Wording and Etiquette
Helping you through the minefield of wedding stationery etiquette
This is the line that typically denotes who is hosting, or picking up the tab for the bulk of the wedding. Traditionally, this was the bride’s parents. It has become increasingly more common for couples to pay for their own wedding, or for the bride and groom’s parents to equally share in the cost. All families are different. Factors, such as whether the host(s) are married, divorced or remarried can affect how this portion of the invitation is worded. Other considerations include deceased parent(s) and same sex union. If you’d like some guidance in this matter, please contact us for wording suggestions.
The request line usually indicates where the wedding will be held. Honour of your presence indicates a ceremony held in a house of worship / The pleasure of your company indicates the ceremony is taking place at a secular location. When both sets of the couple's parents are hosting, this line would specify "at the marriage of their children."
Bride and Groom Lines
The bride always precedes the groom. If her parents are hosting then she will be referred to by her first and middle names only. The groom is referred to by his first, middle and last name.
Date and Time Lines
The day of the week usually preceeds the date. Only the day of the week and the month are capitalised. Everything is written out in full, numbers are not used. Traditionally the first letter of the year is capitalized. No portion of the time line is ever capitalised. Time of day is spelled out using o’clock or half after xx o’clock. Evening begins at five o’clock, otherwise it is considered afternoon from noon until four o’clock.
The street address is not usually necessary, unless the event is taking place at a private home or unlisted address. If it is included, street/avenue/road should be written out in full. City/town and County should always be written out with no abbreviations.
Especially formal or traditional invitations include this information on a separate card. Otherwise, the reception information can be included on the invitation if there is room. If the ceremony and reception will take place at the same location, you may print "and afterward at the reception" or "reception immediately following." When the reception is held elsewhere, the location goes on a second line.
This should be written out in full in accordance with the above format.
A note about capitalisation - Aside from proper nouns, only the day of the week, month and first letter of the year should be capitalised. More often, the first letter of the reception line is also being capitalised, though traditionally it is not.
For further information on wording and etiquette, I suggest visiting the Debrett's website.