by Linda DiProperzio
From showcasing your theme and color palette to giving family and friends clear direction on what they need to know before they arrive, your wedding invitation is the first glimpse guests will get of your wedding day. While you might be focused on the design and size, don’t overlook the importance of the wording on your invite. It will have all of the information your guests need, and the wording should also give family and friends the overall style of the big day. Will it be formal event in a hotel ballroom or a more casual affair in your backyard? Are your parents involved in the planning or is the happy couple calling all the shots? Not sure where to start? Here is a primer on coming up with the perfect wording for your wedding invitation.
What to include on your wedding invitation
Your wedding invitation will give your guests all of the information they need to prepare for your big event. Most couples opt for an invitation suite, which would include the main invitation, RSVP card (either a postcard or accompanied with a stamped envelope) and any other important info you want to include. The main invitation should include this basic information:
The Couple’s Names
People will want to know who they happy couple is.
The Host's Names
If the couple’s parents are paying for any or all of the wedding, their names should be included on the invitation.
Guests will need to know the date, time and location for the wedding.
Date, time and location of the wedding reception. If the ceremony and reception are in the same location, you can simply put “Reception to follow” or “Celebration to follow” on the invite. If the party is in a separate location from the ceremony, are you providing transportation? If so, what time will it be leaving and where can guests find it?
If you have a specific dress code that you want guests to adhere to, be sure to put it on the invitation. If any or all of the wedding is outdoors, you probably want to include that as well so family and friends can plan their ensembles accordingly. Some of the most common dress codes used at weddings include Casual Attire, Dressy Casual Attire, Semi Formal Attire, Black Tie Optional, Black Tie, or White Tie.
Wedding Website Link
If there is room on the invitation and it doesn’t interfere with the stationery’s design, then you can include the link to your wedding website where guests can find more information.
Whether you are allowing children or having an adults-only event, this info is also something that can be included near the bottom if room allows. If not, then you might want to include a separate insert card and put it on the wedding website.
If you want to keep your wedding invitation as “clean” as possible—or have a smaller paper size in mind—than you can include a separate card that includes a link to the wedding website, the dress code, your policy when it comes to inviting children, and your registry. FYI: It is a big etiquette no-no to put anything about gifts directly on your invitation. While it is easier to just direct everyone to the website, keep in mind that older guests (and those that are simply less tech savvy) might never actually use that link, so including it with your invitation suite can’t hurt.
Simple reply cards would have guests respond “yes” or “no.” If you're offering a plated dinner, you can also include a place for them to check their entrée preference, as well as include any dietary restrictions.
Is there anything additional that your guests need to know about the venue? If you’re holding your wedding in a hotel, will you be reserving a block of rooms for guests? Are there any special activities or attractions nearby? You can include all of that on a separate insert.
Wedding Invitation Wording Examples
There are so many different ways to word your wedding invitation, and the direction you go in depends on the type of event you’re having and who has been involved in paying for it. Here are some examples to get you started.
The parents are paying for some or all of the wedding
Mr. & Mrs. Jack Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
to Matt Jones, son of Mr. & Mrs. Adam Jones
on the fifth of May, two thousand twenty-two
at one o'clock in the afternoon
Dinner & dancing to follow
Black tie optional
Jack & Jane Smith and Adam & Anna Jones invite you to celebrate with their children, Kate & David on their wedding day May 5, 2022 at 3pm Venue Name City, State Celebration to follow
If parents are divorced, not remarried and the woman kept her married name
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Garvin and Mr. James Lewis and Ms. Cynthia Lewis invite you to the wedding of their children Samantha and Anthony May 5, 2022 at 3pm Venue City, State Celebration to follow
If parents are divorced, not remarried and the woman went back to her maiden name
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Garvin and Mr. James Lewis and Ms. Cynthia Carter invite you to the wedding of their children Samantha and Anthony May 5, 2022 at 3pm Venue City, State Celebration to follow
If Parents are divorced and now married to other people
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Garvin and Mr. and Mrs. James Lewis and Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Jones invite you to the wedding of their children Samantha and Anthony May 5, 2022 at 3pm Venue City, State Celebration to follow
If couple is paying for the wedding
Together with their families Angela Rose Lake and Thomas Daniel Rogers Request the honor of your presence as they Tie the knot May Twelfth, Two Thousand Twenty-Two At two o'clock in the afternoon Venue City, State
For a casual event
We're getting married! Christopher & Sabrina Please join us 10.11.2022 at 5:30 p.m. Venue, City, State
Tips for your wedding invitation wording
Give guests the important info
Your family and friends will be referring to the wedding invitation for all of the crucial details they need to know for your special event. Don’t assume everyone will be checking the wedding website, so make sure it’s all included in your stationery suite.
Stick with your overall vibe
It doesn’t make sense to have ultra-formal wording if you’re having a super casual wedding. Really think about the theme and feel of your event when figuring out how to word your invite.
Consult your parents
If your parents’ names are going on the wedding invitation, be sure they’re comfortable with how their names are being presented, especially if one or both sets of parents are divorced.
We cannot stress this enough: Look over the invite several times before placing your final order. You do not want to have to deal with the added expense of reordering your wedding invitations because of an embarrassing typo.
Common spelling errors to look out for on wedding invitations
We get it, mistakes happen. But when it comes to your wedding invitation, that isn’t the first impression you want your guests to have. After you have designed your invite, proofread everything that is going into the guest envelope carefully—and then ask trusted members of your wedding party to also give everything a once-over. Here are some common mistakes you should be on the lookout for:
Common Grammar Mistakes
Your vs You’re (you are)
Their vs They’re (they are)
Common Spelling Errors
When to Send Out Wedding Invitations
The gold standard for sending out your wedding invitation is six to eight weeks before the event. However, if you’re having a destination wedding, send out your invites at least three months in advance to give guests time to make their travel arrangements.
If you're still trying to figure out your wedding's theme and style, browse through our wedding videos for some inspo!