Proper Wedding Invitation Wording

wedding invitation wording

Invitation via Oh So Beautiful Paper

If you come from a divorced family, wedding invitation wording can become a pretty tedious process. Even if you’re not in a blended family, it can be nerve-racking trying to make sure you get your wedding invitation wording “just right” without managing to piss off a family member. Between knowing what to capitalize, who’s paying for what and when they should be included, or whether or not you want more traditional or casual wording, wedding invitations require more than a few minutes of your time. Use this handy list to help you figure out the wedding invitation wording you’ll need on yours.

Looking for more examples? We have wedding invitation wording for even trickier situations. PLUS: Try our new wedding invitation wording generator to help you find your PERFECT wording.

The Who/What

Bride’s parents are hosting in a religious venue:

Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas Jacoby
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine
to
Michael Gavin Jones

Bride’s parents are hosting in a non-religious venue:

Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas Jacoby
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine
to
Michael Gavin Jones

*NOTE: Even though the bride’s parents are hosting, I think it’s nice to add in the groom’s parents names as well.

Here’s how you would do that:

Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas Jacoby
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine
to
Michael Gavin Jones
son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Phillip Jones

Groom’s parents are hosting in a non-religious venue:

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Phillip Jones
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
to their son
Michael Gavin Jones

Both parents host in a religious venue:

Mr. and Mrs. David Jacoby
and
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jones
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of
Michelle Katherine
to
Michael Gavin Jones

NOTE: The bride’s parents come first

Couple hosting in a religious venue:

The honour of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
and
Michael Gavin Jones

Couple hosting in a non-religious venue:

Together with their parents
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
and Michael Gavin Jones
request the pleasure of your company
at the celebration of their marriage

Couple hosting, simple:

Michelle Jacoby and Michael Jones
invite you to celebrate their marriage

Everyone hosts in a non-religious venue:

Ms. Michelle Katherine Jacoby
and
Mr. Michael Gavin Jones
together with their parents
Mr. and Mrs. David Jacoby
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jones
request the pleasure of your company
at their wedding

If you or your groom have divorced parents, remember these rules:

  • Names are listed on separate lines without an “and” between them
  • Mom always comes first.
  • If the bride’s mother is not remarried, use “Ms.” followed by her first name and the last name she is currently using (maiden or still her married name)
  • Traditionally, even if the bride’s parents are remarried, you only list the parents names on the invite (though I think that’s outdated!). Here’s an example:

Ms. Susan Smith
Mr. David Jacoby
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
to
Michael Gavin Jones

However, obviously if you’re just as close to your step-parent as you are your biological parent, you won’t want to leave them out! If the brides’ parents are divorced and remarried, you would include the mother and step-father first, then the father and step-mother second:

Mr. and Mrs. John Hamilton
Mr. and Mrs. David Jacoby
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
to
Michael Gavin Jones

NOTE: In this instance you include the bride’s last name since it’s not obvious what it might be after her parents’ divorce

If you want to include the groom’s divorced parents on the invite, and the father is remarried but the mother is not (but still has her married name) it would look like this:

Ms. Susan Smith
Mr. David Jacoby
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
to
Michael Gavin Jones
son of
Ms. Shirley Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jones

If a widowed parent is hosting:

Mrs. David Jacoby
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Michelle Katherine

If a living parent has remarried, a nice way to include a deceased parent would be:

Mr. and Mrs. William Rafferty
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of her daughter
Michelle Katherine Jacoby
daughter of the late Mr. David Jacoby
to Michael Gavin Jones

More tips for the Who/What:

  • No abbreviations should be used. (The only exceptions are Mrs., Mr., and Ms.) Spell out formal titles such as Doctor, Reverend, Captain.
  • “Request the honour of your presence” is traditionally only used if the ceremony is taking place in a house of worship. Otherwise you should use “Ppleasure of your company.”
  • Formal tradition says the word honor has a “u” in it, as is the traditional British spelling. However, if you want to make it more casual, nobody will care if you omit it.
  • Only use bride’s first and middle name. The only exception is when brides’ last name is different than parents, or when it is unclear which name she uses, in the case of divorced parents.
  • Jewish faith calls for an “and” instead of “to” between the bride and groom’s names.
  • “Mr.” is formally used for the groom, but it is not necessary and can be omitted if you’re going more casual.
  • Same is true for using your parents’ middle names. Technically if you are using your own middles names, you are supposed to use your parents’ as well. But in the effort of saving space you do not have to. Either use the full middle name or none at all (no initials).

