The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Invitation Wording

Whether you're going traditional, it's a second marriage or you want to include your children, we explain the perfect wedding invite wording

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The hard work's not over once you've chosen your wedding invites from hundreds of beautiful designs. Then comes the tricky task of your wedding invitation wording.

Whether you're going classical or creative with your invites, the right wording on them will depend on everything from if you’re naming parents on the invitation, if you’ve been married before or if it’s an evening or full-day invitation.

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: PaperGrace

However, there are some basic rules you need to follow that mean your guests will get all the information they need and you'll have gorgeous invites that represent you and your day.

Here is our ultimate guide to wedding invitation wording to make sure you address them correctly.

Key Information To Include In Your Wedding Invites

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Catalena Stationery

It may seem simple enough, but it's actually quite easy to miss out some vital piece of information on your wedding invites. You don't want to embarrass your guests because you forgot to put down a dress code!

READ MORE: What To Write In A Wedding Card

Here's what to include in your wedding invitations:

  • Who's hosting the wedding
  • The request to come to the wedding
  • The names of the couple
  • The location of the wedding
  • The date and time
  • Reception information
  • Dress code
  • RSVP details

Traditional Church Wedding Invitation Wording

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Lola's Papiere

A traditional wedding invitation would typically come from the parents of the bride, as tradition dictates that they host the day and foot the bill. It would also usually refer to a church wedding ceremony, but as more and more couples choose to have a civil ceremony at the same venue as their reception, we’ve created examples to suit both scenarios. As the bride’s parents would be hosting, the RSVPs would go back to them.

READ MORE: 10 Gorgeous Ways to DIY Your Invites

The text for a traditional wedding invitation to a church wedding ceremony, followed by the reception should read as follows:

Mr & Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane
to
Mr Edward Jones

at St Andrew's Church, Oxford, Oxfordshire
on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm

and afterwards at
The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr & Mrs John Smith
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

Traditional Civil Ceremony Wedding Invitation Wording

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: The Paper Design Studio

You may have chosen to eschew the religious wedding ceremony, but still go down the traditional path of having the bride’s parents host the wedding.

You only need to list one venue on the invitation as the ceremony and reception will be in one place, but it’s best to include ‘followed by a reception’ so the guest knows they’ll be welcome at the ceremony as well as the celebrations after.

READ MORE: Beautiful Marble Wedding Invitation Designs

The wedding invite wording should read as follows:

Mr & Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane
to
Mr Edward Jones

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire
on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr & Mrs John Smith
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX1BH

Wedding Invitation Wording with the Couple as Hosts

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Catalena Stationery

If your parents haven’t chipped in for the wedding, or you just feel like you’d like the invitations to come directly from you, then you don’t need to include their names on your wedding invitations. You can simply put yourself down as hosts – just tweak the text accordingly following the above examples to reflect whether you’re having a church or civil ceremony.

READ MORE: 29 Pretty Floral Wedding Stationery Designs

Miss Jane Smith and Mr Edward Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at their marriage 
at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Miss J. Smith and Mr E. Jones
32 Elm Road
Oxford
OX 1RJ

Wedding Invitation Wording with Divorced and Remarried Parents

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Project Pretty

It can be tricky to know how to word your wedding invitations if your parents are divorced or have remarried. If they are divorced but neither of them have remarried (or just the father has), you would use both full names, like the example below:

Mr John Smith & Mrs Beth Smith
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane
to
Mr Edward Jones 
at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mrs Beth Smith
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

READ MORE: Glorious Gatsby-Worthy 1920s Invite Designs

If your parents have divorced and remarried but are still hosting the wedding together, you would name them separately and use your mother’s new married name, like so:

Mr John Smith & Mrs Beth Howard
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane
to
Mr Edward Jones 
at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mrs Beth Howard
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

Wedding Invitation Wording With Step-Parents

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Project Pretty

If your parents split up a long time ago and they have since remarried or met a new partner and your step-parent is a part of hosting the wedding instead of one of your biological parents, there are a couple of ways around this in your wedding invitation wording.

READ MORE: 9 Ways To Save Money On Your Invites

You would use their separate names if they’re not married but if they are your wording should look something like this (the use of his and her is interchangeable depending on whether it’s your father or mother hosting.)

Mr & Mrs Paul Howard
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of her daughter
Jane Smith
to
Mr Edward Jones 
at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr & Mrs Paul Howard
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

Wedding Invitation Wording with Widowed Parents

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Heronswood Stationery

Addressing a wedding invitation from a widowed parent can be sensitive. It is traditional to just use the name of the parent who is requesting the company of the guest, if they are hosting alone or haven’t remarried.

