How To Word A Wedding Invitation

Deciding on how to word your Wedding Invitations can be quite a daunting task what with all the rules for tradition and etiquette.

But my simple guide below will help you choose the best style of wording for your Wedding Invitations…

How to Word Your Wedding Invitation

First thing’s First…

First of all you will need to decide whether you want to go for Formal or Informal Invitation wording…

But let the style of your day dictate this!

You might want to go for formal if you are getting married in a Church followed by a Black Tie Reception in a Hotel Ballroom…

And you might want to go informal if you are getting married in a Registry Office followed by a Casual Dinner Reception in a nearby restaurant…


The Rules

  • Wedding Invitations are traditionally written in third person
  • All words are spelt out. Abbreviations should not be used for times, dates and locations i.e ‘2pm’ should be ‘two o’clock’ and ‘Rd should be ‘Road’. The two exceptions to this rule in an address are ‘Saint (St.)’ and ‘Mount (Mt.)’
  • In names use Roman Numerals i.e ‘Richard II’, rather than ‘Richard the Second’ or ‘Richard 2nd’
  • Full stops and commas should be omitted except for ‘Jr.’, ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ or where a break is required on a single line i.e ‘on Saturday, the 7th of June’ and in addresses
  • Numbers are spelt out as words i.e ‘1’ becomes ‘One’ unless the number has more than two digits
  • Only start with a capital letter if it is at the beginning of a new sentence – not at the start of a new line.
  • Proper Nouns aside, only the day of the week and month should be capitalised, the year should not be
  • Typically the first letter of the reception line is capitalised, however, traditionally it is not.


What to Include…

There are 7 key elements that should be included in a Wedding Invitation…

  1. The hosts’ names
  2. The request
  3. The Bride and Grooms’ names
  4. Date and time of the ceremony
  5. The ceremony venue name and town
  6. The reception venue name and town {if different from the ceremony}
  7. RSVP information.

A typical Wedding Invitation may also include formal wording such as:

  • A finish time i.e ‘Carriages at midnight’
  • A dress code. i.e ‘Black Tie’

1. How to Write the Hosts Names

  • Include the most senior host’s name first
  • Use the full names of those hosting
  • Use the host’s formal titles such as Doctor or Professor
  • The full title should be written out and not abbreviated i.e. Doctor not Dr. or Reverend not Rev. or Captain not Capt.

2. How to Write the Request

  • ‘the honour of your presence’ if the ceremony is a Religious one, or
  • ‘the pleasure of your company’ or “cordially invites you to attend” if the ceremony is a Civil one

3. How to Write the Bride’s Name

  • Regardless of who is hosting the Bride’s name is always be written before the Groom’s name
  • The Bride’s name traditionally includes her first and middle names but not her title
  • The Bride’s surname is not included if either or both of her parents are hosting
  • The Bride’s surname is often included if the Bride and Groom are hosting; if they are hosting with their families or if the Groom’s parents are hosting.

4. How to Write the Groom’s Name

  • The Groom’s name traditionally includes his title, first name, middle name and surname
  • However if the Bride and Groom are hosting or hosting with their families the Groom’s title is not included.

5. How to Write the  Date and Times

Writing the date I often consider what looks best on the overall formality of the wording, layout of the chosen invite and the font used. It is more common to write ‘Saturday, 27th June 2016. However, longhand dates often look nice i.e ‘Saturday the Twenty-Seventh of June, Two Thousand and Sixteen’.

Times should be written in the clearest way possible to avoid any ambiguity i.e ‘3.15 p.m.’,  ‘3 o’clock’ or ’12 Noon’ and half hours should be written as ‘half after three o’clock’ not ‘half past 3’ or ‘three thirty’ {but I prefer the latter}.

6. How to Write Ceremony Details

Typically the street address is not needed unless omitting it would lead to confusion, or your Wedding is taking place at the host’s home. The City and County are written out in full.

7. How to Write Reception Details

Very formal Invitations include this information on a separate card. Otherwise, it can be printed on the Invitation if there is room; if the ceremony and reception will take place at the same location, you may print “and afterward at the reception” or “reception immediately following.” When the reception is elsewhere, the location goes on a different line. Include the time if not immediately following the ceremony.

8. How to Write RSVP Details

If you require a response and you are not including a RSVP Card to be completed by your guests you will need to a RSVP section on your Invitation, which is typically found at the bottom left of the Invitation.

If you need to specify a RSVP this can be written in the short form to ensure it isn’t confused with the Wedding date.

Note that RSVP is short for ‘réspondez s’il vous plaît’ which is French for “please reply” therefore writing “Please RSVP” is essentially stating “please” twice.


But to be perfectly honest, now that you know ‘the rules’ go with whatever style of wording that sits right with you and the overall tone for your Wedding day… just remember to put clarity and simplicity first!

Love, Leonie xx


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