How should we word our wedding invitations? It’s a question I get asked a lot, so I’ve put together this handy guide for you to pick the right words to set the tone for your big day.
Traditional vs. Informal
The first question to ask is if you’re having a traditional formal day, or a more informal laid-back affair. Secondly, who’s hosting the wedding day? Are you paying for the majority? Or are your parents footing the bill? Perhaps it’s a combination?
Traditionally, if your parents are hosting, their names will appear at the top of the invitation to request the guest’s presence at the wedding. For instance:
Mr & Mrs Patrick Sadler, request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Amelia Jane to Mr Matthew James Henderson
If it’s a combined effort, you can use wording like ‘together with their families’ along with your names to invite your guests:
Together with their families, Amelia & Matthew invite you to celebrate their marriage…
Together with their parents, Amelia & Matthew invite you to celebrate their marriage…
Or if you are hosting, you can be as playful as you like inviting your guests to your big day.
Always choose wording that is truly reflective of you as a couple as it will set the tone for your big day:
Amelia & Matthew invite you to celebrate their marriage…
Amelia & Matthew request the pleasure of your company…
Amelia & Matthew invite you to join the party in celebration of their marriage...
No matter what style of wedding you’re having, there are some essential pieces of information you need to include;
Who you are inviting – this can be handwritten, pre-printed or addressed on the envelope itself
What part of the day the invitation covers – the whole day, ceremony, reception or evening celebration
Name and location of the wedding venue – pop the full address on the details page
Date and time of the ceremony – make note of the arrival time on the details page, typically this is 30 minutes before the ceremony starts
RSVP information and a deadline date to reply by
Details & RSVP cards
The invitation should hold all the essential information. Additional details can then be added to the reverse of the invite card or a separate card. These details can cover all the specifics about your big day including venue addresses and directions, parking, end time, taxi details, accommodation, gifts and RSVP information. RSVPs can be sent via email, or on an RSVP card that’s posted back to you, and should include who’s attending plus any dietary requirements. Always specify a reply by date of at least 8 weeks before your wedding.
Asking for gifts
Your guest’s presence on your wedding day is enough, however many of your guests will want to buy you a gift. Some couples like to leave it up to their guests, however there are only so many towels and glass ornaments that you’ll need! A lot of couples are choosing to create a gift list with a retailer or travel agent or asking for donations towards honeymoons. Most guests will be used to receiving direction on where to buy. Possible wording might be:
Your presence at our wedding is the best gift we could ask for. Please do not feel obliged to give us a gift, but if you wish to do so, we have created a gift list at…
Your presence at our wedding is more than enough. However, if you would really like to give us a gift, we would be very grateful for a contribution towards our honeymoon.
If you’re thinking of giving us a gift, a contribution towards our honeymoon would be forever appreciated.
If you’re thinking of giving us a gift, to help us on our way, a gift of cash towards our honeymoon would really make our day.
Don’t feel guilty if your invitation doesn’t extend to children, it’s your day and you are allowed to be surrounded by the people you love. More often than not, parents will see it as an opportunity to enjoy a child-free day. Subtle ways of wording this might be:
We’ve chosen to have an adult-only celebration. We hope you understand and see this as an opportunity to let your hair down!
To allow all guests, including parents, a day of relaxation we’ve chosen for our wedding to be an adult-only occasion.
Unfortunately, due to a restriction on numbers at our venue, we can only extend this invitation to adults.
Whilst we love to watch the children run and play, this is an adults’ only kind of day.
Your wedding invitation is the first taste that your guests will receive as to the type of celebration you are hosting. Whilst you can take inspiration from what has been written in the past, focus on being completely you and sharing the important details with your loved ones in your own way.
If you’d like a copy of my wording examples guide, please do drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org