READ MORE: 15 Seaside Stationery Designs

If they’ve remarried and you’re happy to have both names on your invitations, you’re best to follow the format above. If it is from the father and he has not remarried, you’d just use his name. If it’s the mother that is the surviving parent, and she has not remarried, you’d use her married title like in the example below:

Mrs Beth Smith
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of her daughter
Jane
to
Mr Edward Jones 
at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mrs Beth Smith
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

Wedding Invitation Wording with Both Families Included

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Studio Sophie

Perhaps both sets of parents have helped contribute towards the wedding, or you would just like to reference both sets of families on your wedding invitations. This is an increasingly popular way to word your wedding invitations, and you can use the names of both sets of parents.

Mr and Mrs John Smith
&
Mr and Mrs James Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of their children
Jane Marie
to
Edward  James
at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr & Mrs John Smith
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

READ MORE: 43 Unique Save The Date Ideas

If you feel like having both sets of parents’ names on there is a bit clunky, you can word it slightly more informally. 'Together with their parents'  works well if both sets of parents are still together, but if one party is widowed or there are any remarriages involved, 'Together with their families' is a nice option that acknowledges everyone.

Together with their families
Miss Jane Smith

Mr Edward Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at their marriage 

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr E. Jones & Miss J. Smith
32 Elm Road
Oxford
OX 1RJ

Wedding Invitation Wording for a Same-Sex Marriage

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Dearly Beloved

The rules are almost exactly the same for same-sex couples, the only difference is which name goes first. Traditionally the name of the bride comes at the top as her parents pay for the wedding, but if there are two brides or two grooms then this rule doesn't directly apply. If one set of parents are paying for the wedding then etiquette dictates their names will go first, but otherwise it is your choice how you list your names. Alphabetically might solve any potential issues!

Together with their parents
Mr Jack Andrews

Mr Edward Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at their marriage 

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr J. Andrews & Mr E. Jones
32 Elm Road
Oxford
OX 1RJ

Wedding Invitation Wording for a Second Marriage

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Here Comes The Bride

For those planning a second marriage, it’s likely that you’ll be at a different stage in your life and might have quite a different style of wedding in mind.

READ MORE: 13 Printable Wedding Designs

If your parents aren’t being included on the invitations and you still have your surname from your previous marriage, you might choose to leave off your title (or refer to yourself as ‘Ms’). If the bride doesn’t have a title on the invitation, the groom shouldn’t either:

Jane Marie Carter

Edward James Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at their marriage 

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr E. Jones & Ms J. Carter
32 Elm Road
Oxford
OX 1RJ

Invitation Wording with Children as Hosts

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Paper And Inc

This is a cute idea if you and your partner have children together already, or have children from previous relationships that you want to include on your wedding invitations. Here’s how to word your invitation if the children are from your relationship:

Jennifer and Jacob Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at their marriage of their parents
Miss Jane Smith
to
Mr Edward Jones

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr E. Jones & Miss J. Smith
32 Elm Road
Oxford
OX 1RJ

READ MORE: Wedding Stamps To Personalise Your Big Day

If the children are from a previous relationship they should be listed in age order from oldest to youngest, with the bride’s children appearing first.

We love this as an option if you want to present your new family unit:

Jennifer Carter
Jacob Carter
Michael Jones
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at the marriage of their parents
Jane Carter
&
Edward Jones

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 1:30pm
followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr E. Jones & Ms J. Carter
32 Elm Road
Oxford
OX 1RJ

Wedding Invitation Wording for an Evening Invite Only

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Something Kinda Cute

Sometimes there just isn’t enough room on the guest list to invite everyone to the day. If you need to invite someone to the evening reception only, make sure you word it clearly so your guests aren’t confused. Here’s a traditionally worded wedding evening invitation to inspire you.

READ MORE: How To Cut Down Your Guest List and Stay Friends

Mr & Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of
Guest's Name
at a reception to celebrate the marriage of their daughter
Jane
to
Mr Edward Jones

at The Queen's Head Hotel, Oxford, Oxfordshire

on Saturday 15th September 2017
at 7:30pm

R.S.V.P by 30th June to
Mr & Mrs John Smith
48 Pine Road
Oxford
OX 1BH

Wedding Invitation Wording When Children Aren’t Invited

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Love Invited

READ MORE: The Pros and Cons of a Child-Free Wedding

For couples who want an adult-only celebration, it is worth specifying this on your invitations as some people may assume their children are invited, even if they haven’t been named. You can politely point out your choice on your invitation like so:

Unfortunately, children are not invited – we hope you understand
We have chosen to have a child-free wedding. We hope you are still able to celebrate with us
Our wedding will be a child-free occasion – we hope you can still come and enjoy a night off

Once you’ve decided how to word your wedding invitations, don’t miss our round up of the best alternative wedding invitation ideas – your guests will love them!



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