Wedding Etiquette: A Guide For The Modern Couple – Wedding Invitation Wording

Words words words.

Today my darling, is all about wedding invitation wording. Whose name goes, where, how and why.

As promised, back to help us is delightful wedding etiquette guru Jo Bryant to uncover some of the confusion with the etiquette surrounding the practicality of an invitation and the all important wedding invitation wording.

If you missed Jo’s first of four in the wedding etiquette series on managing family politics, you can catch up here. 

In an age of advance technology and wedding websites, do we still ‘need’ to be sending out paper wedding invitations?


Even in our digital age, wedding invitations are still the norm and should be sent if that is your preference. Also, in this day and age, there is nothing more pleasurable than receiving something beautiful by proper post.

Invitations are important for practical and aesthetic reasons. They convey all the essential information about your day, but more importantly are the beginning of the wedding experience you will provide for your guests. They are the first point of contact about the day so set the feel for tone and style.

What information should go on wedding invitations? 


Always keep information in your invitations brief and to the point. Traditionally, the invitation lets guests know the following:

  • who is hosting (eg bride and groom, bride’s parents, both sets of parents etc)
  • who is getting married to whom
  • the wedding date
  • the time and location of the ceremony
  • the reception venue
  • the RSVP address (postal or email)
  • an unusual dress code, if there is one other than the usual wedding attire of morning dress/suits etc, for example ‘black tie’
  • the names of exactly who is invited – especially important if there is a policy on children, or if a partner is/isn’t invited

What information should go in information cards?


This should be practical information about the day, giving guests guidance to eliminate the need for them to ask the hosts questions in advance of the day. The following is often included on information cards:

  • policy on children, if they are not invited, if childcare is available etc.
  • directions/map of the ceremony and reception (especially important if rural and sat nav may not work)
  • local hotels and B&Bs, or details of accommodation available at the reception venue
  • transport (taxi numbers, details of coaches/minibuses provided etc)
  • any specifics about car parking
  • details about gifts or a wedding list
  • a timeline of the day or, if unsure, at least an end time so people know when to order taxis, arrange babysitters etc
  • requests for any dietary requirements
  • contact numbers, emails, website details
  • a reply-by (RSVP) date
  • any other specific of the day that the guests should be aware of in advance for the purpose of planning the logistics of their own day


Now help us out with the wording Jo, can you give us some examples of the following:


1.Traditional invitation wording

Note: traditional wording assumes the bride’s parents are married and hosting:

Mr and Mrs Tom Jones

request the pleasure of

your company at the marriage

of their daughter

Joanna Jane


Mr Thomas Edward McInnes

at St Mary’s Church, Lovelytown

on Saturday 18th June 2016

at 2 o’clock

and afterwards at

The Amazing Hotel, Happyville

2.Formal but friendly wording

Mr and Mrs Tom Jones

request the pleasure of

your company to celebrate the marriage of

Joanna and Tom

on Saturday 18th June 2016

at 2pm at The Amazing Hotel, Happyville

3.Couple hosting without parents

‘Thomas McInnes and Joanna Jones’, or less formally ‘Thomas and Joanna’ request the pleasure of/invite you…’

4. Couple and parents on both sides hosting

‘Thomas McInnes and Joanna Jones, together with their parents, request the pleasure of/invite you…’

5. Couple and parents on one side hosting, parents separated with different partners

If both parents are remarried:

‘Thomas McInnes and Joanna Jones, together with Mr and Mr James Jones, and Mr and Mrs Jane Smith request the pleasure…’

When should invitations be sent out and how long should guests be given to RSVP?


UK (home) weddings: Two to three months beforehand is customary for invitations but, given our busy schedules, it is advisable to send out save-the-date cards up 6-10 months or so in advance.

For destination weddings, sending a wedding invite a year in advance would be fine as people need time and to plan and budget accordingly. Sending save-the-dates prior takes pressure of finalising all the details required for an invitation, but allows guests to book in the date.

How can couples chase responses without feeling like they are being pushy?


It’s best to leave it for as long as possible. For the couple’s friends, an email to each person would be fine (never a group email or round-robin). For relations and parents’ friends, the couple could ask their relevant parent to chase.

This proves it’s not straight forward is it! I hope that’s cleared a few things up!

Thank you again for your words of wisdom Dear  Jo Bryant

The Talent

Photography: Cecelina Photography

Stationery: Curious Me Design via Nu Bride Bignor Park Shoot

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2 Responses to “Wedding Etiquette: A Guide For The Modern Couple – Wedding Invitation Wording”

  1. Beautiful Wishes
    April 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    What a lovely style of wedding stationery. These just show how keeping it lovely and simple can really work well

  2. Pete
    July 19, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    Really interesting article here, it’s funny that I never really thought about the wording of our invitations too much until we had to actually do them. We have tried to include as much information as possible but have opted to send pretty basic invitations as well as an e-shot to all those invited. We have used these great stamps (, which are such a cool design to send out our traditional invitations, and then expanded on the information in the email so everyone has everything they need to know about the day without sending out an essay.

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