Wedding Invitation Wording—Decoded

The design is up to you, but when it comes to wording, your invites need to include these key details.
by The Knot
colorful wedding invitation suite
Photos by Adam Schultz

Wedding invitation wording might not be as fun to think about as paper designs, calligraphy and color schemes, but when it comes down to it, even the most gorgeous wedding invitations need to be informative.

Your wedding invitations are the first impression guests will have of your celebration. They should convey the who, when and where of the event, while offering a sneak peek of your wedding aesthetic. Wedding invitations should spell out all essential wedding info—who's getting married, who's hosting, and where and when the ceremony and reception will take place. (Psst—everything else goes on your wedding website.) And while we’re about to get into the best wedding invitation wording samples, feel free to shake things up if your wedding style is more modern, relaxed or nontraditional. Here’s how to word your wedding invites, no matter the vibe.

Traditional Wedding Invitation Wording

A few basic invitation wording tips: If the bride's parents are hosting, it’s customary to leave off the bride's last name. However, if the bride has a different last name than her parents, include her full name. The bride's last name should also be included if the groom's parents are involved in hosting.

In its simplest form, this is a standard wedding invitation wording sample.

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smithrequest the pleasure of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Heather Marie

to

Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

At six o’clock in the evening

Plaza Hotel

New York, New York

Reception to follow

Wedding Invitation Wording If One Set of Parents Is Hosting

In this case, the invitation includes the bride's parents’ names, so you can omit the bride's last name (unless she has a different last name than her parents). On the following line, write out the groom’s entire name. LGBTQ+ wedding invitation wording should follow similar guidelines. The host of the celebration (read: the party footing the bill) is listed first, followed by their son or daughter’s name, followed by their son or daughter’s partner’s name. If the couple is hosting themselves, names are typically listed in alphabetical order.

Formal Wording Sample:

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Heather Marie

to

Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

at half past four in the afternoon

Casual Wording Sample:

John and Eliza Smith

invite you to share in their joy at the marriage of their daughter

Heather Marie

to Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, May 17, 2020

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Wedding Invitation Wording If Both Sets of Parents Are Jointly Hosting

The couple’s parents should each be listed on separate lines, starting with the bride's or whoever’s name falls alphabetically first. Since both last names are included in the greeting, there’s no need to use last names for the to-be-weds—unless, again, if either of them has a different last name than their parents. In that case, list out their full name, in addition to the full names of their parents.

Formal Wording Sample:

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith &

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Franklin Jacobson

request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of their children

Heather Marie

and

Michael Francis

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

at half past four in the afternoon

Casual Wording Sample:

John and Eliza Smith

along with Mark and Sally Jacobson

invite you to share and celebrate the marriage of their children

Heather Marie

and Michael Francis

Saturday, May 17, 2020

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Wedding Invitation Wording If the Couple Is Hosting

If you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, the invite wording will look slightly different. Essentially, the greeting will skip the host line and begin with the request line—here’s an example.

Formal Wording Sample:

The honor of your presence

is requested at the marriage of

Heather Marie Smith

to Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

at half past four in the afternoon

Casual Wording Sample:

Heather Marie Smith &

Michael Francis Jacobson

invite you to share in their joy at their wedding

Saturday, May 17, 2020

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Wedding Invitation Wording If Everyone Is Hosting

If multiple parties are chipping in for the wedding, the invitation begins with the bride's name, followed by the groom's name, and finally the parent's names, starting with the bride's parents. Or go ahead and list the couple’s names in alphabetical order, followed by their parents’ names in corresponding order.

Formal Wording Sample:

Ms. Heather Marie Smith

and

Mr. Michael Francis Jacobson

together with their parents

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith &

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Franklin Jacobson

request the honor of your presence

at their wedding

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

at half past four in the afternoon

OR

Ms. Anna Chapin Walsh

and

Ms. Rachel Diana Peterson

together with their parents

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Walsh &

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Matthew Peterson

request the honor of your presence

at their wedding

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

at half past four in the afternoon

Casual Wording Sample:

Heather Marie Smith &

Michael Francis Jacobson

together with their parents

invite you to their wedding

Saturday, May 17, 2020

at 4:30 in the afternoon

OR

Anna Chapin Walsh &

Rachel Diana Peterson

together with their parents

invite you to their wedding

Saturday, May 17, 2020

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Wedding Invitation Wording to Include a Deceased Parent

You can absolutely switch up your wedding invitation wording to include the name of a deceased loved. One tactful and meaningful way to do this is to change the format slightly to accommodate the word "late" in front of your family member’s name. (Beyond the invitation wording, you have plenty of ways to honor a deceased parent during your ceremony and reception.) It can look something like this.

Together with their families, 

Ms. Heather Marie Smith, 

daughter of John Smith and the late Eliza Smith,

and Michael Francis Jacobson, 

son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Franklin Jacobson,

request the honor of your presence at their marriage

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and twenty

At six o’clock in the evening

Plaza Hotel

New York, New York

Reception to follow


Start your search for the perfect wedding invitations right here.


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Wedding Invitations from Minted
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