How Should We Word the Invitation for a Same-Sex Wedding?

Updated 11/23/16

Tara Beth Photography

There’s a lot to keep in mind when wording your wedding invitation. Who is hosting (read: paying)? How formal is it? What type of event are you having? The list goes on. For a same-sex wedding invitation, is the format any different? Our experts weigh in.

Great news! When it comes to your invitation wording, the rules are almost exactly the same for same-sex couples as they are for straight couples. The only major difference between wording the invitation for a same-sex wedding and a straight wedding is which person’s name to put first, though that’s easy to navigate.

For a straight couple, the bride’s name usually appears first. That’s because the bride’s family traditionally pays for the wedding, so formal invitations often begin with the bride’s parents’ names, requesting guests to join them as their daughter marries their future son-in-law. For a same-sex couple, if one set of parents is paying for the wedding, their child’s name should appear first. If both of your parents are contributing, or you’re paying for the wedding yourself, it’s up to you how you list your names — just be sure to mention both sets of parents on the invitation if they’re writing any of the checks.

You could go alphabetically, or if you’re always known as “Jess and Susan” instead of “Susan and Jess,” use whatever sounds best to you!

Because same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states (yay!), you can stick with tradition and invite guests to your marriage, or opt for different language (like “union”) that feels like it speaks more to your relationship.

Everything else will depend on the type of wedding you’re having, whether it’s in a house of worship or a secular venue, and if you want to include the reception information on the same card or on an insert (which is a matter of invitation style, as well as a common practice for particularly formal invitations.

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