How to Word Your Wedding Invitations

How to Word Your Wedding Invitations

Deciding on the wording for your wedding invitations can be complicated.  Who talks in all that flowery language these days anyway? And not to mention the minefields of who is paying, second marriages and other conventions that might not apply to your specific situation. Of course, you are not obligated to follow anyone else's rules, but putting some thought into wording can save some family arguments or hurt feelings after they are printed.

 

If you are planning a formal or semi-formal wedding, it may be best to stick to the traditional rules of etiquette regarding the proper wording on the invitations. This tends to list the parents of the bride and groom as the hosts, along with the date and address in long form. Fortunately, most invitation companies will provide several examples of wording, as well as guide you in the best choice for you.  However, here are some of the basics to get you started:

 

- Invitations should be written in the third person, i.e., “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request” or “John Smith and Mary Jones request” rather than “We…”.
- All words should be spelled out. Use “Road” not “Rd.”, “Street”, not “St”, etc.
- Spell out the date: May 5, 2010 at 4 pm should be written “the fifth of May, Two Thousand and Ten at four o’clock in the afternoon”.
- British spelling is preferred for the words “honour” and “favour”. Note: this wording is generally used if the ceremony will be held in a house of worship. Otherwise, use “pleasure of your company is requested”.
- Formal invitations are usually written in black ink using a script font.
- Thank you notes should be sent within two weeks of a gift’s arrival, but many couples prefer to send them after the honeymoon. Send them, handwritten, within two months of your return. Be sure to mention the gift; if it was monetary, you can say something like, “Thanks so much for your gift. John and I will be using it to buy our first coffeemaker!”

 

For casual weddings, many of today’s couples choose a less traditional route for their wedding invitations. While tradition may still play a part in planning a wedding, many modern couples pay for their own event and prefer to personalize the invitation by including a poem or quote that has special significance to them. Another choice would be to write your own poem or include a statement about your feelings for one another. If this is your choice, keep it brief, please. There will be plenty of time for the long version at the wedding reception!