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10 Tips for Wording Formal Wedding Invitations

Honor vs. honour? Whose name goes first? Where are the commas and periods? These are just a few of the questions you might have while personalizing and ordering your wedding invitations. We’re here to tell you about the rules of formal wedding invitation wording you should be following.

  • 1. Spell it out.
  • Almost every word on your wedding invitation will be spelled out. You may use titles like Mr. and Mrs. but you must spell out the wedding date, time and year. You will also spell out words and numbers appearing in the venue’s address, like court, avenue and street. House numbers and apartment numbers can remain numbers. If you need to see some wording examples, check out our custom wedding invitation verses.
  • 2. Where are the commas and periods?
  • Line breaks act as commas and periods in wedding invitation wording. You may use periods in titles like Mr. and Mrs. You may use commas if separating information in the middle of a line. Otherwise, they usually aren’t needed.
  • 3. When are last names needed?
  • A last name isn’t needed for the bride or groom if their parents’ names are included on the invitation. It’s considered redundant. For example, if Sallie Ann’s parents were the hosts of the wedding, the wedding invitation would read…
    Mr. and Mrs. William Featherton
    invite you to the marriage of their daughter
    Sallie Mae
    to
    Joseph Ryan Brown
  • If the groom’s parents were also mentioned, the groom’s last name would be omitted.
  • 4. Who comes first?
  • Wedding invitation etiquette states the bride’s name comes first.
  • 5. How to indicate divorced parents on an invitation.
  • The names of married couples are on the same line. The names of divorced couples are on separate lines.
  • 6. Capitalization
  • Do not capitalize the first word of each line. Only capitalize the first word of the invitation and all proper nouns. Capitalize any line that stands on its own if it would be the start of a new sentence.
  • 7. "The honor of your presence…" or "The pleasure of your company…"
  • "The honor of your presence" indicates the wedding is in a place of worship. "The pleasure of your company" indicates the wedding is taking place at a secular venue.
  • 8. Honor or Honour?
  • The "ou" has become a personal style preference. "Honour" and "favour" are the British spellings of "honor" and "favor." Some feel the British spellings are more formal and dignified. However, the choice is yours. Just be sure to stay consistent throughout the entire wedding invitation ensemble.
  • 9. The proper joining word.
  • The word "to" between the bride and groom’s names indicates a Christian wedding while the word "and" indicates a Jewish wedding. "And" is also used on invitations issued by the bride and groom, and wedding reception invitations.
  • 10. Does "and" belong in the year?
  • Technically, no. The word "and" in numbers actually represents a decimal point. However, "two thousand and sixteen" has become incredibly common.

There are a lot of rules when it comes to formal wedding invitation wording. Try not to worry too much though because most guests will never notice if you don’t follow ALL "the rules." Once you’ve written your wedding invitation wording, take a look at this Proofing Checklist to make sure everything is ready for printing.