Invitation wording ideas

Once upon a time, as with everything with weddings, there was only one way to write a wedding invitation. Now, however, there are as many options as there are couples. In any case, the basic information required remains the same:

  • Names of hosts (if not the couple)
  • Names of the couple
  • Wedding date
  • Ceremony time, location and address
  • Reception time, location and address

How you put this together depends on your family situation, personal tastes and level of tradition and formality.

TRADITIONAL 

Traditionally, invitations would be worded like this:
Mr & Mrs Allan Smith
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Marie
to
Jacob Albert Moresby
—–
This is still appropriate if you’re a traditional family having a formal wedding, however most people would now include the mother-of-the-bride's name:
Mr Allan & Mrs Vivian Smith
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Marie
to
Jacob Albert
—–
The traditional way of acknowledging the groom’s parents without listing them as hosts is thus:
Mr & Mrs Allan Smith
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Marie
to
Jacob Albert Moresby
son of Mr & Mrs Edward Moresby
—–
It still works if there is a divorced, remarried or deceased parent:
Mr Allan Smith and Mr Gerald & Mrs Vivian Roethe
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Marie
to
Jacob Albert
son of Mrs Sandra Moresby and the late Mr Edward Moresby
—–
If you’d prefer to have both sets of parents listed as the hosts (regardless of who’s paying), try this:
Mr Allan & Mrs Vivian Smith together with
Mr Edward & Mrs Sandra Moresby
request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their children
Stephanie Marie
and
Jacob Albert
 

CONTEMPORARY

If that all sounds a bit stiff or old fashioned, you can loosen it up by making a few tweaks:
Allan & Vivian Smith
and
Edward & Sandra Moresby
are delighted to invite you to celebrate the marriage of their children
Stephanie & Jacob
—–
Of course, these days more and more couples are footing most or all of the bill for the wedding themselves or have been living independently for some time so they don’t feel comfortable having their parents doing the inviting.
If you don’t want to list your parents as hosts but still want to acknowledge them, try:
Together with their families / Together with their parents
Stephanie Smith
and
Jacob Moresby
have great pleasure inviting you to witness their marriage
—–
Or, if you’d prefer not to include parents at all:
Stephanie & Jacob
invite you to share in their joy as they exchange vows of marriage
 

SAMPLE WORDING

People tend to find the host & couple’s name paragraph the trickiest and most confusing, which is why I’ve focused on that. With etiquette 101 under control, let’s now see some examples of full invitations:
 
Lillian & Jeremy
happily invite you to join them as they tie the knot
at the Rocky Paddock, Mount Crawford
at half past two
twentieth of August
two thousand and fifteen
Celebration to follow
—–
Lucinda & Javier
are thrilled to invite you to witness their union
with a ceremony on the shorefront
of Brighton Beach at four in the afternoon
Saturday 23 January 2016
followed by a cocktail reception
at Brighton & Seacliff Yacht Club, Seacliff
from six o’clock
—–
Courtney & Scott
invite you to join them as they begin
their new life together in marriage
27.2.2016
Semaphore Palais, The Esplanade, Semaphore
on the balcony at three o’clock
Followed by dinner & dancing
in the ballroom from six o’clock
—–
Because of the special place you hold in our hearts, we
Jessica & Clayton
invite you to join us to celebrate our marriage
with a weekend of festivities
Exchange of vows at five thirty on the evening of
Saturday the nineteenth of December
two thousand and fifteen
on the beach at Middleton
Followed by an intimate dinner
at the beach hut til late
—–
Together with their parents
Renee & Liam
are overjoyed to invite you to join their marriage celebration
Saturday twenty-second of August
two thousand and fifteen
Exchange of vows at
Golding Wines, Lobethal, South Australia
at three thirty in the afternoon
Followed by refreshments on the lawn
and afterwards dinner in the barn
—–
With joyful hearts
Margo Connelly
and
Tim Stapleton
invite you to celebrate their union in marriage
Saturday the twenty-seventh of October
two thousand and twelve
The Adelaide Botanic Gardens Rose Collection
at four in the afternoon
Followed by dinner and dancing
at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant
—–
Tabitha and Aaron
are tying the knot!
28th January 2012
– at 3pm –
Ceremony at St Matthews
146 Kensington Road, Marryatville
– at 6pm –
Reception at Tin Cat Cafe
107 Rundle Street, Kent Town
Together with their families
—–
Mr Peter & Mrs Kathryn Rodda
together with
Mr John & Mrs Meredith Lees
request the honour of your presence at
the union of
Jessica Rodda & Simon Lees
Saturday 22nd September
two thousand and twelve
St Johns Anglican Church
St Johns Road, Norton Summit
at two o’clock
and afterwards from six o’clock
The Edinburgh Hotel
7 High Street, Mitcham
—–
Mrs Moira & Mr Robert Masters
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Janice Marie
to
Martin Jacob
son of Mrs Tricia & Mr John Rawlins
Saturday 10th August 2013
Mount Lofty House
74 Mt. Lofty Summit Road, Crafers
four o’clock
Followed by dinner, dancing and merriment
from six o’clock
—–
Jane & Liam
join with their parents
Maria Pizzano, Gerry Santosuosso
and Brian & Fiona Murphy
in inviting you to celebrate their wedding
Saturday 31 March at 2.30pm
The Senate Courtyard, Old Parliament House
18 King George Terrace, Parkes, Canberra
Followed by a celebration at
The Boat House on the Lake
Grevillea Park, Menindee Drive, Barton
from 6.00pm
—–
Together with their families
Cynthia & Dale
request the pleasure of your presence
as they exchange vows of marriage
Saturday tenth April
two thousand and ten
Three o’clock
Rosefield Uniting Church
Rose Street, Highgate
Six o’clock
The Edinburgh Hotel
High Street, Mitcham
—–
Marie & Phil Johnston with Tina & Joe Rothe
invite you to the marriage of
Abigail Grace
&
Sean James
North Adelaide Baptist Church
146 Tynte Street
at four o’clock
Reception to follow from six o’clock
Tin Cat Cafe
107 Rundle Street, Kent Town
Eleventh August 2012
Happily ever after to follow
—–
Together with their parents
Suzette & Lachlan
invite you to witness their exchange of vows
Saturday twenty-first January
2012
Glen Erin Winery
200 Rochford Road, Lancefield, Victoria
at 4pm
Merriment to follow
—–
Carol loves Richard
Please join the celebration as
two families are joined in marriage
Eighteenth February two thousand and twelve
The Pulpshed at Glen Ewin Estate
Lower Hermitage Road, Houghton
at three o’clock
Dinner & dancing to follow
—–
These are just a few examples to get you started. Feel free to play around with the wording and to mix & match your favourite lines, but remember it will also need to fit in with the invitation design.
Especially if you’re having a quirky or themed invitation or have a family situation not covered here, you might find a completely different way would be most suitable. Either way, your invitation designer will be able to guide you so don’t hesitate to ask if you need any further assistance.