Your Guide to Proper Wedding Invitation Wording

wedding invitation wording

You would think your wedding invitation wording would be simple. After all, you just need to tell guests the who, what, where, and when of your event (they already know the why…to get married!). But, it can be a bit trickier than that.

Wedding invitations have long followed formal rules of etiquette, especially around who’s actually hosting the event and how they’re listed on your invite. They type of wedding you’re having can also come into play. For instance, if you’re getting married in a religious venue the wedding invitation wording will be slightly different than if you’re getting married in a secular location. There’s also rules around capitalization and where to place information on dress codes, which even some wedding professionals tend to get wrong! So, we’re here to set the record straight and make sure you have the proper wedding invitation wording for your wedding day! You can use the invitation wording examples below to help with your own.

WGM Says: Want us to do the work for you? Just enter your details into our wedding invitation wording generator and the tool will do the rest!

The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation

A traditional wedding invitation has 6 components (sometimes 7). They are:

  1. Host Line
  2. Request Line
  3. Names of Couple
  4. Date & Time
  5. Location
  6. Reception Info
  7. (optional) Dress Code
wedding invitation structure

Below, we’ll break down the various options you’ll have for each section, and how they might differ based on the type of wedding you’re having and who is hosting.

1. The Host Line

The “host” is considered anyone who is contributing financially to the event. That means whether it’s the groom’s parents who are hosting, or the bride’s aunt and uncle, they would be listed first. If the couple is hosting, there are special rules for that, below.

Wedding invitation wording when 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

*NOTE: This spelling of “honour” is preferred for religious venues.

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

Wedding invitation wording when 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

Even if one set of parents are hosting, I think it’s nice to add in the other parents’ names as well. Here is some example wording you can use:

Including another partner’s parents:

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

Both parents hosting 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 their children
Michelle Katherine
and
Michael Gavin Jones

NOTE: The parents who are hosting the wedding would 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

Simple wedding invitation wording when a couple is hosting:

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 partner 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, it was only the parents names listed on the invite, however I think this is super 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

Again, that rule feels really old to me, and unless you have zero relationship with your step-parent you should absolutely include them!

If the brides’ parents are divorced and remarried, you would include the mother and step-father first, then the father and step-mother second:

Doctor 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

Wedding invitation wording when 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

WGM Says: Looking for more examples? We have wedding invitation wording for complicated situations, such as a deceased parent, or if your parents are not involved.

More Tips for the Host Line:

  • No abbreviations should be used. (The only exceptions are Mrs., Mr., and Ms.) Spell out formal titles such as Doctor, Reverend, Captain.
  • 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).

2. The Request Line

“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 “Pleasure of your company.”

Formal wedding invitation wording says the word honour 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. Feel free to use “honor of your presence” instead.

If you’re having a Catholic wedding with a full mass, you can add the following wedding invitation wording:

Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas Jacoby
request the honour of your presence
at the nuptial mass uniting their daughter

Michelle Katherine Jacoby
to
Michael Gavin Jones
in the sacrament of holy matrimony

3. Names of Couple

For different-sex couples, the bride’s name comes first regardless of who is hosting the wedding. For same-sex couples, you can choose to list names in alphabetical order, or in any order you prefer.

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. IE: Michelle Katherine Jacoby and Michael Gavin Jones
“Mr.” is formally used for the groom, but it is not necessary and can be omitted if you’re going more casual. Alternatively, you would also want to use “and” if both parents are hosting or the couple is hosting. If one set of parents are hosting, it would be “to” (for non-Jewish weddings).

4. Date & Time

The most import thing to remember when it comes to the date & time is that for traditional wedding invitations, everything is spelled out. That means there’s no “2024” or “5 pm.” It’s “two thousand twenty-four” and “five o’clock.”

With that said you can choose to be more modern for any part of the invites, including the date. If you’re having a laid-back wedding and aren’t a stickler for the “rules,” nobody is going to call the invitation police!

More Date & Time tips:

You can include “on” before the date, but it is not necessary. (IE: On Saturday, the eighteenth of June.)

  • There is no “and” in the year (IE: it is just two thousand twenty-four)
  • 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-eight.”
  • 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 on a wedding invitation, except when separating two phrases on the same line (such as “Saturday, the sixteenth of October) and for City, State
  • Only capitalize proper nouns, a new thought (such as “Dinner and dancing”), and words that are normally capitalized (such as a the city and state, day of the week, and month). Times are not capitalized.

