Wedding Invitation Wording for Complicated Situations

Figuring out wedding invitation wording–especially in situations involving divorce or death–can be extremely confusing. At a time when emotions are running high and you’re trying your best to not only include those you love in your big day, but deal with the financial awkwardness that can sometimes arise when figuring out who is hosting what, the last thing you want to do is have to worry about whether or not your wedding invitation wording is wrong.

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While there are some very general yet still confusing rules for wedding invitation wording (click the link to read all about them), there are times when some very unique situations can throw even the most skilled etiquette experts for a loop. I’ve outlined a few of those tricky wedding invitation wording issues, below, which will hopefully help shed some light on different options you have for various setups. One thing I will say is that even though wedding invitation wording can feel like a math equation with some basic rules you should definitely try to follow, there are some situations (like the reader submitted question at the end of this piece) that call for intuition vs. tradition. At the end of the day YOU and your groom and your families should feel comfortable with what is written, and nobody else. If something sounds off to you even though some experts say it’s “right,” don’t follow it. Trust your instincts and go with the wedding invitation wording that feels good. That’s the bottom line.

Do you have a hard-to-figure out situation that you need wedding invitation wording for? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll try our best to help! In the meantime, here are a few example of potentially tricky situations, and some options for how to word them.

Looking for more wedding invitation info? Find out how much wedding invitations cost here as well as other practical wedding invitation advice.

Situation: The hosting parents are divorced and not remarried, and the mother kept her married name

Ms. Lydia Doe
Mr. William Doe
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Mary Doe
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

Situation: The hosting parents are divorced and both are remarried.

(Note that the mother still comes first in all divorced situations).

Mr. and Mrs. Casey Jones
Mr. and Mrs. William Doe
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Mary
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

Situation: Both sets of parents are hosting

Mr. and Mrs. William Doe and
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their children
Jane Mary Doe
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

Situation: A living parent is hosting

If the father of the bride is hosting…

Mr. William Doe
requests the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of his daughter
Jane Mary
daughter of the late Mrs. Lydia Doe
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

If the mother of the groom is hosting along with the bride’s parents…

Mr. and Mrs. William Doe
together with
Mrs. Margaret Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding of their children
Jane Mary Doe
to
John Michael Smith
son of the late Mr. Adam Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

Situation: Both parents are deceased

If the bride’s parents are deceased…

The pleasure of your company is requested
at the marriage of
Jane Mary Doe
daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Doe
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

If the groom’s parents are deceased…

Mr. and Mrs. William Doe
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Mary
to
John Michael Smith
son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

Situation: This was recently submitted as a comment from a user. The bride’s father remarried and is now deceased, however the bride is close with her stepmother. The bride’s mother never remarried.

If you want to include everybody regardless of who is contributing, one option would be…

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

If the bride’s mother is hosting…

Ms. Lydia Doe
requests the pleasure of your company at the marriage of her daughter
Jane Mary
daughter of the late Mr. William Doe and his wife, Cynthia
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

If both the bride’s mother and step-mother are contributing (or as another way to include everybody)…

Ms. Lydia Doe
together with
Mrs. Cynthia Doe
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding of their daughter
Jane Mary Doe
to
John Michael Smith
son of the late Mr. William Doe
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

OR

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
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

If all parents are contributing, this is an unique option but I think it can work…

Ms. Lydia Doe along with
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith and
Mrs. Cynthia Doe, wife of the late Mr. William Doe
request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their children
Jane Mary Doe
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY

OR

Ms. Lydia Doe
Mrs. Cynthia Doe and
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Smith
request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their children
Jane Mary Doe
daughter of the late Mr. William Doe
to
John Michael Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and fifteen
at half-past six o’clock
The Gramercy Hotel
New York, NY


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  1. says: M nelson

    How can you word a wedding program to include your fathers name even though he has dropped out of your life will not be able to attend due to addiction problems. You still want to be able to say

    Mother of the Bride. Xxxxxxxx
    Father of the Bride. Xxxxxxxxx
    Do you Have to say unable to attend. Would rather not say that
    Thanks I hope you can help

  2. says: Cindy

    No one has answered this question, so please help!
    The parents of the bride (us) along with the couple are hosting.
    (The mother of the groom is not.)
    How should this be worded?

  3. says: Susan Gionta

    My friend is a widow and paying for her daughter’s wedding. The groom’s family is not
    contributing to the wedding. On the invitation when she mentions the groom as son of,
    his mom is now remarried due to her first husband passing away. How do you word his mother and stepfather.

  4. says: Rachel

    I’m having a religious ceremony and my divorced parents are contributing. Neither of my parents are remarried, but my dad’s fiance is contributing a lot, and I really want to include her. People I’ve asked have told me that including her will “break my mother’s heart.” There’s a lot of ill will between them currently (legal action taken against each other) so it’s pretty sticky. I’m gonna end up breaking my future step-mom’s heart if I don’t. Please help. Here’s my best guess

    Ms. Mom Doe
    Dr. Dad Doe and Ms. Fiance Smith
    request the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of their daughter
    Rachel Middle
    to
    Jacob Middle Last

    (maybe I should take out “their daughter”? – I’ve been told “She’s not my mom.”)

  5. says: Carol

    Wording assistance needed..
    Both parents of the bride & groom along with the bride’s uncle (my brother) is contributing to their wedding. (the uncle is contributing a substantial amount of money)
    I want to include him at the top of the invitation.
    What is the proper way for this to be done.
    Thanks,
    Carol

  6. says: Fay Khan

    What if no one is contributing… my fiancé and I are paying the whole thing by ourselves ..

