The Top Two Wedding Invitation Wording Mistakes

Wedding InvitationI was recently asked what the top two invitation wording mistakes are that I see most often. I didn’t have to think very long to come up with an answer!

And … I recently received a wedding invitation that had both in the same invitation!

The first one that quickly caught my eye was on the “request line” …  and I see this one a lot. As most people know, there are two choices for the “request line” wording: honour of your presence and pleasure of your company. Most people think these two phrases are interchangeable. However, if one is going for “proper”, then honour of your presence is chosen when the wedding is held in a house of worship and pleasure of your company, when it is held at a hotel, beach, country club, and the like.

Another common mistake I see often is putting “and” on a line by itself to join two names other than the bride’s and groom’s. It is best to reserve the use of a “joining word” (“and” or “to”) on a line by itself for the bride’s and groom’s names. This allows their names to stand out when one first glances at the invitation.

When both sets of parents are hosting, if you wish to include “and” after the bride’s parent’s names, the best solution is to add it on the same line as the groom’s parent’s names. Or it can be omitted entirely.

I have included an example for you below showing how the wording would look when both parents are hosting. In this case, where both sets of parents’ names are on the invitation, the bride’s last name is also used. Notice that the bride’s and groom’s names stand out because they are the only names on the invitation that have the joining word (“and” or “to”) on a line by itself.Wedding Invitation

Invitation shown: Colorful Chic – Available in 7 accent colors.

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For more invitation wording tips, type “Invitation” in to the Search box at the top right of this page or click on “Invitations” in the Category Cloud in the bottom right-hand column. And, as always, if you have invitation wording questions, I’ll be happy to answer them here.

A Step-By Step Guide to Your Wedding Invitation Wording – Part 2

Continuing from Part 1 with our Step-By-Step Guide to every line of your wedding invitation, each line of the invitation is explained below . . .

Invitational Line: The first line, the “invitational line” just as its name suggests, simply tells who is issuing the invitation. It typically includes the bride’s parents’ names if they are hosting or it may include the couple’s names if they are hosting the wedding themselves.

Request Line: The line that actually invites your guests to the wedding varies depending on where you plan to marry. Use “request the honour of your presence” if you plan to wed in a church, synagogue, or other house of worship. Use “request the pleasure of your company” if you are marrying elsewhere. The preferred spelling for “honour” and “favour” is a matter of personal preference. “Honour” is the more traditional, English version. Whichever spelling you choose, use it consistently throughout your wedding correspondence.

Bride’s Name: The bride’s two given names are shown on this line. Her last name is also included if it is different from her parents’ last name, if the groom’s parents’ names are also on the invitation and she wants to add her last name for clarity, or if she and her financé are issuing the invitations themselves.

Joining Word: This is the word that joins the bride’s name and groom’s name. Traditional wording often uses the preposition “to” since the bride will be married “to” her groom. However, traditional Jewish invitations include the word “and” between the bride’s name and groom’s name to indicate the joining of two families. You will also find “and” used in the traditional wording for invitations to many Catholic ceremonies. Basically, the use of “to” or “and” in both wedding invitations and announcements is a personal preference.

The use of “to” or “and” on a line alone allows the bride’s and groom’s names to stand out when one first glances at the invitation and is generally reserved for this use alone. When both sets of parents’ names are at the top of the invitation, using “and” between them will reduce the impact of the bride’s and groom’s names. In this situation, if you wish to include “and”, the best solution is to add it on the same line as the groom’s parents’ names.

Groom’s Name: Along with the groom’s full name, include the title “Mr.” on the invitation under most circumstances. If he is a medical doctor, the title “Doctor” should be written in full, not abbreviated.

Date Line, Year Line: Do not use abbreviations or numerals on the date line; each word should be written out. Add “morning” or “evening” after the day only if the time of the wedding might otherwise be interpreted either way. If you plan to marry at nine o’clock, for example, that could refer to morning or evening and would need clarification. You will occasionally see the word “on” used before the date, but It is preferable to omit it. Adding a line for the year is a matter of personal choice; it is not necessary, but it is also not improper. You may want to include it since your invitation will be a keep-sake for generations to come. The year should always be included on wedding announcements since they are mailed after the wedding has taken place.

Time Line: If you plan to marry on the hour, the time line simply reads “at five o’clock,” but if your wedding is scheduled for 5:30, it should read “at half after five o’clock.”

Location: Always include the full name of the wedding site, with no abbreviations. If you plan to marry at home, simply include the full address. You may use the phrase “at the residence of” if you plan to marry at the home of friends.

Location Address: Since you rarely need to include the exact street address of your ceremony site unless two sites share the same name, the city and state serve as the address. If your reception will be held at the same site, you may add the line “and afterwards at the reception “ following city and state.

Footnotes: A brief footnote may be added at the bottom of your invitation to indicate proper attire or another special circumstance, and may be positioned in the left corner, right corner, or bottom center. Keep in mind that it should be no more than a word or two; too much copy and the words will be small and difficult to read. A footnote that is too long can also detract from the look of your invitation by throwing the copy off balance. A footnote may be added to a traditional invitation, if the ceremony and reception will take place at the same location and if you do not choose to include a separate reception card.

Trying to choose the perfect invitation can be intimidating! Exclusively Weddings has made it easier by offering free invitation samples.
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A Step-By Step Guide to Your Wedding Invitation Wording – Part 1

Although the basics of wedding invitations haven’t changed much over the years, family situations have become more complex than ever. Ceremony and reception locations have also become more varied as couples plan celebrations that truly reflect their personalities.

When it comes to the actual invitation wording, etiquette has softened a bit with the times, but it still offers comfortable ways to work through difficult family situations that may arise. Perhaps your parents are divorced but still plan to host the reception together, or maybe the two of you want to issue the invitation yourselves. If so, you’ll need to know how to put it in writing.

The beauty of the following step-by-step advice is that it guides you through every line of your invitation. With the proper wording to reflect your own situation, you an finalize the who, when, and where of one of the most memorable days of your life.

Doctor and Mrs. Robert John Williams
invitational line

request the honour of your presence
request line

at the marriage of their daughter
request line

Sarah Anne
bride’s name

to
joining word
[use “and” for a Jewish wedding, some Catholic ceremonies
and as an option for all situations.]

Mr. Brian Daniel Miller, junior
groom’s name    

Saturday, the fourth of June
date line

Two thousand and twelve
year line

at half after five o’clock
time line

Church of Christ
location

Chicago, Illinois
location address

See Part 2 for more  ….

Trying to choose the perfect invitation can be intimidating! Exclusively Weddings has made it easier by offering free invitation samples.
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