5 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid on Your Wedding Invitations, Menus & Programs

Don't ruin your paper goods with a simple "their" vs "they're" mistake

Updated 11/11/17

Photo by Harwell Photography

Whether you ordered them online or went custom, there’s nothing quite like seeing your wedding invitations in person for the first time. (It’s really happening!) You want to drum up that same feeling of excitement in your family and friends when they open up the envelope. In a perfect world, your guests will be oohing and aahing over the theme and look of your invites, not some big, glaring spelling or grammatical error. To make sure that happens, we’ve outlined how to avoid some common mistakes on your paper goods.

First, some general advice: to avoid snafus, get a few members of your inner circle to take a look before sending anything to print. “The best advice for avoiding errors, is sharing a proof of the printed piece with your immediate family and one reliable outsider that might have a different perspective,” says Meg Zelenovich, copywriter and proofreader at Cheree Berry Paper. “A few sets of eyes are always good.”

Kristy Rice, artist, author, stylist and founder of Momental Designs recommends Googling any words that you’re unsure of, and also running everything through spell check. “Sometimes, reading backwards helps us better identify errors,” she adds.

Tricky Words

There are certain words that look weird no matter how many times your write them out. Unfortunately, when it comes to wedding planning those often seem to land on menus and programs. According to Zelenovich, many errors happen with tricky to spell words like Brussels sprouts and vinaigrette, or with words that include accent marks, like entrée and purée. (And of course, you’ll want to look up any word that you have to think twice about, like hors d’oeuvres, as well as double check the spelling of names, songs or reading titles.)

Rice says that “accommodations” is definitely the most misspelled word on enclosure cards, which incidentally is where most slip ups occur. So keep a close eye on those inserts!

Homophones

You’ll want to watch out for words that are often swapped out for each other like there, their and they're in phrases like “along with their parents,” Rice says. Also avoid mixing up your and you’re in phrases like “the honor of your presence.”

Dates

When it comes to dates included on an invitation, there are a few things that often trip couples up, according to Rice. Numbers like eighth, ninth, twelfth, eighteenth and thirtieth are some of the most commonly misspelled, while February is the month that is most often misprinted. Rice says that many couples also want to throw in the word “and” when they spell out a year. “It is not two thousand AND seventeen, it is two thousand seventeen,” she says.

Improper Capitalization

Resist the shift key! According to Andrea Ceasar, founder and owner of Paper Works and Events, a mistake she sees often is related to capitalization when it comes to the date and attire. “Most people capitalize the first letter of each word in the year which is incorrect,” she says. “The correct way is ‘Two thousand seventeen’ not ‘Two Thousand Seventeen’ or [when it comes to] attire, it should only be the first word that gets capitalized—’Black tie’ not ‘Black Tie.’”

Incorrect Abbreviations

You may want to get your invitations done ASAP because you’re tired AF, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid thinking 2x about abbreviations. According to Kathy Marcelle, stationer and designer at Sugar Pear Design, one common error is adding in “please” before requesting an RSVP. “RSVP is abbreviation for répondez s’il vous plaît,” she says. “When translated it [means] ‘please respond,’ therefore does not need to have ‘please’ preceding RSVP.” Additionally, the name of any house of worship should be written out completely.

For example, it should be Saint Matthew’s Church instead of St. Matthew’s Church.

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