Wedding Invitation Wording Tips and Formats

by | Jun 23, 2020 | Event Planning, Wedding Party

A wedding invitation card is an important piece of document intended to communicate all necessary information about your wedding to your guests. Most people get distracted by the choice of design and calligraphy on their wedding invitation card and overlook the fact that the wording of their wedding invitation deserves equal attention. Sure, picking out the words to include on your wedding invitation might not be as much fun as choosing the paper, design or the colour scheme. This task is usually left to the invitation card designer. But it is incredibly crucial to be fully invested in the choice of words to set the tone for what guests are to expect. For starters, your wedding invitation is often the first form of communication that your guests receive about your wedding. It represents a message from the bride, groom and their families to be conveyed with the right level of formality and humility.

What Information Should Your Wedding Invite Contain?

Your wedding invitation should contain all essential information such as the wedding date, event venue details, identity of bride and groom, information about the host, and so on. If you would like your guests to RSVP for the occasion, you should also print adequate RSVP contact details and the date by which you would like your guests to respond. If you want to invite specific people, you can leave a dotted line where you can handwrite their name and address your wedding invitation directly to them. A good practice to declutter the wedding invitation is to throw in a guest information card along with it. The guest information card can contain all the finer details related to your wedding such as directions on how to reach the venue, nearby accommodation options, your wedding gift wish list, and more.

Typical Layout for a Wedding Invitation

Looking at wedding invitation card layouts can help you get an idea about how to draft your own wedding invitation. A generic wedding invitation may look like this:

  • Host Line – The Host Line tells your prospective guest who is hosting your wedding or paying for it. If the happy couple is sponsoring their own wedding, the host line will contain their names. In other situations, it will either contain the names of either the bride’s or the groom’s set of parents or both, if they are sharing the cost.

    Host Line Examples:
    – Mr. & Mrs. Allan Masters (formal)
    – Mr. Allan Masters & Mrs. Mary Masters (respectful)
    – Allan & Mary Masters (casual)

    Separating the parents’ names is recommended if they are divorced.

  • Request Phrase – Now, the request phrase is commonly written as for example, “request the honour of your presence” for religious functions and “request the pleasure of your company” for civil ceremonies. The request phrase is usually made by the hosts.

    Request Phrase Examples:
    – request the honour of your presence
    – request the pleasure of your company
    – invite you to the celebration of
    – joyfully request the pleasure of your company
    – cordially invite you to attend
    – would love for you to join them
    – invite you to share in their joy
    – would be delighted by your presence
    – invite you to share in the festivities

    Occasion Phrase Examples:
    – at the marriage of their children
    – at the marriage of their daughter
    – as they tie the knot
    – as they say “I do”
    – to celebrate their marriage
    – in celebration of their marriage

  • Couple’s Name – Ideally, the bride’s name should precede the groom’s. If you’re keeping the tone of your wedding invitation traditional, you should list their full names. If not, simply having the first names of the bride and groom will suffice.

  • Date and Time – You will want to add the date, the day and the year of your wedding here. Your guests need to know when you plan to hold the solemnisation ceremony and the reception. Be sure to state two different dates if you plan to hold them on separate occasions.

    Date and Time Examples:
    – six o’clock OR six o’clock in the evening (formal)
    – 6.00p.m. OR 6:00 p.m. in the evening (casual)
    – Saturday, the twenty-seventh of June, two thousand and twenty (formal)
    – Saturday, 27th June, 2020 (casual)

  • Venue Information – You need not list out the entire address for your wedding venue. Mention the name of the venue and refer to the city/town. This is because you may choose to provide the full address on the guest information card.

  • Reception information – If you plan on inviting the same people to your solemnisation ceremony and reception, you can include information regarding your reception on your wedding invitation card. Just add “followed by a reception” or a similar phrase if you will be holding your reception at the same venue as the solemnisation ceremony. If the venues are different, make sure that you state them clearly on the invitation card. Offer precise directions to each venue on the guest information card.

    Reception Line Examples:
    – Followed by a reception
    – Reception to follow
    – Reception dinner/lunch to follow
    – Dinner/Lunch party to follow
    – Dinner/Lunch and dancing to follow
    – Wedding party and merriment to follow
    – Join us for the reception dinner/lunch
    – Stay on for the wedding party
    – Dine with us at the wedding feast
    – Feasting, music and drinks to follow

  • Other information (optional) – You can add additional information such as the recommended dress code for your guests. Your guests will find this helpful if you are planning your wedding to be a black tie event. If you do not include dress code information, your guests will infer the choice of attire based on the vibe from your wedding invitation card. If you want to include dress code information, you can state this after wedding venue details.

Wedding Invitation Card Example
Modern Secular Layout

Mr. & Mrs. Allan Masters
Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Wills

request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their children

Suzannah Masters & Frederick Wills

Saturday, 27th June 2020

Westerly Church
Manlow Avenue

Followed by a black tie reception
Dress code: Formal Gala

RSVP by 20th April 2020 to
Mrs. Mary Masters by email:

Important to Remember

  • If you are using British English, do not end the titles (Mr, Mrs, Ms) with a full stop.

  • The British format of writing the date is Day Month Year and the American format is Month Day, Year. You can also choose to spell out the date in words, capitalising the day of the week and the month.

  • When specifying the time, spelling it all in words is more traditionally acceptable. You will need to state whether the time is in the morning, afternoon or evening.

  • If you intend to set a more personal tone, you may write your wedding invitation using a first person basis. This means creating an impression that the inviter is also the writer of the invitation. Use “I” “Our” and “We” to refer to yourself, instead of “they”, “their” and “them”.

In Conclusion

To sum up, the wording on your wedding invitation is not to be considered lightly. It is essential communication material, which will likely be preserved by close friends and family as keepsake to remember the occasion. Please make sure that this special message is not littered with avoidable spelling mistakes. Also, when you’re deciding upon the words for your wedding invitation, pick wisely. The word choice can affect the tone and convey the aesthetic that your guests can envision at your wedding. As long as you have clearly stated your intentions, your wedding guests should have no problem comprehending the kind of event you are planning.

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