Address your invitations correctly—to each guest by name, not “and guest”—and guests should understand that the invite is meant for only those mentioned. If you find that some reply with their children’s names added, give them a call and explain you’re having an adults-only wedding and you hope they can still attend. If there are a lot of kids in your family, you may want to consider hiring or arranging for a babysitter. It’s definitely not required, but it’s a nice gesture. Just be sure to include this information on the wedding website.
Love is in the airChloe Marie Sinclair & Matthew James DentonHave the honour of announcingtheir marriageon Saturday, the tweny-fifth of AugustTwo thousand eighteenat three o’clock in the afternoonGlochester Catholic ChurchDublin IrelandC + M
No, you don’t have to. If a guest isn’t married or in a serious relationship, it’s perfectly acceptable to invite them solo. Most guests will understand that without “and Guest” or another name on the invitation means they aren’t invited with a plus-one. While it’s always nice to invite everyone with a guest, if you’re having a small wedding, your family and friends should understand your reasoning. What should you do if a guest RSVPs for two? Call them up and explain you’re having an intimate wedding and, unfortunately, you were not able to invite everyone with a guest. If you realize that nearly everyone will be coupled up, extend a plus-one invitation to your few single friends and family.
When Lauren and Jon decided to write their own vows, they decided to go all out. The couple’s emotional sentiments (and epic reception!) were captured by the team at
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The good news is that wedding invitation etiquette rules aren’t that complicated, after all. The rules are actually much simpler and straightforward than you think. And no matter the case, they’re there to serve as a guidelines. The most important rule of all is that you create a beautiful wedding invitation that represents you, your love and the big day to come (and communicates the vital details of the wedding) – so feel absolutely free to riff off these wedding invitation wording rules to create your own.
4. Can we include our registry info on our invitations or save-the-dates?
Should We Send a Wedding Invitation to Someone We Know Can’t Attend?
Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the hosts of the wedding, and are named at the top of the invitation, even for very formal affairs. However, including the names of both sets of parents as hosts is a gracious option no matter who foots the bill. Also, more and more couples these days are hosting their own weddings, or do so together with their parents.
Julia French, daughter of Mr. Adam French and the late Iris French,andAustin Mahoney, son of Mr. Camden and Elizabeth Mahoney,request the honor of your presenceat their weddingon the fifth of May, two thousand seventeenat one o’clock in the afternoonThe Reagan LibrarySimi Valley, CaliforniaDinner & dancing to followBlack tie required
On the direction card, legibility is key. “Carefully consider the font you use on your direction cards,” says Zuelch. “It’s important to make sure the font is easy to read for all of your guests.” And, in the event you don’t include a direction card in your wedding invitation suite, you should still list the directions to your venue and its address on your wedding website as another backup.
We’re getting married!Ben & PilarPlease join us10.11.2014at 5:30 p.m.Panorama Hills
Together with their familiesStephanie May MattersenandTaylor Grant KealeyRequest the honor of your presence as theyTie the knotFriday May Twelfth, Two Thousand FifteenAt two o’clock in the afternoonConservatory GardenCentral ParkNew York, New York
Now that you’ve picked out your stationary, it’s time to take on wedding invitation wording — whether you want to keep the wording classic and traditional or creative and whimsical is up to you, but whatever route you choose, there are still basic elements that should be included no matter what.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert BakerRequest the pleasure of your companyat the marriage of their daughterEmily LouisetoMichael Chase WalkerSaturday, December 15, 2012at five o’clock in the eveningThe Union ClubBethesda, MarylandDinner and dancing to follow
Mr. and Mrs. Robert DombiInvite you to join in theCelebrationof the marriage of their daughterLindsay Marie toEric JamesSon of Mr. and Mrs. Jay TkaczSaturday, May 11Two thousand thirteenat one thirty in the afternoonSt. Mary’s Star of the Sea145 Main St. // Unionville, CTAdult reception to follow at 4:30 p.m. // Farmington Gardens
Not really. Everyone who attends the ceremony (or bridal shower, engagement party or wedding reception) should be invited to the wedding—that means the ceremony and the reception. In your case, by inviting guests to one and not the other, you’re basically saying you want them there for the actual ceremony but you either don’t want to pay for their plate at your party or don’t care enough to have them there to actually celebrate your newlywed status.
