A Guide to Formal Wedding Invitation Wording

When it comes to wedding invitations, you could go the more unique route (Monopoly, anyone?) or stick with e-vites. But if you’re having a more formal affair, you’ll definitely want to set the tone by having a more formal wedding invitation…which in most cases will require formal wedding invitation wording. But what exactly should you say? If you’re still trying to figure out what to put for the Who, What, When, and Where, these example scenarios for formal wedding invitation wording should help get you started.

Is your family situation a bit trickier? Check out these wedding invitation wording examples for complicated situations.

PLUS: Try our new wedding invitation wording generator to help you find your PERFECT wording.

If the bride’s parents are hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Jill Marie


Mr. Samuel Brown

Saturday, the twenty-first of May

two thousand sixteen

at half after three o’clock

St. Dennis Catholic Church

Madison, Wisconsin

and afterward at the reception

Bishops Bay Country Club

123 Bishops Bay Drive

If the bride’s parents, who are divorced and remarried, are hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Sarah Jones


Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Carpenter

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Sarah Elizabeth Carpenter


Doctor Christopher Jon Fitzgerald

Saturday, the twenty-first of March

two thousand sixteen

at six o’clock in the evening

The Church of the Little Flower

Miami, Florida

If both the bride and groom’s parents are hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Underwood


Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Wyatt

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of

Carol Ann Underwood


Daniel Peter Wyatt

Saturday, the twenty-fifth of August

two thousand sixteen

at four o’clock

St. Luke’s Episcopalian Church

New Orleans, Louisiana

If the bride and groom are hosting:

Miss Elise Jane Dearborn


Mr. Robert Harold Bahr

request the honour of your presence

at their marriage

Saturday, the eighth of July

two thousand sixteen

at half after four o’clock

First Congregational Church

Los Angeles, California

If a different family member hosts:

Mr. Levi James Evans

requests the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of his sister

Rebecca Grace


Mr. Holden Randolph Clark

Saturday, the seventh of May

two thousand sixteen

at one o’clock in the afternoon

Sacred Heart Church

Columbia, Missouri

  • You’ll notice that with formal wedding invitations, the year is spelled out, but not capitalized. States are spelled out as well, not abbreviated, as are titles like “Doctor” or “Captain”.
  • Make sure not to mention anything about gifts or attire on the invitation. That’s what wedding websites are for. If you don’t have a wedding website, the mother of the bride can spread the word about where the couple is registered and what type of attire is appropriate.
  • If you’re having a formal religious ceremony, there are more options for wording. A Catholic Mass can include an invitation for “your participation in the offering of a Nuptial Mass.” Wedding invitation wording for Jewish weddings will typically say “and” between the bride and groom’s name instead of “to”. The phrase “request the honour of your presence” is typically saved for religious ceremonies and shouldn’t be used for secular celebrations.
  • “Honour” and “Honor” are both correct, though most prefer the former.
  • You may designate the time of day (such as “in the morning” or “in the afternoon” or “in the evening”) if you prefer, though it is not necessary.
  • Information for the reception can either be directly on the wedding invitation or on a separate reception card, depending on how much paper you want to use. Any information about RSVPing (like the date they’ll need to RSVP by) can be directly on the RSVP card.
  • How to address formal wedding invitations can get tricky as well—check out our guide here for tips.

Sending formal wedding invitations doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these basic tips, your invitations will easily set the mood for your big day.

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized. If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! All opinions are our own.

Listen to the Woman Getting Married Podcast

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. says: Crystina

    Please brides that read this, NEVER use an “e-vite” to invite guests to one of the most important days of your life! Aside from it being really tacky and not a great way to get your guests excited to travel to your wedding – not everyone will receive them, they are very unreliable and inaccurate! No matter how casual, send out a proper invitation.