Wedding invitation wording: the ultimate guide

Your wedding stationery will set the tone of your wedding theme, colours and style so you will want your wedding invitation wording to be perfect. As your invitations (or save the dates) will be the first point of contact with guests, choosing the right wedding invitation wording can be really difficult. Whether you prefer traditional, more formal invitations or are looking for a friendly and carefree tone, there are some basic elements you’ll need to include. So, to make it simple, we have put together the ultimate guide to wedding invitation wording so that your invites will be spot on!

wedding invitation wording

How to structure your wedding invitations

Wedding planning can be overwhelming and it may seem like you need to tell your guests every detail before your big day. The beauty of wedding stationery is that it allows you to provide your guests with timely, relevant information in small chunks so that they come fully prepared. Our advice is to keep your wedding invitation wording short, simple and precise. Remember to include the following:

  1. Who is hosting the wedding and inviting guests
  2. Name of the bride and groom
  3. Names of invited guests
  4. Date, time and location
  5. Any reception or dinner arrangements
  6. Dress code
  7. RSVP details (or separate RSVP card)

The hosts

Every wedding is different. Going down a more traditional route, your wedding invitations may name the bride’s parents as the hosts. This is a more typical structure and one which many couples still like to adopt in their invitations. However, more and more couples now host their own wedding or are simply moving away from the more traditional wedding order.

Bride’s parents:

Mr and Mrs Sansom request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter, Tiffany, to Mr Aaron Grey

Or

Together with their parents, Jackie and John request the pleasure of your company at their wedding ceremony

You may be hosting your wedding jointly, in which case, both couples’ parents will be named on the wedding invitations. Again, moving away from tradition, this structure is becoming commonplace as couples share their day with both families. If you choose this wording, put the bride’s parents second.

Joint hosting:

Mr and Mrs Frish and Mr and Mrs Wild request the honour of your company at the marriage of their daughter, Emilia, to Mr Harry Frish

Or

Mr and Mrs Dame and Mr and Mrs Singh are delighted to invite you to celebrate the marriage of their children, Caroline Dame to Sanjay Singh

If you wish to include a deceased parent as one of the hosts, a phrase you may like to include is:

Rose Lane, daughter of Mr Adam Lane and the late Mary Lane, and Greg Blithe, son of Mr and Mrs Blithe, request the pleasure of your company at their wedding

With modern wedding ceremonies, often married couples like to host themselves. This wording may also be appropriate if you are looking for a more informal tone on your wedding stationery. Inviting guests yourselves may provide a personal touch and this also works particularly well with a small guest list.

Couple hosting:

Greer and Thomas are delighted to invite you to celebrate their marriage

Or

Hattie and Ben request the pleasure of your company at their wedding day

And lastly, if a close friend, relative or stepparent is hosting, you can just substitute the appropriate wording into the examples above.

wedding invitation wording

Things to remember

Before you get into the details of writing your personalised wedding invitations, there are a few things to think about. Firstly, take a bit of time to look at the style of wedding stationery you have selected. Have you chosen a more modern, minimalist design, whimsical florals, bold prints? Whatever your selection, your wedding invitation wording should compliment the design. Stark invitations may look odd with several paragraphs of detailed wording. Equally, intricate, bold designs may have too much white space with single lines of text.

Secondly, take a few moments to reflect on what you would like the tone of your wedding day to be. If you make your wedding invitation wording very formal, guests will infer that your wedding day will be more structured. This may not be the impression you would like to give off. What is the feel of your wedding venue, floral arrangements and wedding service? Let this tone inform how you approach your stationery wording so that both go hand in hand.

The invitation line

One of the most important lines you will write during your wedding planning, the invitation line is the one piece of wording you will want to get right! There are so many different variations to choose from, each with its own tone and character. Getting this right is crucial for a perfect wedding invitation.

Along with your wedding invitation wording, the invitation line should sit as a welcoming and positive request. Some more formal examples include:

Request the pleasure of your company

Request the honour of your presence

Invite you to celebrate the marriage of

More informal invitation lines:

Would be delighted for you to join them at the marriage of

Would love for you to attend their special day

Invite you to celebrate with them as they tie the knot!

Date, time and location

Make sure your guests know exactly where and when your marriage is taking place. There is no need to include exact addresses, parking details or a breakdown of the service timings. You can use additional information cards and an order of service for this.

With more formalised invitations, write numbers and dates in full. With any wedding invitations, including the year is optional, but may read nicely on more formal stationery.

On Friday 20th July 2018 at three o’clock
Radley Park and Gardens, North Somerset, BS45 6JD

Or

Friday 20th July at 3pm
Radley Park, North Somerset, BS45 6JD

Reception or wedding breakfast/dinner arrangements

An extension of your special day is expected to allow guests a more informal setting to celebrate and congratulate the newly weds. Having a wedding breakfast, evening reception, dinner and cocktails or simply an evening meal will provide you with a relaxing time to enjoy your wedding and spend time with your closest family and friends.

Your wedding invitation wording should include a brief description of what this includes so your guests have a rough idea of what will happen on the day. Further details can be included on your additional information cards that are sent out alongside your wedding invitations.

Some simple text to include might be:

Followed by an evening reception

With dinner and dancing to follow

Champagne reception to follow

Join us afterwards for a marquee drinks reception

Dress code and further information

It is courtesy to inform your guests of any specific dress codes ahead of your special day so they can come prepared! If you are having an outdoor reception, perhaps comfortable shoes should be advised or black tie if you are having a formal celebration. If you are having an overseas or summer wedding, you may like to suggest summer suits and if your wedding day is smaller and more informal, you may indicate smart-casual wear is fine.

Some couples prefer to invite adults only and this can sometimes prove tricky to put this into a polite phrase. You may have an extremely large extended family or a very formal celebration but, either way, it’s important to get this wording correct. To soften the impact, try to include a concise reason.

Regrettably, due to venue restrictions, we are unable to accomodate children on our special day

Or

In order to keep numbers to a minimum, we are sadly unable to extend our invitation to children

Or

We would be delighted if children were able to join us for our wedding ceremony, however, we are only able to accommodate children of close family at our evening reception

wedding invitation wording

RSVP

After the hard work of writing your wedding invitation wording, don’t forget to include RSVP details. As standard, wedding invitations are usually sent out around 8 weeks before your wedding to give your guests plenty of time to reply. Try not to leave this any later as you will need a final guest list if you are having on the day wedding stationery, such as place names and a seating plan.

Sometimes, it may be easier for couples to include a mobile number or email address to which guests can reply:

RSVP to 0777 555 6666

Or

Please RSVP to shelly@gmail.com

However, it is common to include a separate RSVP card along with your wedding invitation to make it easier for guests to respond (and to provide a physical reminder to respond). If you choose a separate RSVP card, you are also able to include a space for dietary requirements, number of guests and a pre-printed return address so that nothing gets lost in the post!

Another benefit of including a separate RSVP card is that you can easily keep a record of which guests have responded instead of sorting through hundreds of emails. You can then organise the RSVP cards into groups or even lay them out in your table plan order.

Wedding invitation wording: complete!

By following our simple guide, you should now have everything you need to know about writing the perfect wedding invitations. No matter the style or tone you choose, your wedding invitations will be a true reflection of you as a couple and should perfectly compliment your special day. Once you have written your invitations, all that’s left to do is gather the RSVPs and create your final guest list.