How to Word Your Wedding Invitation

DIY how-to-word-your-wedding-invitation

Your wedding invitation is the first impression guests will have of your wedding …

You have chosen your favourite design, so now you need to choose the appropriate wording to match. If you have selected a very formal design, then formal wording will suit very well. If your invitation design is modern and simple then your words can reflect this.

Whatever your preference, the information you will need to include on your invitation is pretty standard.

  • The Host
  • Request to Attend
  • Bride & Groom Names
  • Date & Time
  • Ceremony & Reception Details
  • Dress Code (optional)
  • RSVP Details

The Host

Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the hosts of the wedding, and are named at the top of the invitation.

For example:
Mr & Mrs Jack Smith, request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Bride (Sarah Jane) to Groom (Simon Mark Jones) …

However, it is a lovely gesture to include the names of both sets of parents, no matter who pays.

For example:
Mr & Mrs Jack Smith and Mr & Mrs Mark Jones request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their children Bride (Sarah Jane) to Groom (Simon Mark) …

Or more casual:

  • Together with their parents, Bride and Groom request the pleasure of your company …
  • Together with their families, Bride and Groom invite you to celebrate their marriage …

Request to Attend

Here are a few formal options:

  • … request the pleasure of your company to celebrate their marriage …
  • … would love for you to join them at their wedding …
  • … invite you to celebrate their marriage …

With more couples hosting their own weddings including the parents is becoming optional.

Here are some casual wording options:

  • You are cordially invited to the wedding of …
  • The pleasure of your company is requested to celebrate the wedding of …
  • We are finally getting married!
  • Please join …

Bride & Groom Names

Traditionally the name of the bride comes before the groom’s name.

You may include just your first names – Sarah & Simon, middle names as well – Sarah Jane & Simon Mark, or the whole name – Sarah Jane Smith & Simon Mark Jones – with or without middle names.

For a same-sex marriage you can choose to go in alphabetical order or whatever combination sounds better.

Date & Time

For formal weddings, everything is written out in full (no numerals). Time of day is spelled out using o’clock and the use of AM or PM is optional.

Formal example:
Saturday, the seventeenth of May two thousand and twenty at half past four in the afternoon

For casual weddings, using numbers is perfectly fine.

Casual example:
Saturday, May 17th 2020 at 4:30 in the afternoon

Ceremony & Reception Details

If the ceremony will take place in a church or at a different location, the name and address will need to be listed first. The reception venue should be added separately – name, location and time.

For example:
St John’s Church, 123 Smith Street, Bendigo
Reception 6pm at The Foundry, 10 Jones Avenue, Bendigo

If the ceremony and reception will take place at the same location then show the venue details with the words ‘and join us afterwards for the reception’ or ‘reception to follow’.

For example:
The Foundry, 10 Jones Avenue, Bendigo
Dinner & dancing to follow

Dress Code

DIY Doodle DollThis is optional, however, if you don’t specify a dress code, your style of invitation will be a guide. For example, if the invitation is very formal, guests will expect to dress more formally, or if the invitation is more casual that will indicate a more relaxed dress code.

According to Vogue website these are the five most common dress codes:

    • White Tie
      Women: floor-length formal gown and gloves; hair typically worn in an up-do.
      Men: suit with a vest and white bow tie.
    • Black Tie
      Women: floor-length formal gown.
      Men: suit with a black bow tie.
    • Lounge Suit
      Women: formal gown.
      Men: suit with a tie.
    • Cocktail
      Women: an above-the-knee hem is appropriate, or an evening pantsuit.
      Men: suit, tie optional.
    • Smart Casual
      Women: there are no rules however it requires a degree of polish, such as a blazer or jewellery. Flats or heels are acceptable.
      Men: denims, chinos or suit pants with a shirt or dressed-up T-shirt; no ties.
    • Here’s a a comprehensive guide on how to be a stylish man in the 21st century by BroInsider  
      How to be stylish: Ultimate Men’s Fashion Guide 


Formal invitations often include a separate RSVP card for guests to fill out and return by mail.

Now that wedding websites have become popular you can include the website address on your invitation and let your guests know they can RSVP directly on the site and this will also allow them to select meal preferences and other options.

For example:
RSVP online by 1st May 2020
Please visit to RSVP and for all our wedding details including transport and accommodation options.

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