Wedding Invitation Wording Etiquette

After the wedding date has been set and the invitation list has been drawn up, the next tedious job for a couple is choosing the appropriate wording for their invitation.

Paying for the Nuptials

Wedding invitations are sent out to guests to not only announce a couple’s wedding, but to let everyone know whom is hosting the wedding. Parents, friends, and even couples themselves are known to host weddings.

When it comes to the invitation wording, therefore, today’s couples are going for words that slightly deviated from those we’ve come to know. You will find that the words are more tailor-made to suit 21-century lifestyle changes. The information regarding the bride and groom, as well as the location and date of their wedding and reception, however, are still included.

Extenuating Circumstances

A couple can be knee-deep in complications while trying to address the parents that may be divorced and bitter with each other, and those who are widowed and/ or remarried. And, there is another set of rules when it comes to creating invitations for parents who have titles like Doctor, Judge or Major etc. to their names. The omission of their professional titles may very well bruise a few egos. If the parents of the couples don’t get along very well, the title inclusion may be deemed as trying to belittle the other parent’s who may lead very simple professional lives.

Honoring Family Members

So how does one handle such a dilemma? The solution is less confusing than you think. It all boils down to choosing your words carefully and stating the obvious without stepping on any toes. The most important factor is honoring each member of the family with your invitation wording.

As traditional wedding invitation wording would have it, the parents of the bride or groom would request the honor of the guest’s presence at the marriage of their daughter or son to their partners. But, in this day and age where divorces and remarriages are prevalent, one needs to select the appropriate wording.

For instance, if the groom’s mother has remarried, the invitation should refer to her by her new last name or Mr. and Mrs. Smith, for example. And, where you would usually put "at the marriage of their son," it should be replaced with "her son."

Some may find difficulty in addressing the invitation if their parents are either divorced or never got married in the first place. With these types of invitations, it is best to acknowledge the name of each parent by their first and last name. Example: Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. John Slow request the presence…etc."

For the deceased parent, his or her name should also be included as a form of respect with the words "the late" in front of it.

If two sisters or brothers plan a double ceremony, it would be only fitting for the eldest sibling’s name to go first.

Thankfully, the Internet offers numerous web sites that tell you exactly how to word your invitation to suit a specific situation. Card manufacturers also have copywriters that can assist you with the right things to say when you are at a complete loss.


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