Figuring out what your wedding invitation wording will say can be sometimes difficult. You need to think about invite wording etiquette, the tone (depending on the style of the wedding – formal/casual), how you addressing your wedding invitees and so on. We’ve put together some Wedding Invitation Wording Questions to make it a stress-free wedding task.
When should our wedding invitations be sent?
The perfect time to send out your wedding invitations is six to eight weeks before the big day. If you’ve sent a save the date (that states a wedding invitation will follow), that’s good practice too but not mandatory and sent six to eight months prior.
What is proper etiquette for a destination wedding?
It’s always a good rule of thumb to give your guests a little notice, and usually a destination wedding invitation should be sent three months prior to the big day to make travel arrangements and such. Sometimes, a save the date sent six to eight months prior is always a good idea, just to let your wedding guests ready in terms of arrangements, absence from work or even getting their finances in order for travel/accommodation (if the venue is overseas).
How do we decide on the RSVP deadline?
Set your RSVP response deadline two to three weeks before the wedding which will allow you to get a final head count that you can communicate to the caterers (which is needed a week before the wedding day) as well as make arrangements for the likes of your ceremony and reception seating charts, your place cards, souvenir menu cards, and other personalised on-the-day wedding stationery you need to order.
The wedding invitations wording is broken down into several sections, namely as follows;
- Proper Name of the Hosts
- Request Line
- Relationship of the Host to the Bride
- Bride’s Name (Middle Name if she has one)
- The Groom’s Name
- The Date in written form
- The time of the day and wedding
- The Name of Wedding Venue
- The Reception Line
- RSVP Information
Please visit Wedding Invitation Wording for a detailed breakdown of the above with examples.
How should we address our guests in the wedding invitation wording and envelope?
When addressing your guests, you need to include their proper names in the Request Line as well as address the wedding invitation envelope. Below, you will find the proper etiquette when addressing your wedding invitees.
|Recipient||Other Information||Addressing Invitee an Outer with Inner Envelope and Outer Only Envelope||Addressing Invitee an Inner Envelope|
|Relatives||Outer envelope should be formal.Inner envelope can include informal names||Mr. and Mrs. John Smith||Aunt Jane and Uncle John|
|Married Couple with Children||Children Aged Under 18 Years||Mr. and Mrs. John SmithOrMr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family/Children||Mr. and Mrs. SmithPeter, James and AnnOrMr. and Mrs. SmithMr. Peter Smith
Mr James Smith
Miss Ann Smith
|Married Couple with Children||Children Aged Over 18 Years||Mr. and Mrs. John Smith||Mr. and Mrs. Smith|
|Brothers and Sisters Residing at the Same Address||Children Aged Over 18 Years living with parents receive their own invitations||Messrs. Peter and James SmithOrMisses Ann and Suzy SmithOrMiss Ann Smith and Miss Suzy Smith||The Messrs. SmithOrThe Misses SmithOrMiss Smith and Miss Smith
|Married Couple||Wife Uses Maiden Name||Mrs. Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith||Mrs. Doe and Mr. Smith|
|Married Couple||Both Man and Woman are Doctors (M.D)||The Doctors SmithOrDoctors Jane and John SmithOrDr. Jane Doe and Dr. John Smith||The Doctors SmithOrDoctor Doe and Doctor Smith|
|Married Couple||Both/Man and Woman are Lawyers||Mr. and Mrs. John Smith||Mr. and Mrs. Smith|
|Married Couple||Who are Officers (if wife outranks the husband, her name is listed first)||Major Jane Smith and Lieutenant John Smith||Major Smith and Lieutenant Smith|
|Married Woman Using Maiden Name||Miss Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith||Miss Doe and Mr. Smith|
|Separated Woman||Mrs. John SmithOrMrs. Jane Smith||Mrs. Smith|
|Divorced Woman||Miss Jane SmithOrMrs. Jane SmithOr Ms. (Miss) Jan Doe (with maiden name)||Miss SmithOrMrs. Jane SmithOr Ms. (Miss) Doe|
|Widow||Mrs. John SmithOrMrs. Jane Smith||Mrs. Smith|
|Unmarried Couple||Residing at Same Address||Miss Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith||Miss Doe and Mr. Smith|
|Unmarried Couple||Residing at Different Addresses||Miss Jane Doe||Miss Doe and Mr. Smith|
|Address Men with Jr. or Junior in Name||Mr. John Smith, JrOrMr. John Smith junior||Mr. Smith|
|Address Men with II or III in Name||Mr. John Smith III||Mr. Smith|
|Single Guest and Plus One||Miss Jane DoeOrMr. John SmithOrMiss Jane Doe and Guest||Miss Doe and GuestOrMr. John Doe and Guest|
|Wife Only Has a Title||Woman is a Doctor (M.D.)||Doctor Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith||Doctor Smith and Mr. Smith|
|Man or Woman is a Doctor||Has a Doctorate (Ph. D.)||Dr. John SmithDr. Jane Smith||Dr. John SmithDr. Jane Smith|
|Officers||Male Officer who is on active duty or retired from Service||General and Mrs. John Smith||General and Mrs. Smith|
|Officers||Female Officer who is on active duty or retired from Service||Captain Jane Smith, Army, and Mr. John Smith||Captain Smith and Mr. Smith|
|Honorary Titles||“The Honourable” is used for Cabinet Members; Presidential Assistants; Ambassadors; Judges; Congressmen or Congresswomen; Heads, Assistant Heads and Commissioners of Government Agencies; Governor and Lieutenant Governor; etc.||The Honourable John Smith (if single)OrThe Honourable John Smith and Mrs. Smith (if married)OrThe Honourable Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith (if woman is married)||The Honourable SmithOrThe Honourable and Mrs. SmithOrThe Honourable and Mr. Smith|
For more tips on addressing your invitees in your wedding invitation wording & envelopes, please visit Wedding Invitation Envelopes.
If we are hosting an adults-only wedding reception, how can we politely let our wedding guests/invitees know?
This can be tricky, but it all comes down to proper wedding invitation etiquette and keeping your request line specific to the adult wedding guests intended and not including the likes of “and Family/Children” or “and Guest”.
How should we tell our wedding guests about the dress code?
You can include the dress code at the bottom of the invitation wording that says “Black Tie”, “Cocktail Attire”, “Casual Attire”, “Beach Formal’, etcetera. The style and design of the wedding invitation will also convey the “tone” or nature of the wedding.
Do we need to invite single guests with a date or a “plus one”?
It’s not necessary and is up to you, but usually if the guest is unmarried or isn’t in a serious relationship, inviting them solo is completely acceptable etiquette.
How do we word a reception only wedding invite?
If you have already had the wedding ceremony and would only wish to invite your guests to the reception, your wedding invitation wording can read as follows;
Jane and John Smith
Request the Honour of Your Presence
At a Celebration of their Marriage
Saturday, the Fifth of January Two Thousand Fifteen
At Four o’clock in the Afternoon
The Harbour Club,