The When/Where

Saturday, the eighteenth of June
two thousand and eleven
at half after seven o’clock
The Wedding Room
5434 Wedding Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland
Dinner and dancing to follow

NOTE: The spacing depends on your invitation design. It’s expected that you’ll put spaces between several of the elements (such as the location, dinner/dancing parts, etc.)

If your ceremony is held one place and your reception at another, you should consider using a reception card so your wedding invitation doesn’t get too wordy. However, if you would like to have all the information on the invite, you can do this:

Saturday, the eighteenth of June
two thousand and eleven
at half after seven o’clock
Temple Beth Am
Miami
and afterward at the reception
The Wedding Room

More tips for the When/Where:

For a formal invitation…

  • You can include “on” before the date, but it is not necessary. (IE: On Saturday, the eighteenth of June.)
  • Do not use abbreviations for anything. (IE: Spell out the year completely, as well as the State.)
  • Spell out numbers, except in the address.
  • For the numbers 21 through 29 and 31, use a hyphen to connect the two words. For example, the number 28 would be written as “twenty-eighth.”
  • You do not need to clarify “afternoon” or “evening” unless the wedding is at 8, 9, or 10 o’clock.
  • Do not use “a.m. or p.m.” as they are abbreviations.
  • Use “half after” not “past” for the time.
  • No punctuation is used, except when separating two phrases on the same line (such as “Saturday, the sixteenth of October) or for listing City/State
  • Only capitalize proper nouns, a new thought (such as Dinner and dancing), or words that are normally capitalized (such as a State).
  • Zip codes are not included.

Bringing it all together

Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas Jacoby
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Michelle Katherine
to
Michael Gavin Jones
son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Phillip Jones
Saturday, the eighteenth of June
two thousand and eleven
at half after seven o’clock

The Wedding Room
5434 Wedding Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

Dinner and dancing to follow

31 Comments

  • Hi David!

    Tradition calls for invitations to say marriage instead of wedding, so marriage is in fact correct.

  • david says:

    You really shouldn’t say something like, “invite you to our marriage.” You should say, “invite you to our wedding.”

  • Kristyn says:

    Here’s another sticky situation – my daughter is getting married later this year, I am remarried, she is close to her stepfather, and we are hosting the entire shower/wedding/other festivities. She recently started having a relationship with her biological father (he’s been in/out, mostly out of her life for the last 23 years). However he isn’t contributing to the wedding, quite frankly I’m not even sure if he will show up at the wedding…. how does that wording look?? On the grooms side, his dad is remarried only a short time and his mother is deceased. Do we list them as Mr. & Mrs. Jack Black and son of the late Mrs. Jack Black? I’m so confused. Maybe “Together with their families…” is a lot less complicated.

  • Megan says:

    So.. I am remarrying but I still go by my ex-husbands’s last name because it is the same as my son’s; how on earth do I address the invitation, if my Fiance and I are hosting it. What I mean is should I use my ex-husband’s or should I use my maiden name

  • NM says:

    There’s a situation that never seems to be addressed on ANY site or book: The parents of the bride are married, hosting the wedding, BUT the mother of the bride has always used her own name, never using her husband’s name for anything, ever. How would a non-religious wedding invitation be worded in this case?

  • Missy says:

    Hi!

    I am getting married and wondering how to word my invites. Both of my parents have passed and my aunt and uncle are helming with the financial aspect but I don’t really want their names on the invites, we have had a complicated relationship. My fiancés parents are alive and also helping. How should I go about wording this?

    Thanks so much!

  • Hi! If the groom is a II or III, you would say John Doe II on one line. I hope that helps!

  • Brandi says:

    How do we word the groom’s name if he is for example John Doe the second?

  • Sarah says:

    My parents are contributing to the wedding but my fiance and I are paying for the majority of the wedding ourselves. My fiances parents are not contributing at all. How would I word the invitation?

  • Dani says:

    Howdy! My Fiance and I have a 2yr old daughter together, by the time we get married she will be 3. I would like to know how to word an invitation (we are hosting and it is a religious venue) we would like to include her in our invite and everything I found for including children is for blended families or 2nd marriages.

  • Erin says:

    I am LDS and the marriage ceremony is not something that many people are typically invited to. How would you word the “pleasure of your company” line in that situation, because it IS in a religious setting, but the “invitation” functions more as an announcement that invites you to the reception in our culture. If you are being invited to the ceremony, that’s generally included on a separate insert. I’m a stickler for etiquette, so I’d love to know what to do in this case!