Wedding invitation etiquette dictates that the dress code, if it’s to be included on the invitation, is is the lower right hand corner of the invitation. If you don’t include a note on attire, the invitation will indicate the dress code. For example, if the invitation is very fancy, guests will likely anticipating a formal, black-tie affair, or conversely, if the invitation on the simpler side, that indicates a more casual dress code.
Not sure where to begin with your wedding planning? Take our Style Quiz and we’ll pull together a custom wedding vision and vendors to match, just for you. After that, create a free, personalized wedding website to keep your guests informed (and excited!) about your plans, and a time-saving Guest List Manager to organize your attendees. Even better? You can sync your Guest List Manager and wedding website to update everything at once.
You don’t have to send accommodation cards to everyone, just to out-of-town guests. “Including a deadline for making reservations on your accommodations card is optional but helpful,” suggests Zuelch. “Rooms can book up fast, so it’s nice to give your guests a date to shoot for.” If you’re covering guests’ accommodations, it’s proper etiquette to indicate that on the accommodation card, says Zuelch. This is also where you can include any information regarding transportation to and from hotels to the wedding.
Naturally, your wedding invitation suite should include your wedding invitation—and though it may seem obvious what should be written on an invite, couples commonly (and surprisingly) forget to include key details like time, date, ceremony location, and/or the reception location. So make sure to check over your invite, and then check it twice! As for less obvious additions to your invitation, consider corner copy. “Corner copy is a great place for quick bits of information, such as ‘reception following ceremony,’ if they’re in the same location,” says stationery specialist Shanna Zuelch from Invitations by Dawn. “You can also use corner copy for ‘no gifts please’ or a note about attire.”
Wondering how to word your invitations? We’ve go the answers.
To help guide you, we’re breaking down what each line means and what it typically includes.
Your wedding website should be included on your save-the-date. A simple “KelseyandJon.com,” is all you really need. If you’d like (or if you don’t have save-the-dates), you can include the web address in the formal invitations with an insert, a small card that informs guests they can find more details online.
Traditionally, invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding—that gives guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements if they don’t live in town. If it’s a destination wedding, give guests more time and send them out three months ahead of time. Most couples also send out save-the-date cards. They go out at six to eight months.
Please join usfor our weddingRachael Jordan&Ryne DotyJanuary 3rd20154:00pmGriffith Observatory2800 E. Observatory Rd.*Dinner to follow at *Blue Palms Brewhouse 6124 Hollywood Blvd
For a same-sex marriage, of course, the traditional rule of woman first and man second isn’t applicable. You can choose to go in alphabetical order or choose what sounds better. Whether it’s “Emily and Zara” or “Zara and Emily,” it’s going to be lovely either way.
Jerry & Georgian Sadowskiand Gary & Georgia Byrneinvite you to celebrate with their children,Julia & Davidon their wedding dayFriday | 07 Sep 12 | 3:30 p.m.Cortelyou Commons, DePaul University: CeremonyPeggy Norbert Nature Museum: Reception 6 p.m.
If your wedding will span a weekend and will include multiple events such as welcome drinks, an after-party, a day-after brunch, etc., it’s a good idea to include a full itinerary for guests so they know what to expect and pack for.
If there names haven’t been included in the host line, they should still take center stage a few lines down. No one would forget to add this to a wedding invitation, of course, but you might be wondering whose name should go first on a wedding invitation? Traditionally the name of the bride always precedes the groom’s name. Formal invitations issued by the bride’s parents refer to her by her first and middle names, the groom by his full name and title; if the couple is hosting by themselves, their titles are optional.
This is the place to clearly write the names of each wedding guest, and effectively indicate exactly who is (and isn’t) invited to the wedding. If your guest will have a specific plus-one, write both their names. If they can bring anyone, the envelope should include their name and a generic guest: “John Smith and Guest.” If there’s not a plus-one, it’s simple: just include the guest’s name.
