Choosing an elegant wedding venue, hiring the right caterer, and finding the perfect wedding dress are tasks that typically dominate a couple’s thoughts in the months after an engagement ring has been slipped on her finger. While these are all important aspects of one’s nuptials, finding the perfect wedding invitations (and knowing how to word them correctly) deserves a fair amount of attention as well. To help our couples sort out the Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Invitation Etiquette, De Luxe Banquet Hall has included this helpful infographic in our wedding preparations blog. Now get writing!
The Host Line
The bride’s parents are traditionally listed in the Host Line because they traditionally paid for the wedding expenses. Today, however, many other arrangements are common, so it is not uncommon for the Groom’s Parents or the Couple themselves to appear on the Host Line.
The Etiquette “Order of Operations”
If the Bride’s Family Issues the Invitations:
- Father of the Bride followed by Mother of the Bride
- If Mother of the Bride is remarried, husband of the Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Bride, followed by Father of the Bride (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. Jack Brown
- If divorced and not remarried, Mother of the Bride followed by Father of the Bride
If the Groom’s Family Issues Invitations:
- Father of the Groom followed by Mother of the Groom
- If Mother of the Groom is remarried, husband of the Mother of the Groom, Mother of the Groom, followed by Father of the Groom
- If divorced and not remarried, Mother of the Groom followed by Father of the Groom
If Both Families Issue Invitations:
- Bride’s Family precedes Groom’s Family
- Or each family may issue their own separate invitations
If Couple Issues Invitations:
- Bride precedes Groom (i.e. Miss Jane Doe and Mr. Will Turner)
If Everyone Issues the Invitations:
- Family, Bride, Groom (i.e. With Their Families, Miss Jane Doe and Mr. Will Turner)
The Request Line
Be sure to specify is your guest is invited to the wedding ceremony or to the reception only. Note: It is considered bad manners to invite a guest just to the ceremony, although a guest may choose to leave before the reception. Some Request Line phrases include:
- request your presence at
- cordially invite you to
- would be delighted by your presence at
The Bride and Groom Line
The bride and groom’s names are announced without courtesy titles and joined with a “to” or “and.” Also, if the groom or bride’s family is not mentioned in the host line, they may be included on the Bride and Groom Line.
The Date and Time
- Saturday, the seventeenth of November, two o’clock in the afternoon
- Saturday, November 17, 2012, 2 o’clock
- November 17th, 2 p.m.
- November 17, 2012, 2 PM
If the reception is taking place in the same place as the wedding ceremony, you need only say “reception follows.” If it is in a different location, couples often include a separate card with new location, driving directions, parking information, etc.
- Don’t want kids at the reception? Write “adult reception”
- Words to use for dress code: black tie, semi formal, cocktail attire, festive attire, creative black tire, white tie, black tie optional, dressy casual, informal
- Not serving dinner? Say: “a cocktail reception to follow,” hors d’oeuvres reception to follow,” “dessert reception,” or “cake and punch reception”
You can include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the RSVP, or many couple’s are omitting the envelop and asking guests to RSVP online.