April 10, 2008

Wedding Etiquette/Invitations

Formal Wedding Invitation Wording

We all expect planning a wedding to be a sea of details, but did you expect the tidal wave of etiquette difficulties too?   Here are the basics, so you can spend your precious time planning the fun stuff.  The standard, formal wording meant for a wedding paid for by the bride’s parents is:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Beth Anne to Theodore Edward Jones at the Cathedral on West End Saturday, the Seventeenth of May At four o’clock

If bride's parents are divorced, the mother's name traditionally goes on the first line and the father's name on the second line separated by the word "and".  The same layout fits if both sets of parents will be hosting.  If Bride's parents are hosting, but would like to include grooms parents on the invitation, the invitation is generally phrased like this:

Mr. and Mrs. Clint Jones request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Mary Catherine to Thomas Joseph Kramer son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Kramer etc.

A deceased parent may be mentioned using the following form, since they are unable to formally host the wedding.

Martina Jones daughter of Maggie Elizabeth Jones and the late John Mark  Jones and Jason Matthew Smith son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Smith request the honour of your presence at their marriage etc

If you are getting married at a place other than a place of worship, then use the phrase “request the pleasure of your company” instead.  Formal wedding invitations never use “a.m” or “p.m.”, they use “o’clock”.

Jewish weddings use the joining word "and" instead of "to" between the bride and groom's names. Also in Jewish weddings, both the bride and groom's parents always appear on the invitation.


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