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

Your invites need to communicate the vital details of your day as well as give a sense of your theme and relationship. Formal or informal, evening-only or full-day, parents hosting or just you two – whatever your wedding, we’ve got the invitation wording templates to help you get it right.

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!

Here’s what to include in your wedding invitations:

  • Who’s hosting the wedding (AKA paying for it: you or your parents?)
  • The request to come to the wedding
  • The names of the couple (traditionally bride’s name first, then groom’s; either way round for a same-sex couple but alphabetical may be best)
  • The location of the ceremony (no need for full postcodes these days with Google if you have the venue name and city)
  • The date and time (if it’s an evening-only invitation, make this very clear)
  • Reception information (is it the same or different to the ceremony location? What time will it start and finish?)
  • Dress code
  • RSVP details (both how to RSVP and the deadline – usually 4 weeks before the wedding)
  • Wedding website address (optional)
  • Gift list details (optional)
Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Rose, Paper, Scissors

To help you set the right tone for your day, we’ve made templates of the correct wedding invitation wording for every possible scenario. Some are traditional, some are modern, and all can be adapted to fit with your day:

1. Traditional Church Wedding Invitation Wording

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.

On a traditional wedding invite, you’ll start with details of the church wedding ceremony followed by the reception details. While “request the pleasure of [guest]” is typical wording, you may choose to handwrite the name of the guest at the top and print a non-personalised set of invites. This wording would be “[bride’s parents] invite you to celebrate the marriage of…”

As the bride’s parents would be hosting, the RSVPs would go back to them and you’d add a separate RSVP card.

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 name/your company]
at the marriage of their daughter
Jessica
to
Mr Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

and afterwards at
[reception]

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parent’s address]

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Made by Wood & Wood

2. Civil Ceremony Wedding Invitation Wording

Many couples now have a civil ceremony at the same venue as their reception. You only need to list one venue on the invitation, 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.

If the bride’s parents are hosting, just use their names, otherwise you may choose to name both sets of parents.

A formal civil ceremony wedding invitation should read:

Mr & Mrs John Smith
and Mr & Mrs Alan Jones
request the pleasure of
[guest name/your company]
at the marriage of their children
Jessica and Edward

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parents’ address]

An informal civil ceremony wedding invitation should read:

Together with their parents,
[couple]
invite you to celebrate their wedding!

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parents’ address]

3. Wedding Invitation Wording with the Couple as Hosts

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.

Usually an invite from the couple is more informal and might look like:

Jessica and Edward are getting hitched!

[location]
[date]
[time]
followed by drinking and dancing

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple’s address]

Other wording might include:

  • Join us to celebrate our wedding
  • [Couple] invite you to join them as they say “I do!”
  • Please join [couple] as we tie the knot!
  • [Couple] invite you to share in our joy as we get married
  • A very simple ‘The wedding of [couple]’, followed by location, time and date details
wedding-invitation-wording-6

Image: Project Pretty

4. Divorced and Remarried Parents Wedding Invitation Wording

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 have kept the same surname, you would use both parents’ full names on the invite:

Mr John Smith & Mrs Beth Smith
request the pleasure of
[guest name/your company]
at the marriage of their daughter
Jessica
to
Mr Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parent’s address]

If your parents have 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 name/your company]
at the marriage of their daughter
Jessica
to
Mr Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parent’s address]

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Fox & Ivy Paper Co.

5. Step-Parents Wedding Invitation Wording

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.

You would use their separate names if they’re not married but, if the invitation is coming from your parent and step-parent, the 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 name/your company]
at the marriage of her daughter
Jessica Smith
to
Mr Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parent’s address]

If both parents and respective step-parents are hosting, it’s always best to start with ‘Together with their families’.

6. Widowed Parents Wedding Invitation Wording

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.

If they’ve remarried and you’re happy to have both names on your invitations, you’re best to follow the step-parent 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.

Below is an example of wedding invitation wording from a widowed parent:

Mrs Beth Smith
request the pleasure of
[guest name/your company]
at the marriage of her daughter
Jessica Smith
to
Mr Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parent’s address]

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Big Day Bespoke

7. Both Families Wedding Invitation Wording

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.

For formal invitations from both sets of parents, you would use both their names:

Mr and Mrs John Smith
&
Mr and Mrs James Jones
invite you to celebrate the marriage of their children
Jessica and Edward

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parents’ address]

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.

Here’s an example of an informal invitation from both sets of parents:

Together with their families,
Jessica Smith
&
Edward Jones
invite you to join them as they say “I do!”

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple/parents’ address]

8. Same-Sex Wedding Invitation Wording

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!

A same-sex wedding invitation should read:

Together with their parents,
Edward Jones
&
Jack Andrew
request the pleasure of your company
at their wedding

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple/parents’ address]

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Rose, Paper, Scissors

9. Second Marriage Wedding Invitation Wording

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. Almost always the invite will just come from the couple as hosts.

If 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.

An informal second wedding invitation might look like:

Jessica Carter
&
Edward Jones
invite you to celebrate their union

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple‘s address]

10. Wedding Invitation Wording with Your Children as Hosts

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
invite you to join them
for the marriage of their parents
Jessica Smith
&
Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple‘s address]

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 (in age order only for a same-sex marriage).

We love this as invite wording for a blended family, if you want to present your new family unit:

Jennifer Carter
Jacob Carter
& Michael Jones
request the pleasure of
[guest name/your company]
at the marriage of their parents
Jessica Carter
&
Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple‘s address]

Wedding Invitation Wording

Image: Rodo Creative

11. Evening-Only Wedding Invitation Wording

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:

Mr & Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of
[guest name/your company]
at a reception to celebrate the marriage of their daughter
Jessica
to
Mr Edward Jones

[location]
[date]
[time e.g. 7pm]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [parents‘ address]

An informal evening-only invite would look like:

Jessica and Edward
invite you to an evening of drinks and dancing
to celebrate their wedding!

[location]
[date]
[time e.g. 7pm]

followed by a reception

R.S.V.P by 30th June to [couple’s address]

12. Adults-Only Wedding Invitation Wording

 

For couples who want an adult-only celebration, it is worth specifying this on your invitations. Some people may assume their children are invited, even if they haven’t been named.

Address your invitations as normal with just the names of the adults invited and then add a line at the bottom expressly stating kids aren’t invited. 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!