What to Write on Your Wedding Invitations, Line by Line

Copy and paste these invite examples.
The Knot Invitations blue color palette wedding invitations with informal wedding invitation wording examples
Photo: Laura Metzler Photography
Naoimh O'Hare - The Knot Associate Commerce Editor
by
Naoimh O'Hare
Naoimh O'Hare - The Knot Associate Commerce Editor
Naoimh O'Hare
Associate Commerce Editor
  • Naoimh writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in shoppable roundups from gift guides to wedding fashion
  • Before working on editorial content, Naoimh wrote storefront descriptions for some of The Knot Worldwide's many wedding vendors
  • Naoimh studied creative writing at the National University of Ireland, Galway
Updated Aug 28, 2023

You picked your color scheme, artsy details and font, now comes your wedding invitation wording. And, good news: It's not nearly as hard to decide what to write on wedding invitations as it is to pick a design. But just to ensure you're headed in the right direction, we're sharing wedding invitation wording etiquette (with wedding invitation examples), below.

First and foremost, the text on your wedding invitations should be informative. It should spell out all the important details of your big day like who's getting married, who's hosting and where and when the ceremony and reception will take place. (Psst, everything else—like your registry and travel info—goes on your wedding website.) Your invites can also offer a sneak peek of your wedding aesthetic and style as a couple. For instance, if you're planning a black-tie affair, formal verbiage would be most appropriate. However, don't be afraid to go with casual or unique wedding invitation wording if that suits your relationship and nuptial plans better.

Ultimately, it's up to you to do what you want with your invitations. (Read more about stationery traditions you can leave behind to see what we mean.) That's why we've included both informal and formal wedding invitation wording samples below that fit all types of celebrations. Plus, read up on the biggest wedding invitation wording FAQs so you can nail every line.

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What to Put on Your Wedding Invitations

So what should wedding invitations say, exactly? Of course, you'll want to include the who, what, where and when, but how and in what order? There's a lot to consider when deciding on a wedding invitation format. To make things as easy as possible for you, we've broken it down into a few simple steps.

What to put on wedding invitations wording example graphic
Photo: The Knot Invitations | Design: Tiana Crispino
  • The host line. The opening line on a wedding invitation is typically reserved for the hosts of the event. If multiple parties are hosting, it's only necessary to include names if you want formal invitations. If you're hosting the wedding yourselves, this line can be omitted.

  • The request to attend. An explicit request to attend lets guests know exactly what they're being invited to (cue the squeals of excitement). There are many different ways to word this request depending on the level of formality required. See our examples below for inspiration.

  • The couple's names. Next comes the most important information of all: the names of the couple. These are usually printed in a larger font than the rest of the wedding invitation text. Feel free to play around with fancy typefaces here, too.

  • The date and time. When stating the wedding date and time, there are two things to keep in mind: formality and clarity. Traditional wedding invitation wording requires the date and time format to be spelled out in full, while figures are often used on modern invites. If you're using figures, make sure the font you choose is clearly legible—a "2" that's easily mistaken for a "5" could cause a lot of confusion.

  • The venue location. Be as specific as possible when writing the name and full street address of your wedding venue, including the state and zip code. If your wedding is taking place abroad, include the country as well. It's important that guests know exactly where they are expected to be so they can organize travel and nearby accommodations if necessary. Plus, you don't want anyone lost and, thus, late to the ceremony.

  • The reception details. Finally, you need to let guests know whether or not the reception is taking place at the same location as the ceremony. If that's the case, you can simply state, "Reception to follow." If it's in a different location, you can include that information on your invites or on a separate details card.

  • The dress code. Including dress code information isn't compulsory, but it can be very helpful for guests. You can state the dress code in the lower corner or centered at the bottom of the invite. Alternatively, use a details card or your wedding website.

Wedding Invitation Wording Examples

So you've picked your stationery design (if you haven't, be sure to check out The Knot Invitations for hundreds of stunning and affordable options)—next comes figuring out how to write a wedding invitation. Here are a few basic tips before we get into wedding invite examples: If one person's parents are hosting, it's customary to leave off that person's last name. However, if the person getting married has a different last name from their parents, write their full name. The person's last name should also be included if their partner's parents are involved in hosting.

Formal Wedding Invitation Wording Samples

The biggest difference between formal wording on wedding invitations and informal or casual wording is that you have to spell everything out. Specifically, the date and time should be written as words, not numbers. Additionally, remember that you should use the full name of the hosts and include the middle names of the individuals getting married.

