Q&A: How to Word Your Formal Wedding Invitations

Q&A: How to Word Your Formal Wedding Invitations

If you’re hosting a traditional wedding, you’ll want to word to word your wedding invitation in a way that conveys a sense of formality. But, when it comes time to word your wedding invite, you may find yourself pausing and wondering about grammar, punctuation and other technicalities.

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.

These are the most-asked questions about wording your formal invitation.

Does Everything Get Spelled Out?

Yes, 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. For example:

at five o'clock in the evening
on Saturday, the eighth of June
two thousand and twenty-four

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.

The Sweet Rose Winery
13 North Hampton Avenue
Hanover, New Hampshire

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.

Do We Use Our Last Name on Our Wedding Invitation?

A last name isn’t needed for the couple if their parent’s names are included on the invitation. It’s considered redundant. For example, if Meghan’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
Meghan Marie
to
Joseph Ryan Browne

If both parents are mentioned, then both last names would be omitted:

Mr. and Mrs. William Featherton
and
Mr. Henry Browne
invite you to the marriage of their children
Meghan Marie
to
Joseph Ryan

Whose Name Comes First?

Wedding invitation etiquette states the bride’s name comes first.

For same-sex weddings, the rules are different. If one partner’s parent is hosting, list their name first. For instance:

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Rubes
invite you to the marriage of their son
Maxwell James
to
John Matthew Nessbit

If neither set of parents are inviting, list the names in alphabetical order, or whatever sounds best to you:

The honour of your presence is requested
at the marriage of
John Matthew Nessbit
and
Maxwell James Rubes

If My Parents are Divorced, How Do I Word it on My Invitation?

The names of married couples are on the same line. The names of divorced couples are on separate lines. We have lots of examples of divorced parent wedding invitation wording that cover every scenario!

What Do I Capitalize on Our Invitation?

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. Here’s an example:

Mr. & Mrs. Neal Thornton
and
Mr. & Mrs. Ray Martin
invite you to share in the joy
of the marriage
uniting their children
Lucille Mae
and
Cole Ray
This celebration of love will be
on Saturday, the nineteenth of June
two thousand twenty-four
at three o'clock in the afternoon
Stone’s Throw
298 Fulton Road
Lakeside, Minnesota

Do I Use "The honor of your presence…" or "The pleasure of your company…"?

This rule is simple!

"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.

What’s the Difference Between 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.

Do I Use “To” or “And”?

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 if the bride and groom are doing the inviting without their parents.

Here’s the difference between using “to” and “and”:

Mr. and Mrs. Elmore Fillmore
invite you to the marriage of their daughter
Emmaline Jane
to
Trevor Miller Bilton

vs.

Mr. and Mrs. Elmore Fillmore
invite you to the marriage of their daughter
Emmaline Jane
and
Trevor Miller Bilton

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. So, it’s up to you! Here are the two ways you could spell out the year on your wedding invitations:

two thousand and twenty-four

or

two thousand twenty-four

Just because there are a lot of rules when it comes to formal wedding invitation wording, don’t worry! Most guests will never notice if you don’t follow ALL "the rules." If you have any questions as you personalize your wedding invite, be sure to reach out to our experts for help and advice.

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