How to Word Your Wedding Invitation

Etiquette, Invites & Stationery
How to Word Your Wedding Invitation

Photo: Ashley Buzzy

You've spent hours poring over card stocks and fonts, but what should your wedding invitations actually say? Don't worry if you're not familiar with all the rules for wording your invites — you're about to be totally covered. We asked the best of the best, Ellen Weldon, stationer to the stars (she's Oprah's go-to), to give us a cheat sheet for every possible scenario.

word wedding invitation married parents host

Photo: Gorman Studio

Above: Your Married parents are hosting
They're footing the bill, so put their names up top. Insert your mom's last name if it's different from your dad's.

But what if...

His parents are hosting too
Add an "and" after line 1, then a line with his parents' names. Change "daughter" to "children" and "to" to "and."

You're a same-sex couple
If both sets of parents are hosting, their respective names should be listed on
two separate lines in the same order as yours. If only one set is hosting, put just their names on the host line.

You're really old-school
Go with "Mr. and Mrs. Michael Martinez." Put a "Mr." in front of the groom's name too.

Your ceremony is in a house of worship
Change line two on the invitation (below the parents names) to "request the honor of your presence."

You're Jewish
Replace "to" between your names with "and."

word wedding invitation parents divorced

Photo: Gorman Studio

Above: Your parents are divorced
Even if they're cohosting, put your mom and dad on separate lines, with her coming first.

But what if...

You want to include a stepparent
Add the name to his/her spouse's line. Note: The woman's name always goes first on each line— even if she's your stepmother.

See More: 25 Creative Wedding Invitation Designs for Every Style of Ceremony

word wedding invitation you two hosting

Photo: Gorman Studio

Above: You two are hosting
You're paying for your bash, so your full names should go first.

But what if...

But, you want to include your parents
Add "Together with their families" above your names.

word wedding invitation not traditional type

Photo: Gorman Studio

Above: Or maybe, you're not the traditional type
These days, you don't have to follow wording etiquette to the letter. As long as your fête isn't formal and you include the essential info guests need — who, what, when, and where — you can be as creative as you want. Have it read the way you'd actually say it! Use numerals instead of spelling out numbers! If following the rules isn't your thing, forget them and do you.

Things to remember if...

You hate your middle name
Skip it! Middle names are 100 percent optional.

You have a dress code
Print it in the lower-right-hand corner.

You're including reception information
For a super-formal wedding, or when the vows and party are in different venues, reception details should go on a separate card. Otherwise, just add a note to the lower-left-hand corner.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES February/March 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

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