  7. says: Shannon

    Hello, have seen this situation asked but I can’t seem to find the replies. How do you word the invitation when the bride’s parents and the couple are hosting the wedding, not the groom’s parents? Also the brides parents are married but the mother kept her maiden name.

    Thanks, Shannon

  8. says: JoAnn

    Please help with wording when mother and her husband are hosting and brides father is deceased

  9. says: Alice

    We are the parents of the groom . The bride’s parents are making the wedding. They have chosen invitations and they’re asking how I would like my name worded. My husband and I are divorced and I am remarried, but it was never taken well with my son. of course my husband will say Mr. his last name and for me should can it say Mrs. with my name and maiden name, I do not really want it saying Ms. And I do not want it saying Mrs. with my present husband‘s last name . Please advise ASAP

  10. says: VS

    Planning a luncheon (at home) for our son and daughter-in-law, in lieu of a reception 14 months after the wedding. This is an opportunity to host our daughter-in-law’s family from out of state. Wedding took place in bride’s hometown. It will be a low key celebration. Need help with wording!

  11. says: Linda

    Suggestions please. My daughters wedding invitations are all printed with both of our names on them, and her father, my ex husband, just passed away. Do we get new invitations and take his name off, or do we keep it on and add a little insert. What do we do?

  12. says: ann

    my parents, my fiances mom, and my fiancé and i are all splitting the wedding. my finances parents are divorced and both remarried, but his father passed away. i want my late father in law and step mother in law (?) to both be on the invitation. I was thinking together with their families and list everyone. but i don’t know how to write my finances family. please help!

  13. says: Katie

    What about one parents side and the couple splitting the cost? The other parents aren’t paying for anything.

  14. says: Ashlee

    We have a situation in which we want to include all parents. The bride’s parents are still happily married however the groom’s parents are divorced. Groom’s mom is remarried and her and stepdad are big contributors. Grooms dad is not remarried but has been with his significant other for 12 years and is a step mom without technically being one. Grooms dad and “stepmom” aren’t contributing much but we still want them losted on the invitations. Help

  15. says: Lynn WHite

    My exhusband told our daughter that he couldn’t contribute funds for any portion of the wedding. My current husband has been closer to and more of a father to her. He and I are hosting the wedding, covering the expenses. How do we word the invitations, without stepping on toes? , The first thing out of her father’s mouth were not that is wonderful, when he learned of the engagement…but “I can’t help with the expenses.” Plus, my husband helped raise my daughter since she was 16. How do we handle the invitation?

  16. says: Paula

    My exhusband told our daughter that he couldn’t contribute funds for any portion of the wedding. My current husband has been closer to and more of a father to her. He and I are hosting the wedding, covering the expenses. How do we word the invitations, without stepping on toes? I don’t feel my ex and his wife should be included on the invitations, since they have made it clear they can’t or wont help.The first thing out of her father’s mouth were not that is wonderful, when he learned of the engagement…but “I can’t help with the expenses.” This is the same man who would not take a call from her fiancee when he called to ask for her hand. Plus, my husband helped raise my daughter and she wants him to give her away. How do we handle the invitation?

  17. says: Linda Garofalo

    Brides parents are paying for wedding. Grooms parents are divorced both remarried and groom is close with both step-parents.

  18. says: stacey williams

    what wording do you use if the father and step mother are the main contributors but the mother and her husband will be attending but have only contributed the cost of the dress. I know the mother is the traditionally the first name in the case of divorced parents but in this case could the father’s name be first?

  19. says: Sarah

    Having a private ceremony with immediate family and a reception including all friends and family a week later. Both parents are contributing. It will be a low key celebration. Need help with wording!

  20. says: Jessica

    My fiancee has divorced parents, only his father is remarried. My father is deceased and my mother is remarried but does not share my step-father’s last name. I’m leaning more towards our names and “Together with their families”, is this okay?

  21. says: Desperate for help

    My fiancé and I are paying for approximately 1/3 of the wedding and reception. My mother and step-father are paying for almost all of the rest. However, my Dad and step-mother did contribute a small amount- about ($600.00) for the wedding/ reception but haven’t had any other input. How would I address the issue of whose name to put on the host line because we are all paying? My Mom really wants to be named and I’m leaning more to just saying “together with their families” or something and not specifically naming anyone; but she’s already had one tantrum and I don’t want to deal with another.

  22. says: MARSHA YOUNG

    Looking for wording on having the daughter and son announcing the marriage of their dad and new step-mom. My future daughter-in-law asked for my help. I believe her parents names will be on there and ours will also be on the invitation. She thought it would be cute to have the kids announce it. The kids are 7 and 4.The picture on it is the bride and groom and the kids. Looking for any help that you can give. Thank you.

  23. says: CC

    My fiance and I have an issue with our invitation wording: My parents are paying for the wedding. His parents are not happy with being listed as “son of xxxx”. They want to be included at the top because they think they should be “shown” as “hosting” the guests they have invited. Is there any alternative wording you would suggest for this situation that can help in this situation?

  24. says: Donella Staaan

    What wording do you use if the Father and Step mother are the main contributors but the Mother and her husband will be attending but haven’t help contribute except for $500.00. I know the Mothers name is the traditionally the first name in the case of divorced parents but in this case could the father name be first?

  25. says: Jennifer

    My fiance and I have a conundrum on our invitation wording. Both our parents are contributing significantly to our wedding and we would like to acknowledge them both. Here’s where it becomes complicated, the grooms mother is deceased and the father remarried, the step-mom has been very generous, but has a very complicated relationship with the groom’s sister. How do we acknowledge the families, while still being sensitive to the memory of the groom’s mother?