Like most things wedding-related, there is tradition tied to the details large and small. Even when it comes to how to word your wedding invitations.
Wording a wedding invitation comes down to the simplest must-haves, the request to have your addressed guest(s) attend, who is getting married, who is hosting (if applicable), where and when the ceremony and reception are happening. RSVP, maps and information cards can also be included as part of your wedding invitation package as separate pieces of content on their own.
When shopping for wedding invitations most designs will already have default or pre-set wording (like our own collections), but if you’re wondering how to word wedding invitations in your own way (and you are more than welcome to add your own wording during your design consultation), consider these tips.
Traditional vs. Modern
Traditionally, if parents are hosting (aka paying) for the wedding their names will go at the top of the invitation asking or requesting the guests to attend their child’s wedding. The parent’s full names should be included and their child’s last name (if it differs from their own) can be omitted on the next line.
The invitation will then include who their child is getting married to with their full name followed by the W’s of when and where.
Should both the bride and groom’s parents be hosting or paying for the wedding both sets of parts should have their names included at the top of the invitation. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are mentioned first – but names can also be listed in alphabetical order. In this instance, the last name of the bride and groom can be omitted when their names are mentioned.
While this format seems formal, many couples and their parents appreciate the inclusion and mentions – especially if mum and dad are helping to foot the bill. It is also an opportunity for family members and friends to be informally introduced to the in-laws, so to speak.
Should the couple be hosting or paying for the wedding themselves, this traditional format can be flipped where the couple’s full names are mentioned requesting the guest’s presence followed by a line similar to “together with their parents” without mentioning their parents’ full names (example ) or omitting their parents’ names altogether.The Milan invitation in white ink on seedling card.
These formats can help inspire how you word your wedding invitations, but they don’t have to be followed. Many couples are opting to truly personalise their invites to speak directly to their closest family and friends and that works too.
As long as the pertinent details are included – contact information for the RSVP’s in particular – wedding invitations can be written in a tone or language that’s truly reflective of the people who know them best.
Many couples are bucking the tradition of a formal printed invite altogether, sometimes just using wedding websites or e-invites. At Peppermint Press we are passionate about printed invitations and their traditional significance and sentimental value, but we understand the power that technology has in making your wedding planning easier. When using any technological solution, it’s best to keep all family members and friends in mind, however as not everyone may be as tech-savvy, so make sure to plan for how you will invite guests who may not be online.
Information and RSVP cards
When including information on accommodations, transportation, or special requests for your big day, using information cards is a great way to share all the details without overcrowding your invitation. The information card can also hold specific details about your venue and reception, especially if they are different locations and can give your guests advice on hotels and group rates if applicable.
Information cards can also be the place to respectfully tell your guests if your reception is adults only, for example, and may also share information on any cultural or traditional elements that will take place on your wedding day.
The Melbourne collection in neutral shades with a white ink on black invitation.
While most couples will create an e-mail account to receive RSVPs, including an RSVP card (already addressed and stamped to you) will help with your guest count. Traditionally, the RSVP card will ask how many guests are attending and ask for guest’s preference in meal-type and dietary requirements if applicable to your reception. RSVP cards, like wedding invites have also evolved over the years, with couples even taking requests for songs or late-night snacks in addition to confirmation of attendance.
In working to help customise our couples’ wedding invitations, we’ve found that belly bands are also a great way to tie a number of enclosures together and can be customised with the guests’ names or a personalised detail for the couple.
How to address wedding invitations
Now that you have the inside covered, how do you address the wedding invitations on the envelopes?
When your invitation is being sent to a married couple with the same name it’s traditional to write Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith. When the couple has different last names, you would write both their full names.
When addressing a couple who isn’t married you write their names individually, with Miss. And Mr. if you choose to go uber traditional, or just their names. This goes for same-sex couples also.
Soleil save the dates with guest and return addressing.
If you are inviting a family, it’s etiquette to write the parents’ full names and just the first names of their children. If you’re not including children in your ceremonies address the couple only.
For your friends or family who you’re allowing to have a plus one, but may not know who their date will be, address the invitation to the individual only, but indicate in the RSVP card a space for their guest’s name.
How you address your invitation, can also be totally customisable. Many couples forego traditional titles and will only write first and last names.
Your wedding invitation is the first glimpse into the type of celebration you and your fiancé will be hosting and while you can take inspiration from how they’ve been written in the past; the focus should be on the important details of your big day and making sure the people you want to celebrate with have all the information they need to be there.