Wedding Invitations Wording

One of the hard things about making your own invitations at home is navigating the complex (and sometimes archaic) etiquette of wording the invitation.  Do the parents’ names appear?  Are words spelled out or abbreviated?  Ditto with numbers.  Do you include a reception card or include reception information on the invitation?

I turned to Google, because I had to clue.

Southworth had some great suggestions, included here (my comments after in brackets):

  • Write out names in full, including middle names. Omit a middle name if necessary, rather than using an initial.  [I’m a huge fan of middle names – I used them for everyone on our invitations.]
  • It’s appropriate to use the British spelling for “honour” and “favour”, unless you prefer to use the American spelling of these words.  [Why?  This seems silly – why spell things differently than you usually would?]
  • Spell out all words, including the hour, the date and the year. Spell out all words in the address, including Street, Road and Avenue. The two exceptions to this rule in an address are Saint (St.) and Mount (Mt.) [I agree, it looks much nicer IMHO.]
  • Use Roman numerals in names, rather than “the third” or “3rd.” [N/A for us.]
  • For ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, use “request the honour of your presence.” Ceremonies taking place in a non-religious setting should say, “request the pleasure of your company.” [I’ve seen conflicting suggestions on this – I’d say go with what you like.]

In the end, we included my mother’s name at the top (she’s helping to pay for the reception site and some other things, including part of my wedding dress), my father’s name below mine, and T’s parents’ names below his in a small font (they aren’t contributing to the wedding at all).  Because the reception is a few hours after the ceremony, a separate card is included for that, indicating the location and time – to include on the invitation itself would make it too crowded looking.

Other sites to check for tips and etiquette:

So what did we pick in the end?

Our Wording (note: T’s parents are listed separately because they have different last names even though they are married)

Ms. [my mom’s full name – I listed her as “Ms.” because she’s widowed]

requests the honor of your presence at the marriage of her daughter

[my first and middle name]

daughter of the late [my dad’s full name]


Mr. [T’s full name]

son of Mr. [T’s dad] and Mrs. [T’s mom]

on [day], the [date spelled out in full – format: number of month year]
at [hour] o’clock in the afternoon
[location], [city, state]


Ms. Jane Doe Smith
requests the honor of your presence at the marriage of her daughter

Hello Kitty

daughter of the late John Wayne Smith


Mr. William Axl Rose

son of Mr. John Michael Smith and Mrs. Angelina Susan Jolie

on Saturday, the third of November two thousand and eleven
at three o’clock in the afternoon

Cape May Beach at Pittsburgh Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey


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