Photo: Rebecca Yale Photography
In this modern age, wording your wedding invitations can seem like a minefield of potential faux pas. Traditionally, each set of parents is acknowledged on the invitation as a host of the affair, but as more couples choose to pay for their own weddings, the process becomes ever more convoluted. So what is the proper way to honor parents on the wedding invitation when the bride and groom are footing the bill? Our etiquette experts weigh in.
The key to paying tribute to your parents while maintaining precedence on the invitation is a matter of organizing the text and proper wording. A classic wedding invitation is typically written as an entreaty of the bride's parents to guests, requesting their presence at the wedding: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter, Elizabeth Smith to John Jones."
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However, as your parents are not taking financial responsibility for the wedding, you and your fiancé can take top billing on the invitation. Some couples may choose to omit their parents' names altogether, simply referring to family with a simple, "Together with their parents" or "Together with their families": "Together with their parents, Elizabeth Smith and John Jones request the pleasure of your company at their marriage." Another popular format reverses the order of the parents' names with the couples' names: "Elizabeth Smith, Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and John Jones, Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jones, request the pleasure of your company at their marriage." Either of these options will indicate that you and your future hubby are the technical hosts of the affair, while still honoring both of your parents.