Wondering what to include in a wedding invitation suite? You’re not alone. Designing, packaging, and sending wedding invitations is a major undertaking. If your head is swimming from stationery overload and you can’t tell a reception card from a response card, we’ve compiled a helpful guide outlining exactly what to send with wedding invitations.
In a word, no. Including registry info on the wedding invitations or save-the-dates is still considered impolite because it can come off as though you’re asking for gifts. Go ahead and put your registry info directly on your wedding website. (The Knot All-in-One Registry allows you to include links from all of the places you are registered). You can also tell your wedding party, parents and close friends where you’re registered, and let them fill guests in.
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This is also the way to indicate whether or not children are invited. For example, if you are inviting a family, the envelope should be addressed to “The Smiths.” If it’s just the parents, however, it should read “John and Victoria Smith.” For more on wedding invitation inner envelopes, check out our complete guide to addressing wedding invitations.
If it’s a collaborative affair hosted and paid for by the bride, groom and both sets of parents, you can also use “Together with their parents, Emma and Jax request the pleasure of your company …”
Katie & Jacobwould love your presence in celebrating their marriageMay 23rd 2013 | 3 o’clock in the afternoon2701 Hodges Blvd., Jacksonvill FL 32296Reception to follow
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Your wedding invitations are one of the most important elements in your day because they provide guests with crucial information (as does your wedding website, which you should definitely create if you haven’t already). And while some details of your wedding don’t follow a strict set of rules, your invitations (for the most part) do. Here are some answers to your most pressing wedding-invite-related questions.
20 Real Wedding Invitation Wording Examples1. Stacey and Peter
A belly band (or invitation wrapper) holds all the pieces of the wedding invitation suite together neatly. Choose a coordinating color and accentuate the band with a ribbon or jewel for added glam.
Don’t leave guests to their own devices when it comes to getting to your wedding on time. While Google Maps are alive and well, a guest’s phone could die or lose reception and that is a recipe for tardiness. Plus, your elderly guests might not even have a smart phone that can give them directions instantaneously. So, to be on the safe side, always include a direction card. You never know when your guests will need it.
If your wedding reception is not going to be held in the same location as the wedding ceremony, you’ll need to include a separate card with the reception information with wording that indicates the formality and nature of the event. “If you are hosting a reception before 1 p.m., the first line should say ‘Breakfast Reception.’ Anything after 1 p.m. is just ‘Reception,’ ” Zuelch advises. Do you want to indicate a sit-down meal? The first line should read ‘Dinner Reception. As for the oft-contested younger guests, if you’d like to throw an adults-only affair, you should notify guests through word-of-mouth and by the names addressed in the invitation. If you must include an “Adults-Only Reception” line, do so on the reception card, and as the last line, says Zuelch.
Please joinFelicia Beth Yoder andKellis Curry Cunninghamas they tie the knotOctober 4th 2014four o’clock in the afternoonGulf Beach Resort MotelSarasota, FL
Don’t forget the stamp! Luckily, you don’t have to hand write the addresses yourself—many stationery companies offer addressing services. “Envelope moisteners are lifesavers when assembling hundreds of wedding invitations!” says Zuelch.
There you have it: Everything you need to know about wedding invitation wording etiquette, complete with twenty-two example of how brides handled their own wording. Hopefully these real invites will help guide you as you create your own. No matter what you choose, keep it true to your own tastes and you’ll come up with a wedding invitation you’ll treasure forever!
Grace and Russell Fitzpatrickare gettin’ hitched!August 4th 2016Join us at 5 o’clockThe West Palm825 Oceanside AveSt. PetersburgMerriment to follow
10. I invited my friend and her boyfriend (by name on the invite) to the wedding, but they recently broke up. Now she wants to bring a friend I don’t like—can I tell her no?
