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If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of your wedding preparations, we have good news for you.
You have just arrived at perhaps the most straightforward aspect of all the planning: figuring out what to write in your wedding invitation card!
In fact, the hardest part of this might just be picking out the stationery you want to use. So if you’ve already done that, then it’s smooth sailing from here. Though there are some basic things you should include in your invitations, you can really make the wording as traditional or as creative as you want.
We’re here to help break down the information you should be sure to include in your wedding invites. We’ll also provide some samples to make it even easier for you.
At the end of the day, there are no rules here. Plus, it’s your wedding, so do what you want!
Here are a few basic pieces of information that you will probably want to consider including in your wedding invitation:
The Host Line
The first line on most invitations lists who is hosting the wedding. You might be asking, “What do you mean, who is hosting my wedding?” Today, being “the host” of a wedding is kind of meaningless now that we’re beyond the days where the bride’s family always hosted and paid for the entire wedding. So for this part of the invitation, you could include the names of both sets of parents, your own names, or you could forget about this line entirely. Here are some ideas of what to write here if you do want to include this line:
“Together with their families…”
“Sarah and John invite you to…”
“Mr. John Smith and Jane Smith, and Mr. Luke Miller and Laura Miller invite you to the wedding of their children…”
“The Baker and Williams Families request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of…”
Invitation or Request Line
This may seem obvious, but you want to make sure you actually invite these people to your wedding. This is your call to action and you can pretty much phrase this any way you’d like – just keep in mind this is a good way to set the tone for your wedding, and you want your invitees to feel like you truly want them there.
For instance, if you want your wedding to feel traditional and formal you could request,
“the pleasure of your company,” or “the honor of your presence.”
If your wedding is going to be laid back, you could write something like,
“Come party with us!” or “Join us to dance the night away in celebration of our love.” It’s totally up to you.
The exact wording of the invitation line will also depend on whether or not you included a host line (I mean, you want it to make grammatical sense), but we’ll include some example of wording with and without host lines at the end of this section.
I know, you’re probably thinking, “Well, duh.” But it’s important! You want people to know it’s you two that are getting married. Just think about if you want to only list first names or include last names as well. But as long as the guests know who is getting married, then you are good to go on this front.
Date, Time & Location
You definitely want your guests to know when and where this wedding is going to be. If you’re keeping a formal tone throughout your invitation, you will probably want to write out the date in full without any numerals. Similarly, the time of day should be spelled out using “o’clock.” If you want your invites to be casual, then feel free to use numerals.
For the location, you don’t necessarily need to include a full address. Usually, the name of the venue and the city and state is all that is needed. However, if there are two venues with the same or similar names, or your wedding is at someone’s home, it’s probably a good idea to include an address. Can you imagine the nightmare of everyone showing up at the wrong Westin hotel on the complete opposite side of town, or something? Yikes.
Everybody wants to know where the party is going to be! Whether you want to include this information on a separate card or on the same card as all the other information is up to you. If your ceremony and invitation are in the same place, you can just write “Reception immediately following,” or something to that degree, on the bottom of your invitation. If the reception is elsewhere, the location information for that should be included (usually on a separate line) as well as the time.
That being said, this line is another great opportunity to set the tone for your wedding and get creative (if you so choose). These are just a few cute, non-traditional ideas for your reception information line:
“Cocktails, dancing, and general merriment to follow.”
“Followed by embarrassing dance moves you’ll want to forget!”
“Wear your dancing shoes! Dinner and dancing immediately after the ceremony.”
“Open bar, so get ready to party like you did in your fraternity days!”
“Get ready to party like it’s 1999. Karaoke and libations to follow.”
The Dress Code
If you could care less about what your guests wear to your wedding, you can go ahead and skip this portion. However, if you are having a fancier wedding and want your guests to show up in black tie, the dress code is written on the lower right corner corner of the care, according to wedding invitation etiquette.
Your last decision is whether or not to include a separate response card for your guests to fill out and return to you. Since so many couples today use wedding websites to help themselves stay organized and keep their guests in the loop about wedding details, you can also just include the link to RSVP on the site. You may want to include the URL on a separate card like you would a traditional RSVP card so the long string of characters doesn’t muck up your pretty invitation.
Example Wedding Invitation Wording
Here are some examples of how to word your wedding invitation to give you a little inspiration, each with a different tone of voice to suit your overall wedding aesthetic.
Maria & José Sanchez
And Elizabeth and Roger Byrne
Invite you to celebrate with their children
Isabel & Jonathan
On their wedding day
Saturday, the seventeenth of June, two thousand and nineteen
Four o’clock in the afternoon
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
1000 Washington Avenue
Dinner and dancing to follow
Black tie invited
Fun and Simple
Are Gettin’ Hitched!
September 20th, 2018 | 2:00 PM
Jester King Brewery | Austin, TX
Dinner, dancing and drunken tomfoolery to follow!
Sweet and Romantic
Together with their families
Rachel May Anderson
Eli Taylor Robinson
Request your presence in celebrating their love
April 23rd, 2019 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon
4347 Tapestry Ln, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Reception to follow at 7 o’clock in the evening
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
For a lovely evening of dancing under the stars
Formal Religious Wedding
Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Peck
Request the honor of your presence
For the marriage of their daughter
Lydia Anne to
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Pomerantz
Saturday, the seventh of July
At one o’clock in the afternoon
Basilica of Saint Mary
Old Town Alexandria, VA
Reception to follow at four o’clock in the afternoon
The Windsor Room
We never thought this day would come.
Join us as
Gina Van Ooten
Puts on her ole’ ball and chain,
For John Sanderson,
October 5th, 2019 | 3:30 PM
Seattle Art Museum | Seattle, WA
Lots of drinking to follow
She’s going to want to forget this one!
See, it’s easy!
Seriously, do not fret too much over your wedding invitations. It’s definitely one of the easier portions of planning your wedding so try to have a little fun with it!
As long as you get the relevant information on the card, you’re good to go. From there, you can get as creative as you want. The hardest part (we think) really is just picking out the stationary that you want to use and figuring out how you want to layout your text.
If you haven’t found a design that tickles your fancy yet, we recommend checking out Mint. They will either send you a free sample kit of their various invitations with swatches of their premium paper, or individual samples of your favorite designs. Once you choose a design, you can customize your paper stock and color to make your invitations unique to your wedding. Paper Culture is another cool invite company that uses eco-friendly methods and plants trees!
After all, as long as your guests show up to your wedding at the right place and the right time, your wedding invitation has done its job!