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Wedding Invitation Wording

When I was creating my own wedding stationery, the first thing I did was head over to Google to see how other Winnipeg brides worded their wedding invitations. I thought, "Wouldn't it be easy if this was all in one place?" Now it is!


Most wedding invitations include at the very least these five items: the host line, the couple's names, the invitation line, the details, and the party line.

The most common mistake couples make happens when the invitation just doesn't read well. To avoid that pitfall, be sure to read the full thing out loud, just like your guest would when they receive it. The goal of the first three items is to create a full sentence, and then the last two items will be more like bullet-point details.

Consider the following invitation:

It reads out loud like this:

"Together with their families, Liliana and James request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their marriage.

- Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon

- The Gates on Roblin

- Headlingley, Manitoba

- Reception to follow"

That's invitation perfection!

1. Host Line

The host line typically comes first in your wedding invitations, but might come after your names as well, might be skipped altogether, or could be combined with your invitation line (see point #3).

Some examples include:

- "Together with their families" (standard)

- "Together with Linda + Thomas Robbins and Ally + Eric Bautista"

- "Linda + Thomas Robbins and Ally + Eric Bautista request the pleasure of your company at" (formal)

- "With Great Joy"

- "Join us for the wedding of" (host + invitation line together)

- "Linda + Thomas Robbins request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter" (most formal - this is a two parter, see point #3)

A couple things to note:

- The bride's mother and father should precede groom's mother and father

- Be sure that the host line matches the invitation line grammatically

There are so many combinations you could consider for the host line, but the things that will guide your decision are how formal or casual your wedding will be, and who you might like to honour on your invites (especially if one or both sets of parents are footing part of the bill).

You might be thinking, "What if our parental situation is more complicated than this?" which is a great question that I'll answer at the bottom of this article.

2. Names

You might be wondering if there are really different options to consider here, and the answer is: YES!

Some examples include:

- "Anna Evans and/+/to Derrick Schmidt" (standard)

- "Anna and/+/to Derrick"

- "Anna Marie and/+/to Derrick William"

- "Anna Marie Evans and/+/to Derrick William Schmidt III" (formal)

Some couples might consider adding "Miss" and "Mr" before their names, but it's not common practice - the goal of the wedding is to turn a Miss into a Mrs, after all.

3. Invitation Line

The invitation line is where the verb in your sentence comes into play. It's the action item and the whole reason the invite exists. Without it, your guests won't know if they're being invited to a wedding or a baby shower.

Most importantly, the invitation line must complete the sentence started by your host line, so not all of these will work with the host line you've chosen.

Some examples include:

- "invite you to celebrate their marriage" (standard)

- "request the honour of your presence at their wedding" (formal)

- "as they tie the knot" (informal)

- "as they exchange vows of marriage"

- "son of Ally + Eric Bautista" (most formal - see point #1)

4. Details

You've already answered two of the four Ws: Who and What. Now you'll answer the rest: When and Where.

Examples - When:

- "Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon"

- "Saturday, July the seventh, two thousand eighteen at three o'clock in the afternoon" (formal and fancy)

Examples - Where:

- "The Gates on Roblin, Headlingley, Manitoba"

- "Iberostar, Playa Mita, Mexico"

Other necessary details will fit into this section as well, such as shuttle bus information or destination wedding details.

5. Party Line

Almost all weddings will be followed by a reception, and though it's expected, you'll want to mention it so your guests know what to expect.

Some examples include:

- "Reception to follow" (standard)

- "Cocktails at 5 PM, Dinner at 6 PM"

- "Dinner and dancing to follow at 5:30 PM at the Victoria Inn, 1808 Wellington Ave" (if your reception is at a different place than your ceremony, you'll want to mention the time and place here)

- "Please join us for an intimate dinner following" (formal)


Q: We want to honour our families on our invitations, but our parental situation isn't as straightforward as "mother + father". What do we do?

A: In this situation, do whatever makes you most comfortable, but also consider your parents and step parents and what would make them happy. I would highly recommend running the invitation in front of all the people you mention before the final print so that there's no hard feelings once your invites are sent.

Blended families might be mentioned as a list at the top of the invitation:

"Linda + Thomas Robbins

Sarah + Harry Jenkins

Ally + Eric Bautista

and Mary Bautista

invite you to celebrate the wedding of"

Only you as a couple know the ins and outs of your situation, and only you can make the final call on your host line.

Deceased parents aren't typically mentioned as hosts on the invitations, but would be honoured on the wedding day during speeches, or mentioned at the foot of the invitation: "With loving memory of Anna's mother Erika Evans".

Free Table Numbers!

Print them at home. Numbers 1-25. 

$100 value.

Photo by Charmaine Mallari

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