With great pleasureStacey BullingtonandPeter Cunninghaminvite you to join themat the celebration of their marriageSaturday, July 9, 2016at two thirty in the afternoonSanta Barbara Courthouse – Mural RoomSanta Barbara, CaliforniaDinner and dancing to follow at Casa de la Guerra
Together with their familiesPhilip Parker&Heath HartsellInvite you to join them as they say “I Do!”Saturday, the twenty-first of August | two thousand eighteenSix o’clock in the evening | New Orleans, Pharmacy Museum, New Orleans New LouisianaDinner, dancing & drinks to follow | Black-tie optional
If the bride or groom’s parents are divorced and you want to include both as hosts, you can include them all, just keep your each parent on a separate line. If you’re going to include the name of stepparent, keep it on the same line. It might seem complex at first, but all it requires is a few more lines. This is an example of a bride with divorced (and remarried) parents’ wedding invitation wording:
If you want to include the name of a parent who is deceased, you’ll need to rearrange things a bit, as someone whose passed can’t actually serve as a host. An alternate way, then, to include a deceased parent just means rearranging the wording a bit. Try this, for example:
(Note: The British spelling of “honour” traditionally indicates the ceremony will be held in a church or another house of worship.)
Naomi and HarrisonDr. and Mrs. Donnor Salvatore Quetteand Mr. and Mrs. Elliot BoaltInvite you to celebrate the marriage of their childrenNaomi Grace Quette and Harrison Luke BoaltSaturday, the fifth of November, two thousand and sixteenSix o’clock in the evening | The Inn at Serenbe | Palmetto, Georgiafollowed by dinner & dancing
Together withtheir ParentsHornorand ChristopherHannigan inviteyou to attendtheir weddingceremonySunday August25th 2013 at 6 pmSt. Regis ResortMonarch BeachCalifornia
21 Wedding Invitation Wording Examples to Make Your OwnUltimate Guide Wedding Invitation Etiquette: When to Send Wedding Invitations, Save-the-Dates, Thank-You’s & Everything Else10 Wedding Invitation Etiquette Questions Asked & Answered
5. We’re having an adults-only wedding (no kids). How can we make sure this is clear to our guests?
Most couples choose to include a separate response card for guests to fill out and return in the mail. You also have the option of having people RSVP via your wedding website. If that’s the case, include the website address on a separate card, just as you would with an RSVP card, and indicate that guests can let you know if they can come directly on the site.
Amelia Bell + Jake BradleyRequest the honor of your presenceon their wedding daySaturday, the eleventh of JuneTwo thousand and sixteenat half past six o’clock in the eveningthe First Congregational Church of Wells
Because you worded the invitation correctly by having her boyfriend’s name on the envelope (rather than “and guest”), you have every right to say no. As a rule, invitations are nontransferable when people are invited by name. Try explaining you’re not friendly with her proposed guest and you’d prefer the wedding be limited to very good friends and family. If you invited all of your single friends sans dates, let her know she won’t be the only one coming solo (in case that’s her worry).
Dr. Vance and Elizabeth Gregoryand Mr. James Abner and Lydia Abnerand Mr. Harold and Jane Hylandinvite you the wedding of their childrenAmy Abner and Charles Hyland01.06.18 | 4 p.m.Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic ChurchNewport, CaliforniaReception immediately after
For formal weddings, everything is written out in full (no numerals). The year is optional (the assumption being your wedding is on the nearest such date). Time of day is spelled out using “o’clock” or “half after five o’clock.” The use of a.m. or p.m. is optional. For casual weddings, numerals are fine.
9. If our wedding reception is for immediate family only, is it okay to invite people to the ceremony only?
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Even if you don’t mind the wavy lines, hand-cancellation might be necessary: if you put the return address on the back of the envelope rather than the front—which is common practice for wedding invitation addressing— he machine might not be able to read which side of the envelope is the front, thus necessitating hand-cancellation.
Doctor and Mrs. Ronald KaleyaMr. and Mrs. Barnett Rothenberginvite you to share in their joyat the marriage of their childrenMarin Sami and Joseph BenjaminSaturday, the twenty-ninth of SeptemberTwo thousand twelveat six o’clock in the eveningBrooklyn Botanic Garden1000 Washington AvenueBrooklyn, New YorkDinner and dancing to followBlack tie invited
News & AdviceUntitled / Preety Bhardwaj / April 26, 2018 3:03 PM
When sending response cards, don’t forget to include a stamp for your guests’ convenience. Zuelch advises to “number the names on your guest list, and then write that number on the back of the corresponding response card. You can then look up responses by number just in case you can’t read the handwriting or someone forgets to include his or her name.” If you’re having meal choices, this is also the card where you leave check boxes for people to choose chicken, fish, steak, vegetarian options, etc.
