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Addressing Common Wedding Invitation Wording Conundrums

Like, who's requesting your presence?

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Photography by: Glen Allsop / Christian Oth Studio

While wedding invitation wording may seem fairly standardized, there's actually quite a bit of nuance to each element. Formality is just one element to take into consideration when selecting the text for your invite; once you factor in additional elements, like who's hosting, if your ceremony and reception are in different locations, and the required attire, you might encounter several wording conundrums. Here, we break down some of the most common invitation wording issues and how to address them like a pro.

 

Paper Protocol: Experts Share Their Best Wedding Invitation Advice

How do we express who's hosting the wedding?

Easily the most complicated line item, who’s hosting the wedding is the first bit of information your guests will read. Traditionalists stick to naming whoever is footing the bill as the hosts, but modern couples may choose to name themselves instead.

 

What if a set of parents is divorced?

Whether they're hosting together or not, the names of both parents should be listed on separate lines with the mother's name first. If either parent has remarried, including step-parents is optional.

 

What if there's a deceased parent?

If you’d like to list a late parent on the invitation, the hosting format changes slightly. Here's an example.

 

Georgia Louise Jennings

Daughter of Dr. Jackson Jennings and the late Violet Jennings

And

Marcus James Smith

Son of Albert and Melissa Smith

 

Our parents are splitting the hosting duties. How do we write the host line?

In this case, the bride’s parents should be listed on the first line, with the word "and," and the groom's parents on the second line.

 

We're hosting our own wedding or splitting the costs with our parents. Do we have to include them on the invitation?

This is optional and not necessary. Many couples opt to use the phrase, "together with their families," as the host line, leaving out the names of parents. Others may include their parents' names as a matter of tradition or formality.

 

What do we do with all the other information?

Technically the invitation should only have these components: Host line, request line, couple's names, date, time, location, and a party line. Here's an example:

 

Dr. and Mrs. Jackson Ian Jennings

joyfully request your presence at the

marriage of their daughter

 

Georgia Louise Jennings

to

Marcus James Smith

 

Saturday, the Tenth of February

Two Thousand Eighteen

At Half Past Four in the Afternoon

 

Annadel Estate

Sonoma, California

 

Dinner and dancing to follow

 

All other information should be included on an insert that's mailed inside of the invitation set. This can include the addresses of all events guests are invited to, shuttle and hotel information, requested attire, and the wedding website address.

 

What if there are different locations for the ceremony and reception?

The invitation may list both locations for the ceremony and reception. It's not necessary to include the addresses, but times for each should be listed on the invitation card.

 

People can't drive to the venue. How do we get shuttle information to them?

Details related to parking and shuttles can be included on the informational insert and should be listed on the wedding website.

 

We're not inviting guests to the ceremony. How do we say that on the invitation?

In this case, you would word the invitation so that it's clear guests will be attending a celebration of a marriage. Here's an example.

 

Dr. and Mrs. Jackson Ian Jennings

joyfully request your presence at a

reception in celebration of

the marriage of their daughter

 

Georgia Louise Jennings

to

Marcus James Smith

 

Saturday, the Tenth of February

Two Thousand Eighteen

At Half Past Four in the Afternoon

 

Annadel Estate

Sonoma, California

 

Dinner and dancing to follow

 

Where do we put the wedding registry information?

This is a tricky question, as it's not appropriate to include registry information in the invitation suite. Good etiquette says that registry information should only be made available on your wedding website or via word-of-mouth.

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