Header image showing a wedding invitation

What to write on wedding invitations

Because weddings have so much ceremony and etiquette involved, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed, and get wrapped up in the smallest of details – like what to write on wedding invitations. Will you mortally offend your guests if you put the bride and groom’s names in the wrong order? What if you use the wrong RSVP etiquette? What is the right wording if your parents are divorced? What about the dress code!? Arrgh!

Don’t worry – thortful is here to save you time and stress with our guide to wedding invitation wording. And if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with everything wedding-related, make sure you check out our essential wedding planning checklist to help you keep everything under control!

What to write on wedding invitations

The most important part of your wedding invitation wording is making sure you’ve included all of the details. You can be as formal or as non-traditional as you like – whatever works for your wedding! The only thing that really matters is making sure the people you invite know that a) you’re getting married and b) where and when they need to be to see that actually happen.

This is the information you really need to nail your wedding invitation wording:

Who’s hosting the wedding

This is a little less common now, but traditionally this meant the bride’s parents, if they were paying for the ceremony. If your parents are contributing financially to the wedding, tradition dictates that they should be the ones who do the inviting. If you want traditional wedding invitation wording, both of you could add both of your parents’ names, but couples can feel free to skip this bit. Alternatively, if you already have children, it’s a fun way to include them to say that they’re hosting the wedding!

The couple’s names

Traditionally (there’s that word again) the bride’s name goes before the groom’s – but it’s really up to you, and if you’re a same-gender couple then just arrange your names to whatever sounds best to you!

Where the wedding’s being held

This is the ­really important bit, if you want people to actually attend your ceremony! You can list the entire address, but if you’re short on space on your invites feel free to just include the essentials and let your guests Google the rest.  

Date and time

The other really important bit. You can write the date and time out however works for your invitations – if you’re going for a formal feel and you’ve got plenty of space, feel free to write it out long-form (One o’clock in the afternoon, on the thirteenth of June, Two Thousand and Twenty Three), but most couples opt to keep it simple (1pm, June 13th, 2023).

Where the reception’s being held

Let everyone know where the reception will be, and when it will run to. If the reception is being held separately from the ceremony, people might need to plan transport and travel.

Dress code

Traditional wedding etiquette (yes, there it is again!) says that the dress code should go on the lower right-hand side of your wedding invitations, but pick whatever works with your chosen design. You only really need to include a dress code note if you want people dressing a specific way – so let people know to expect a formal, black-tie event, or if you want people to dress casual and comfortable, or ask people to wear bright colours for a fun and colourful wedding.

How to RSVP

Let people know how to RSVP, where to send them, and when the RSVPs need to be returned by – whether you want them to send an RSVP card or log the information on a wedding website.

Don’t mention gifts

When your big day arrives, each and every guest will hand over sentimental wedding gifts (or money) for you and your partner to cherish forever. But mentioning gifts on your invite is a big no-no. Remember, wording for wedding invitations needs to be simplistic, unexpectant and relaxed; you don’t want to scare your guests off or put any pressure on them. So, if you’re wondering how to word wedding invitations in relation to gifting, we’d recommend adding a creative poem, stating that the only gift you require is your invitee’s presence!

Example wedding invitation wording

Still feeling stuck on what to write on wedding invitations? While there are tons of templates and examples of wedding invites online for you to take inspiration from, we’ve rounded up examples of excellent wedding invitation wording. Depending on the kind of ceremony you’re having, you might want a different feel, so here are some options:

Formal, from the Bride’s parents

For traditional wedding invitation wording, this is pretty much the set formula. The bride’s parents invite the guests, and the wording of ‘request the honour of your presence’ is about as traditional as it gets.

“(Mother of the Bride’s name) & (Father of the Bride’s name)

request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their beloved daughter

(Bride’s full name) and (Groom’s full name)

(location)

(date and time)”

Formal invite from both families

If you think the bride’s parents being responsible for the whole thing feels a bit old-fashioned, you might want to invite people from both of your families. This one can get a teensy bit more complicated if your parents are divorced, or if you have a parent who is deceased, but if you’re having a traditional service or want to make your big day a family-first affair, then this is a good way to make sure everyone feels involved.

“(Bride’s name), daughter of (Mother of the Bride’s name) & (Father of the Bride’s name)

and

(Groom’s name), son of (Mother of the Groom’s name) & (Father of the Groom’s name)

request the honour of your presence at their wedding

(location)

(date and time)”

Formal invitation from the bride’s parents, with step-parents

Lots of families are more complicated – but it might still be important to you to reflect your family in your wedding invites. If you want to include step-parents, and (for example) the mother of the bride, the bride’s stepfather and her natural father are all contributing, the invites might look like this:

“(Mother of the Bride’s name) & (Stepfather’s name)

(Father of the Bride’s name)

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of

(Bride’s full name) and (Groom’s full name)

(location)

(date and time)”

Inclusive invite from both families

If your family tree is a bit complicated – for example, if you have multiple sets of parents, divorced parents, and multiple step-parents – then the invite might start to get a little cramped at the top. Instead, lots of couples opt for inclusive and charming wording, such as:

“Together with their parents,

(Bride’s full name) and (Groom’s full name)

request the honour of your presence at their marriage

(location)

(date and time)”

From the couple

If you’re paying for your own wedding – or, frankly, if you just want to keep things simple – send your invites from the two of you.

“(Bride/Groom’s full name) and (Bride/Groom’s full name)

invite you to share in their love as they exchange vows

(location)

(date and time)”

For a destination wedding

Whisking your loved ones away to sunnier climates? Make sure your wedding invitation wording makes it clear that you’re heading somewhere more far-flung, and if the celebration will run over a couple of days, make sure the information is included on the invites so people can start planning.

“(Bride/Groom’s full name) and (Bride/Groom’s full name)

invite you to beautiful (location) to share in their wedding celebration.

(location)

(date and duration of the wedding)”

 

Invitation to the reception only

Just inviting someone to the evening event? This simple and sweet wedding invite wording is the perfect way to invite someone along.

“(Bride/Groom’s full name) and (Bride/Groom’s full name)

Invite you for dinner and dancing at their wedding reception

(location)

(date and time)

Bring your dancing shoes!”

Start planning

Hopefully, all of these examples of wedding invitation wording will make it easy to write your own wedding invitation perfectly. If you’re looking for special wedding invitation cards for treasured friends and family, check out our wedding cards for some creative ideas.

And for more wedding ideas, check out our oh-so-helpful wedding guides, such as cheap and thoughtful wedding favours that won’t break the bank, most popular first dance songs, and your complete guide to choosing wedding flowers. And for when your guest’s RSVP, direct them to our handy blog to help them with what to wear to a wedding. Believe us, they’ll be forever thankful!

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