All wedding invitations should include the following elements:
With all this stationary, your envelope may weigh more than standard postage covers. Head down to the post office with a your invitation suite and get it weighed to see what postage you’ll actually need. This is also the time when you can go over stamp options to find a stamp that’s suited for a wedding. From hearts to flowers, you’ll be surprised at the variety of stamps they have hiding behind the counter!
You can, of course, forego response cards altogether and direct guests to RSVP on your wedding website, but Zuelch cautions couples to be considerate of older generations. If you can foresee that certain guests might not be comfortable using a computer, consider sending them a response card even if you’re not including them with the majority of the wedding invitation suites.
There are many ways to ask for the pleasure of your guests’ company. Here are few options:
When you actually mail the invitations off, request that the stamps be hand-cancelled rather than machine-cancelled. All stamps need to be cancelled when they’re sent out so that the stamp cannot be reused, but stamps that are cancelled by a machine can leave tacky, wavy lines all over your beautiful envelope. Avoid any unexpected marks on your envelopes by asking for your wedding invitations to be cancelled by hand rather than by machine.
Mr. and Mrs. Lucas DarbyRequest the pleasure of your companyat the wedding of their daughterRachel FayetoMark Sebastian CatalanoSaturday, the twenty-fourth of SeptemberTwo thousand and elevenat half after five o’clockUbud Hanging GardensBali, IndonesiaReception to follow
3. Where do we include information about our wedding website?
The return address usually goes on the back flap of the envelope. Also, the return address used should be that of the person(s) whom you’ve designated to receive response cards, be it your parents or you (traditionally, whoever is hosting the wedding handles response cards). Don’t forget that the RSVP envelope should also be printed with this address (and should include postage).
The street address of a venue is not usually needed, unless omitting it would lead to confusion or your wedding is taking place at the host’s home. The city and state should be written out in full in either case.
The wedding ofDierdre Watters Normanand Peter Francis CarrSt. Luke Roman Catholic ChurchRiver Forest, IllinoisNovember 21, 2009
Make your RSVP date two to three weeks before your wedding date to allow enough time for you to get a final head count to the caterer (one week before) and to finalize your seating chart. If some guests still haven’t responded by your deadline, give them a quick call and ask for their RSVPs (still via mail) so you have all their information.
The easiest way to get your point across is to include a dress code in the lower right-hand corner of the invite or on a reception card. “Black tie,” “cocktail attire” or “casual attire” are all acceptable. Your invitation design will also clue guests in. An ultra-formal, traditional invite with letterpress and calligraphy will give guests a hint to the formal nature of the event, whereas a square invite with a playful font and bright colors would fit a much more casual style. Another way is to direct guests to your wedding website, where you can go into more detail about the weekend events and dress code in a more informal forum.
Very formal invitations include this information on a separate card. Otherwise, it can be printed on the wedding invitation itself if there is room; if the ceremony and reception are held in the same location, you may print “and afterward at the reception” or “reception immediately following.” When the reception is elsewhere, the location goes on a different line. Include the time if the wedding reception is not immediately following the ceremony.
7. Do we have to invite every guest with a date or a “plus-one”?
Rachel & Zachare getting marriedOctober 19th 2013Four o’clock in the eveningat theSanta Barbara Museum of Natural HistoryDrinks Dancing Shenanigans to follow
8. Where do you put the return address on wedding invitations?
Please join us for the wedding ofPatricia Ahn & Caleb WrightSundayThe 4th of December, 2013at half past seven in the eveningThe FoundryLong Island, New Yorkreception to follow
Who’s hostingThe request to come to the weddingThe names of the bride and groomThe date and timeThe locationReception informationDress codeSeparate RSVP cardTake on Wedding Invitation Wording Line by LineThe Host Line: Who’s Hosting
Mr. and Mrs. William Edward Manningrequest the pleasure of your companyat the marriage of their daughterNicole Manning to Cameron West09.10.2015 at 4pmGramercy Park Hotel | New York CityCocktails, dinner & dancing to follow