How Do You Word the Invitation When the Bride's Parents Are Paying for the Wedding?

Etiquette
wedding invitation wording ideas

Photo: Aaron Dyer

We asked The Official Preppy Handbook's Lisa Birnbach to field your bridal dilemmas. Listen up, ladies. Her tips will help you keep your sanity—and your friendships—in tact.

When the groom's parents are just guests and the bride's parents are the hosts (and paying for the entire wedding), how does one word an invitation kindly and formally? —Sylwia L. of London, Ontario, via Facebook

Dear Sylwia,

In the olden days—say the era of Mad Men, or the '80s—traditional invitations mentioned only the bride's parents. They were the ones inviting you to their daughter's wedding. Nowadays, it's rare that the bride's parents foot the entire bill, and so the wording has changed to reflect the times. Technically, it is not necessary for your fiancé's parents to be included in the invitation, but if you'd like, a nice compromise would be: "Mr. and Mrs. John Lewis request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their daughter, Sylwia, to Mr. Dean G. Martin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Martin." Take note, Sylwia: This is not obligatory, but it's formal and generous—two of my favorite qualities.

—Lisa Birnbach

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