Dissecting the Wording in Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitation performs a simple yet critical function. While there are many invitation styles, traditional wedding etiquette prescribes basic rules to follow for the wording of your invite. The following example, with the bride’s parents hosting the wedding, is used to highlight these rules:

Notice how all the words have been written out in full. The only exception is the use of “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Likewise, “Doctor” and “junior” would be written out in full although “Dr.” and “jr.” (with a lowercase j) may also be acceptable.

This wedding will take place in a church. As such, the phrase “request the honour of your presence” is used. In the case of a civil ceremony, in a non-religious venue (e.g. home, hotel, garden), the phrase “request the pleasure of your company” would be used.

As Canadians, it should come as no surprise to us that the British spelling is preferred in wedding invitations. Thus, words like “honour” and “favour” are spelled with the letter “u”.

The bride’s name always appears first before the groom’s name. Her last name is omitted unless it is different from that of her parents. “Mr.” may be added before the groom’s name.

Notice Johnathon’s full name. In this case, Roman numerals are used in names, rather than saying “the third” or “3rd.”

Dates and times are also written out in full, in the format shown. The phrases “half past” or “half after” are used as opposed to “six thirty” or “6:30”.

The year is written on a separate line. An alternative: 2004 can be written as “two thousand and four”. In our example, “twenty” has not been capitalized.

The address of the church may be added to your invitation either in full text, as in this example, or numerals can be used. To be consistent with our rules, 26 Eglinton Ave. W. has been written in full as “Twenty six Eglinton Avenue West”.

Throughout the entire invitation, only two commas are used: one to divide the date and one to divide the city and province.

Keep these basic rules in mind as you contemplate the layout of your wedding invitation. As we all know, however, no two weddings are alike and for every wedding, there is always a unique element. It is imperative that you tailor your wedding invitation to exemplify your wedding day desires.