite), so have fun with it! Lastly, abbreviate away. Dates and details can be indicated with numerals and abbreviations, such as "P.M." instead of "o'clock."
Jill Means "Modern Fun" Wedding Invitation Suite, from $234 for 100 invites, minted.com
Keeping your ceremony super-simple? Your invitations should reflect the laid-back nature of the festivities. This trifold all-in-one suite features informal wording that resembles an invite to a dinner party with close friends—which is exactly what this post-nuptials party will be.
Set the laid-back tone by using full, conversational sentences to communicate the date, time, and location. A simple reply line hints that it'll be a tight-knit crew, and friends already have your contact info—and your sign-off can be extra-sweet. This goes with the chatty vibe of the suite. Note that this is also the only place where the couples' names (first only) are listed.
Paper & Type "Statement Flowers" Suite, price upon request, paperandtype.com