Traditional Examples for the Date & Time

Saturday, the eighteenth of June
two thousand twenty-four
at half after seven o’clock

5. Location

You have two options when it comes to the location on your wedding invites. Formal wedding invitation etiquette states that you should only include the name of your location along with the city and state (and not the full street address). This was the rule for all wedding invites unless they were being held at a private residence. However, in the past 15+ years it’s become more common to include the full address of your venue on the invitation itself, except for a very formal wedding invitation.

My opinion is that if you’re using a separate insert card for the reception, you don’t have to include the full address on the invite for the ceremony or reception. If you’re having the wedding ceremony and reception at the same location and not using a separate card, I would include the full address on the invite just because. Otherwise it’s completely up to you.

More Location Tips:

  • All numbers are spelled out on an invites EXCEPT for those in an address.
  • Do not use abbreviations for anything, including the State.
  • Do not include the zip code

Examples for the Location:

Option 1:


The Wedding Room
5434 Wedding Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland


Dinner and dancing to follow

Option 2:

The Wedding Room
Baltimore, Maryland

Dinner an dancing to follow

6. Reception Info

If your ceremony is at one place and your reception at a different location you would ideally use 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 twenty-four
at half after seven o’clock

Temple Beth Am
Miami, Florida

and afterward at the reception
The Wedding Room
5434 Wedding Avenue

7. Dress Code

Traditional etiquette states that a dress code should only included if you are having very specific attire (such as Black Tie or White Tie). However, more couples are choosing to include it to make it clear to guests. If you do include attire information, it should go in the bottom right of your wedding invitation. We explain the most common wedding dress codes here.

Wedding Invitation Wording: Bringing it All Together

Now that you know the basic structure for your wedding invitation wording, here’s an example of how it would all work 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 twenty-four
at half after seven o’clock

The Wedding Room
5434 Wedding Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

Dinner and dancing to follow

Wedding Invitation Wording FAQ

How do you word your wedding invitation when you don’t want your guests to invite children?

There should be no mention of WHO is invited on your invitation itself. Instead, this would be clear to the guest based on how your wedding invitations are addressed. This is also a great piece of information to include in your wedding website FAQ.

Where do you put your wedding website on the invitation?

The ideal location for your wedding website url and password (if using) would be on a separate insert. Alternatively, you can put the url on the back of your invitation.

What should NEVER go on a wedding invitation?

Registry information should not be included anywhere in your wedding invitation wording. Instead, this should only be present on your wedding website.

What is an example of informal wedding invitation wording?

If you’re having a casual wedding, feel free to play around with different formats! While you’ll still want to make sure you have the basic elements of the invitation listed above, you can add in a fun opening statement and be more casual with the date, time, and location rules (like using p.m. instead of o’clock!). For instance, a more casual wedding invitation could read:

Happily ever after starts…now!

Join Tom and Shelly along with their families as they tie the knot and get merry-ed
Saturday, June 12, 2024 at 7 pm sharp

The Whistle Pig
1234 Rocks Road
Newport, RI

Vows will be followed by food, drinks, and lots of 80s dance moves.

Follow us on Pinterest for wedding invitation inspiration!


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

27 Comments

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: KJM

    Help! We have biological mom and stepfather who are not contributing ( the stepmom and dad) have raised the daughter. Grooms parents are contributing and the biological mom has resurfaced and wants to be acknowledged. How do we address this situation????

  2. says: Stephanie

    I have a difficult situation, My (bride) parents are divorced and my father is remarried. My fiance parents are both deceased. How do I word that?

  3. says: Sammy

    Hi, very helpful article! How would you word the invitation if the bride’s parents and couple are paying, not the groom’s parents?

  4. says: david

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

  5. says: Kristyn

    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.

  6. says: Megan

    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

  7. says: NM

    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?

  8. says: Missy

    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!

  9. says: Sarah

    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?

  10. says: Dani

    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.

  11. says: Erin

    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!

  12. says: De

    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.

  13. says: Linda

    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?

  14. says: Lori

    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!

  15. says: D

    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!

  16. 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?

  17. says: Jaclyn

    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?

  18. says: Woman Getting Married

    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

  19. says: Meg

    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.

  20. says: Woman Getting Married

    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.