Most frequently when working with clients on custom wedding invitations, I spend a lot of time answering questions about etiquette, whether it is for the invitations themselves, additional cards or guest addresses. So I wanted to spend some time going through these different items and breaking down the etiquette details that go into each one.
Today, I’m going to start at the beginning and break down a wedding invitation how to properly word it.
This is the opening line where the host that is requesting your guest’s presence is listed. Everybody’s situation is different. For some it may be the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents or even the couple themselves.
This line’s wording depends on what type of wedding you’re having. If it is a more formal, church wedding you would use “request the honour of your presence”. Honour with a “u” is used when you’re married in a house of worship. If you’re wedding is less formal or outside of a church, you can use something along the lines of “cordially invite you”.
The bride and groom’s name are set apart on their own line to stand out from the rest of the invitation. Generally if the bride’s parents are listed in the host line and they have the same last name as the bride, only the first and middle name of the bride is listed. If the last name is different, it is ok to list the bride’s last name on that line. For the groom, usually his full name is listed.
It is proper to spell out everything within this line. The date (Saturday, the fourth of February), the year with no “and” or dash (two thousand sixteen), as well as the time (half past five o’clock in the evening). If the wedding is 5pm or after, it is evening, if it is before 5pm, it is afternoon.
Here you will list the full/proper name of the ceremony venue along with its address. It is ok to leave out the zip code and just list the street, city and state. If your ceremony and reception are at two different locations, you would only list the ceremony location on the card. The reception information and details would need to be on a separate card. If it is a well-known venue and there are mostly locals, it is ok to just list the venue name by itself or just the city and state. When deciding this, just be sure to take your guest into consideration and how easy it will be for them to find it.
Whether your ceremony and reception are at the same place or two different places, you can add “reception to follow” or something similar under your location line. This let’s guests know that there will be a reception afterward. If your ceremony and reception are at the same venue, you could use “reception immediately following”. You could even get more detailed to let guests know what to expect “dinner and dancing to follow” or “cocktail reception to follow”.
This is where you let guest know what to expect when it comes to attire. Don’t be afraid to include this on your invitation. Most guests actually appreciate this being included, that way they don’t have to guess and worry about being over or under dressed. If an attire is not included, most guest will be default to semi-formal (Sunday best).
Photo Credit: Shay Cochrane
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