Wording when parents are hosting

One set of parents:

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their son

Jack Alexander

to

Mason Jacob Kim

Saturday, the seventeenth of August

two thousand twenty-four

at half after four

Both sets of parents:

Kenzie M. Smith and Jennifer L. Smith

Mark Franklin and Mary Elizabeth Reyes

request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of their children

Olivia Rose

and

John Michael

Saturday, the seventeenth of August

two thousand twenty-four

at half after four in the afternoon

Wording if the couple is hosting

The honor of your presence

is requested at the marriage of

Jack Alexander Smith

to Mason Jacob Kim

Saturday, the seventeenth of August

two thousand twenty-four

at half after four

Together with their families wording

Olivia Rose Smith

and

John Michael Reyes

together with their parents

Kenzie M. Smith and Jennifer L. Smith

and Mark Franklin and Mary Elizabeth Reyes

request the honor of your presence

at their wedding

Saturday, the seventeenth of August

two thousand twenty-four

at half after four in the afternoon

Casual Wedding Invitation Wording Samples

Whether you're having a small, laid-back wedding or your style is just short and sweet, informal wedding invitation wording is an appropriate choice. The request to attend can feel more casual and conversational and numbers should be used to convey the date and time.

Wording when parents are hosting

One set of parents:

John and Eliza Smith

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

Jack Alexander

to Mason Jacob Kim

Saturday, August 17, 2024

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Both sets of parents:

Kenzie and Jennifer Smith

along with Mark and Sally Reyes

invite you to share and celebrate the marriage of their children

Olivia Rose

and John Michael

Saturday, August 17, 2024

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Wording if the couple is hosting

Jack Alexander Smith &

Mason Jacob Kim

invite you to share in their joy at their wedding

Saturday, August 17, 2024

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Together with their families wording

Jack Alexander Smith &

Mason Jacob Kim

together with their parents

invite you to their wedding

Saturday, August 17, 2024

at 4:30 in the afternoon

Wedding Invitation Wording Etiquette

Before you really get after it, consider these important etiquette tips about the language of your wedding invitations. You'll find that while the invite is the star of your paper suite, insert cards can be really useful to your guests.

  • Be concise. It's important that your guests have all the necessary information to attend your wedding, but overloading your invites with text can actually result in them missing something important. Not to mention, it takes away from the gorgeous design you picked out. Clarity is key, so just give the essential details and leave the rest for your insert cards or wedding website.

  • Consider who's hosting. Traditionally, wedding invitation wording included the name of the person hosting (i.e. paying for) the wedding. Nowadays, this isn't always the parent(s) of a bride. You could be funding the wedding yourselves as a couple or have the help of both of your parents or loved ones. As such, it's respectful to list anyone contributing to your big day on your invites, either by name or in the form of a short line, such as, "Together with their families."

  • Reflect your wedding's formality. How you word your wedding invitations is an indication of the overall formality of the occasion. If you want guests to wear black-tie attire, opt for traditional wording. Conversely, if you'd prefer to keep it casual on your wedding day, feel free to explore modern and playful wording examples. Choosing the appropriate type of wording is especially important if you don't plan to explicitly state the dress code on invites.

  • Include an insert card. There are certain pieces of information that don't belong in a wedding invitation suite—most notably, your registry details. Instead, provide guests with a link to your wedding website on a separate insert card. (Psst, The Knot has matching wedding websites and invitations for a cohesive design experience.) You can also use an insert card for anything that doesn't fit on your wedding invites, such as dress code advice or details of a backup venue in case of bad weather.

Wedding Invitation Wording FAQ

Still have some questions about how to write your wedding invitations? We address the most common wording questions below, including the protocol for whose name goes first and the proper language to use for dress code details.

Whose name goes first on wedding invitations?

If you're following traditional etiquette, the bride's name always goes first on wedding invitations. That said, it's really up to you to decide whether or not this tradition is something you want to follow. For couples that don't identify as a bride and groom, or if there are two brides, names are typically listed in alphabetical order. But again, it's your choice if you want to embrace tradition or forge your own unique path.

How do you word a reception-only wedding invitation?

It's important to use the proper wedding invitation wording when requesting guests' attendance at a reception-only celebration. Make some small tweaks to the wedding invitation copy, such as replacing "request the honor of your presence at the wedding of" with "request the honor of your presence to celebrate the wedding of." If you've already held the ceremony, the invites can double as wedding announcements. Feel free to add a line at the top stating that you've tied the knot, followed by a request to attend the reception.

How should you write the dress code on a wedding invitation?

Stuck on wedding invitation verbiage etiquette for requesting a specific dress code? As we mentioned earlier, this should be stated at the bottom of your invitations, on a separate insert card or dress code can be put on your wedding website. There are a few different ways to phrase this information. Try using one of these simple wedding invitation wording ideas if you're looking for something concise to add to your invitation:

Black tie optional.

Cocktail attire.

Dress casual.

Can you list multiple venues on your wedding invitation?

Whether you're holding additional events (think: an after-party) or the ceremony and reception are in separate locations, sometimes it's necessary to include more than one address on your wedding stationery. If the event is taking place on the same day as the ceremony and there's space for more copy on your wedding invitations, feel free to add the details beneath the reception information. If the event is taking place the following day or throughout a wedding weekend, like a welcome party or farewell brunch, the easiest way to inform your guests without overloading your invites is by including a separate details card outlining the timeline of events.

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