Wedding Invitation Wording

Writing Wedding Invitations

Composing your wedding invitations can be daunting! There are the dreaded etiquette books and the hordes of helpful friends and relatives, all giving different advice. The most important thing is to remember that this is your wedding, and the invitations will be sent out to your friends and relatives, who are unlikely to mark them in red pen and send them back with 'Very poor!' written on them. (If one of your guests does do this, make sure you give him or her the draughty seat at the reception).

Before you come up with your wording, it's a good idea to make some decisions. So get a cup of tea or coffee, sit down with a paper and pen, and go through the following questions. If you know that your parents will want to be involved, make sure they're in the room too - otherwise, you'll just have to do it all twice.

  1. Who is inviting the guests?
    • The bride's parents: Mr. & Mrs. Bennet / Edward & Catherine Bennet
    • The bride & groom: Lizzy & Darcy / Lizzy Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy
    • The bride & groom and their parents: Lizzy & Darcy, together with their parents
    • Lizzy & Darcy, together with their parents, Edward & Catherine Bennet and George & Anne Darcy

    Notes:
    1. The bride's name usually goes before the groom's
    2. Do you need to include surnames? Will all the guests know who you are by your first names alone?
    3. If you are using the form 'Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bennet', check with your mother/mother-in-law that she is happy with this

  2. How formal an occasion is it?
    • Formal: request the pleasure of the company of
    • Traditional but not quite as formal: take great pleasure in inviting / cordially invite / have great pleasure inviting
    • Not formal at all: would love you to come & celebrate with us

    N.B. Make sure the line after the guests' names follows on from the one before it: 'request the pleasure of the COMPANY of' can be followed by 'AT the wedding of' 'take great pleasure in INVITING' can be followed by 'TO the wedding of'

  3. Venue & Place-names
    • Check the spelling of the venues (for the ceremony and for the reception).
    • In most cases, 'the' before the name of a church or hotel should be lowercase, eg. 'the Church of the Assumption'. If in doubt, google it or look at the venue's website.
    • Do you need to include the addresses of the venues?

  4. Date & Time
    • You will need to know for definite the time of the ceremony, before you can place your order.
    • Invitations to evening receptions are usually between 7pm and 9pm - look over the timetable for the day and see when would be best.
    • It's usual to use 'o'clock' instead of 'am/pm'
    • Always mention the day as well as the date of your wedding: ie. Saturday 14th February 2014

  5. RSVP
    • RSVP date - This varies from wedding to wedding. It's usually about 2-3 weeks before the wedding so if you have no particular preference, just use that date. If you need replies earlier, remember to allow guests about two weeks from receiving the invitation. A few guests always reply late, so put the reply date about a week earlier than you need it to be.
    • RSVP details - postal address/ phone number/ email address. Including an email address will mean a lot of guests will reply early. It's a good idea to set up a separate wedding email address. That way, you can keep replies separate from other emails and it's easier to sort through them.
    • By default, replies are sent to the person or people inviting the guests - eg, Mr. & Mrs. Bennet. If your parents are sending the invitations, but you want to receive the replies, you'll need to include your names in the reply section.

    Examples

    Edward &Catherine Bennet
    take great pleasure in inviting


    ..........................................................................
    to the marriage of their daughter
    Elizabeth
    with
    Fitzwilliam Darcy
    at Pemberley Chapel, Lambton, Derbyshire
    on Friday, 14th June 1804 at 2 o'clock


    The ceremony will be followed by a reception
    at Pemberley Hall, Lambton

    RSVP 21st May 1804
    Longbourn Manor, Meryton, Hertfordshire
    *

    Elizabeth &Darcy
    are getting married!

    We would love

    .........................................................

    to join us at Pemberley Church
    Lambton, Derbyshire
    on Saturday 21st of June 1804 at 3 o'clock
    and afterwards at a reception
    in Pemberley Hall, Derbyshire
    for dancing till midnight!

    RSVP 1st June 1804
    Longbourn Manor, Meryton
    Hertfordshire

    *

    Lizzy &Darcy
    together with their parents
    have great pleasure inviting

    ..........................................................
    to the celebration of their marriage
    at Pemberley Chapel, Lambton, Derbyshire
    on Friday, 14th June 1804
    at 2 o'clock in the afternoon
    followed by a champagne reception
    at Pemberley Hall

    RSVP 21st May
    lizzy@pr1d3&pr3jud1ce.com

    *

    Lizzy &Darcy
    are getting married!
    We cordially invite

    ...................................................

    to celebrate with us
    by dancing the night away
    at the Pemberley Hotel
    Lambton, Derbyshire
    on Wednesday 29th December 1804
    from 8 o'clock

    *

    Lizzy &Darcy
    take great pleasure in inviting

    ...................................................
    to an evening reception
    in celebration of their wedding
    at the Pemberley Hotel
    Lambton, Derbyshire
    on Wednesday 29th December 1804
    at 8 o'clock