When it comes to writing your wedding invitations, figuring out what to say can be tricky. This problem may be elevated for LGBTQ+ couples, particularly due to gendered language, heteronormative traditions, and outdated wedding etiquette.
Here at Zola, it’s our mission to make wedding planning easy for every couple. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help LGBT+ couples create the perfect invitations for their special day.
Wording is the first crucial step when crafting your wedding invitations. While there are no real rules for this, most couples prefer to take a formal approach with their invitation wording. This will lend to the overall tone of the event and prepare guests for your celebration.
With this in mind, it’s also important to recognize some of the outdated practices used in wedding invitation wording, especially those that are heteronormative and non-inclusive.
Let’s take a look at some simple adjustments that couples can make for more LGBTQ+-friendly wedding invitations.
Although guests don’t need to know who is paying for the wedding, including this on your invitations is often done as a sign of respect. Some couples choose to pay for their weddings themselves, while others may have one set of parents paying. In some instances, couples will actually split the bill with their parents or accept some form of contribution toward the grand total. These differences can affect the wording of your invitation.
Of course, couples are also welcome to skip this invitation wording etiquette altogether. Fortunately, adding your own message is easy when you use one of Zola’s customizable wedding invitation templates.
Another heteronormative wedding invitation tradition is listing the bride’s name first. For many LGBT+ couples, this guideline is one that’s best forgotten, and that’s totally fine.
There are plenty of other ways to determine whose name goes first on wedding invitations. For example, if one person’s parents are footing the bill, their name can be listed first. For couples financing their own wedding, the order of the names is entirely up to you. You can go in alphabetical order, or read the names aloud and choose the order that sounds best.
In any case, don’t stress. At the end of the day, a wedding is about the love that the couple has for one another—not the minor details.
For couples that include one or more non-binary individuals, the gendered language of wedding invitations might need to be modified. The most common way to use gender-neutral language is by incorporating they/them pronouns into your message. Many wedding invitations already do this, anyway.
Another element to consider are titles. With formal invitations, prefixes are often put before a person’s first or last name. Gendered prefixes typically include Mr., Ms., and Mrs., but many non-binary individuals aren’t comfortable with the use of these terms.
Rather than forgoing prefixes all together, there are various gender-neutral options to choose from. Some of the most common titles non-binary people prefer to use include:
Mx. – Gender-neutral alternative to Mr. and Mrs., typically pronounced em-ex.
Ind. – Short for individual.
Pr. – Short for person.
Misc. – Short for miscellus, the latin word for “mixed”. Pronounced like misk.
Other gender-neutral terms that may be used in the context of a wedding include marrier and celebrant, in place of bride or groom.
Same sex wedding invitations may, too, see some minor changes in wording. Luckily, this is easy to navigate. Below we’ve gathered some examples of same-sex and non-binary invitation wording:
“Taylor and Ash invite you to share in a celebration of their love.”
“Anne, child of Ted and Marie, and Alex, child of Jen and Nick, request the honor of your presence on their wedding day.”
“Dillon would like to formally invite you to share in a celebration of love with their partner, Rami.”
“Mr. Jonathan Rhodes and Mr. Alex Garcia request the pleasure of your company at their wedding ceremony.”
“Because you’ve shared in our lives and love, we, Alison and Jane, invite you to share in the beginning of our new life together.”
“We, Nathan and James, invite you to witness our love as we exchange vows.”
No matter what wording you choose, all wedding invitations need to have certain pieces of information. Including:
Names – The couple’s names should be included, typically in large font. Both first and last names are almost always included, but middle names and titles are optional. Hosts’ names may also be included.
Date and time – This should be the second most prominent line on the invitations and is typically placed below the names. After the date, you’ll need to specify the time at which the ceremony starts.
Reception information – Simpler weddings will have a note at the bottom that says reception follows. However, including a separate card is a good idea if you’re planning on using a different venue, or if this portion of the wedding takes place at a later time. Include names, dates, and locations on this card, too.
Dress code – Most couples include a line regarding dress code towards the bottom of the invitation. This helps guests fully prepare for the tone of the event.
RSVP card – Include a separate RSVP card for guests to fill out and mail back. Or, streamline everything through your wedding website. Zola offers free wedding websites that link to our guest list services, which track RSVPs, meal orders, and more, all in one place.
Couples should be proud of their love, and the right wedding invitations can help empower their message to all of their friends and family. While many aspects of the wedding planning process are heteronormative, there are creative ways to change the messaging to match your unique love.
With you invitation wording sorted, your sights are probably now set on vendors. For help in finding your ideal LGBTQ+ wedding vendors, click here.