  • De says:

    If the mother of the bride is remarried but the bride does not want the step father on the invitation how do I get around that problem.

  • Angie says:

    How would it be worded if the only the bride’s parents and couple are paying?

  • Linda says:

    I don’t understand the bride using just her first and middle name. The invitation reads Together with their parents, Jane Marie and Michael John Smith request the pleasure of you presence, blah, blah, blah. No where is her parent’s surname mentioned and I feel she should use it in her name. When did this all change?

  • Hi Lori!

    Thanks for writing in! The invitation wording would be the same regardless of the same name. I hope that helps!

  • Lori says:

    Any advice on wedding invitation wording when both the bride and the groom share the same last name? The parent of the bride have the same last name as well and will be the hosts of the wedding …… We haven’t had the invites printed yet, so any advice would be grately appreciated!

  • D says:

    Yup! Unfortunately some do not do their research! Just got blindsided today with sons invitation.

    Mr & Mrs her parents
    Mr & Mrs my sons dad and the stepmonster
    Me and my husband.

    NOT COOL! Especially when the step monster is not well liked by either of my sons!

  • Jaclyn—I made a new post discussing a few more options if this helps as well!

    http://www.womangettingmarried.com/wedding-invitation-wording-for-complicated-situations/

  • Hi Jaclyn,

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    There are a couple of options you could go with, depending on which route you feel the most comfortable. Keep in mind that deceased parents are not traditionally included on a wedding invitation, but rather in your wedding announcement as well as your wedding program, where you could opt to include a tribute note. However, I say forget tradition and do what you want to do! I can completely understand wanting to include all names in some shape or form.

    Option 1: So this is the easiest, and would allow you to include your family (which includes your step-mom) on the invitation without getting specific.

    Together with their families
    Jane Mary Doe
    &
    John Michael Smith
    joyfully request the pleasure of your company
    at their wedding celebration
    Saturday, the twentieth of June
    two thousand and fifteen
    at half-past six o’clock
    The Gramercy Hotel
    New York, NY

    Option 2: If your mom is sending out the invitation (aka throwing the wedding reception) you could say…

    Ms. Lydia Doe
    requests the pleasure of your company at the marriage of her daughter
    Jane Mary Doe
    daughter of the late Mr. William Doe and his wife, Cynthia
    to
    John Michael Smith

    Option 3: If your mother and step-mother are contributing or just as another way to include them all…

    The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of
    Jane Mary Doe
    daughter of Ms. Lydia Doe and the late Mr. William Doe and his wife, Cynthia
    to
    John Michael Smith

    Option 4: If all parents are contributing, I haven’t seen this done before but I feel like it properly works everybody in there!

    Ms. Lydia Doe along with
    Mrs. Cynthia Doe, wife of the late Mr. William Doe and
    Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Smith
    request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their children
    Jane Mary Doe
    to
    John Michael Smith

    *not that “honour of your presence” is only used for a wedding in a house of worship. Otherwise I would say “request the pleasure of your company.”

    Do you feel comfortable with any of those options?

  • Jaclyn says:

    My father remarried and my stepmother and I are close. My father is now deceased. My mother will be attending the wedding but has never remarried. How do we include all of our parents on the invitation?

  • Woman Getting Married says:

    That’s a great point! It might be because typically the groom’s parents are left out of the invite altogether, which I don’t personally agree with, but it seems to be the norm. In the situation you’re speaking of, a good way to do it would be:

    Mr. and Mrs. David Jacoby
    request the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of their daughter
    Michelle Katherine Jacoby
    to
    Michael Gavin Jones
    son of
    Ms. Shirley Jones

    if it’s a single mom of the bride and she is hosting, it would be:

    Ms. Susan Smith
    requests the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of her daughter
    Michelle Katherine

  • Meg says:

    This is an excellent summary. I’ve many similar reviews and have found it interesting that not a single one of them ever addressed the situation of: groom’ mom never married, groom does not know his father. Maybe grooms like that are never expected to grow up and have fancy weddings? 🙂 Just a funny thing. We are hosting the wedding so kept it to our names only, but I’m sure there’s a lot of single-parent brides & grooms in similar situations.

  • Woman Getting Married says:

    Haha thanks! I was like, “I’m going to make a short post today, I’m tired.” Then it turned into a 5-hour long research quest. The whole invitation wording thing is way overly complicated.

  • Jennifer says:

    Jesus Christ, this is complicated. Kudos to you for researching all of this!

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