Just because you’re engaging in the long and storied tradition of marriage with your partner, doesn’t mean you two can’t forge new ground together. Your wedding invitations are a perfect space for you to showcase what makes your love story special and get your friends and loved ones excited about your upcoming celebration.
In this article, we’ll cover several key aspects of unique wedding invitation wording, including:
Read on to learn more about some easy techniques you can apply to your wedding invitations to make the wording shine.
Before you make your own rules for the wording for your wedding invitation, it can help to know the template and work from there:
The names of the hosts (if applicable): Parents have traditionally paid for the weddings of their children. However, more and more couples are shaking things up and paying for their own celebration. Whether or not you or your partner’s parents are paying, or if you’re splitting the costs, it’s considerate to include their names on the invitation. After all, your wedding day is a big day for your parents, too.
The part that invites the guest: This is the part that actually does the inviting, with phrases like “would be honored by your attendance at the wedding of” or “request your company at the marriage ceremony of.”
The names of the couple: This information is the heart of your wedding invitation. Your guests will get excited when they see your name in such a lovely context and be eager to celebrate with you. While wedding invitations for heterosexual couples traditionally place the bride’s name before the groom’s, this is by no means necessary and can easily be done away with. If you want to order your names in a way that feels less heteronormative, simply use alphabetical order.
The ceremony date and time: This is another place where you can decide whether you want to sound more formal or casual. If you’re going for a formal tone, try writing out your wedding date and time instead of using numerals. For a casual tone, try the opposite. You can include the year if you want—especially if it’s more than a year in advance, so your guests don’t incorrectly assume the date.
The ceremony location: Let guests know where they can join the festivities. Offer the name of the venue at this section of the invitation. You can add the street address for extra clarity or save it for a directions enclosure card. If you’re getting married at a private home, you can include only the address or also give it a title such as, “Our Loving Home.” No matter where you’re getting married, be sure to include the city and state.
The reception: Is your reception taking place at the same venue as your ceremony? In that case, you can simply put, “Reception immediately following,” or “An evening of celebration to follow,” or “Dinner and dancing afterward.” Include the reception time if it’s not occurring right after the ceremony. If the reception is in a separate location from the ceremony, include the address on your invitations. You can add additional details to your reception enclosure card.
So here’s what that looks like all put together:
Mr. Rakheem Madani and Dr. Hediyeh Madani
And Mr. and Mrs. Peter Morgan
request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their children Leila Marie to Timothy Louis Saturday, June 11th, twenty twenty-two at six o’clock in the evening De Young Museum San Francisco, California
Dinner, drinks, and dancing to follow
Now that you know the general shape of the invitation, it’s time to bring your own personality to the wording of the piece.
One way you can let your personality shine through is by paying attention to your tone of voice. The tone is essentially the attitude of a piece of writing.
It’s easy to stray from a worn-out, traditional tone in your wedding invitations by adding some linguistic flair. You can also maintain an elegant and timeless ethos without leaning too much on overly familiar invitation language.
Read on for some different tones you can take in your wedding invitations.
If the wedding of your dreams is classic, elegant, and timeless, you can bring that elegance to your invitation wording. A more sophisticated approach can easily be done by adding more formal words and turns of phrase throughout your invitation. Here are a few tips
Using prefixes: Adding a “Ms.” or “Mr.” in front of a name immediately adds a sophisticated air to your invitation.
Having hosts invite the guests: Typically, the parents of one of the newlyweds invite the guests in the wording of the invite. Granted, you and your partner will be the ones deciding on the invite design and sending the invites out.
Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Sanchez would be delighted to have your attendance at the marriage of their daughter Jessica Leigh to Mr. Elliot Joseph Chen.
Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Sanchez invite you to share in their excitement at the marriage of their daughter Jessica Leigh to Mr. Elliot Joseph Chen.
Jessica Leigh Sanchez and Elliot Joseph Chen request the honor of your presence at their wedding ceremony and reception.
Ms. Jessica Leigh Sanchez and Mr. Elliot Joseph Chen request the pleasure of your company at their wedding ceremony and reception.
Ms. Jessica Leigh Sanchez and Mr. Elliot Joseph Chen invite you to celebrate their marriage.
Ms. Jessica Leigh Sanchez and Mr. Elliot Joseph Chen are thrilled to invite you to celebrate their marriage.
Ms. Jessica Leigh Sanchez and Mr. Elliot Joseph Chen joyfully invite you to celebrate their marriage.
To make your wedding invitations sound more casual, you can use colloquial language—things you would usually say in spoken conversation. It sounds more conversational, lively, and friendly. Your guests may even read it in your voice and feel more connected to you through the invitation. This can be as simple as saying “Hey!” instead of “Hello.”
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Come celebrate with us! Michael Terrence Johnson and Sean Khan-Patel are getting married.
Break out your dancing shoes: Mike and Sean are saying “I do!”
Mikey and Sean are getting married and they want you to be there (lucky you)!
Attention nearest and dearest: You’ve been invited to celebrate Mike and Sean’s biggest party ever—our wedding!
Mikey popped the question, Sean said yes, now we’ve got a question for you: Want to come to our wedding?
Mikey and Sean are tying the knot! We’re going all out and we want you to be there!
Sean and Mikey are saying “I do!” and would love you to be there!
Are you someone who always has your friends laughing? Then you may want to bring that positive energy to your wedding invitations. Wedding invitations don’t always have to be serious and formal—you can use subtle puns or jokes to add a comedic touch.
Try to keep the comedy light, so that it doesn’t overpower what’s important about the day—celebrating your love story. You also don’t want a joke or sarcastic tone to confuse or detract from the important information on your wedding invitations.
Writing a comedic wedding invitation can be a delicate balance, but it’s a tone that’s sure to put smiles on your guests’ faces.
Hey, you! Are you doing anything Saturday, June 4th? Because we’re getting married!
Luisa Ortega and Dylan O’Brien are (finally) getting hitched!
Did someone say wedding cake? Oh wait, that was us—Luisa and Dylan are headed to the altar!
Luisa and Dylan are throwing a party. Jewelry and cake will be involved. Want to come?
Dylan and Luisa have been in love for years. Now they’re getting paperwork involved and throwing a party about it! (Translation: We’re getting married!).
Who? Luisa and Dylan What? They’re getting married. Where? The Edinburgh Zoo. Why? Because we’re party animals crazy for love and want you to come!
It’s important to note that you can also complement your chosen tone of voice with your wedding invitation design. Whether its color, font, paper type, or another factor, design choices also convey tones. Gold foil accents can heighten a celebratory feel or a relaxed script font can collaborate with a casual writing style to hype your guests up for a laid-back wedding celebration.
With Zola’s wide variety of wedding invitation templates and customization options, you’re sure to find a design that complements the tone of your wedding invitation wording.
You’ve got the invitation wording down, but here are a few extra tips and tricks to create a beautiful set of wedding invitations.
Your guests will want to come to your wedding, but they may need to organize things like childcare, time off, and of course, outfit shopping as far in advance as possible. That’s what save the dates are for. Send these out six to eight months in advance of your wedding (or a year in advance if you’re planning a destination celebration).
While a wedding invitation is meant to convey necessary details, don’t go overboard with what you include.
Don’t stuff your invitation with details: Stick to the who, what, when, and where on your invitations.
Use enclosure cards: These are great for other important pieces of information, including venue directions, schedule of events, wedding registry information, dress code, and everything else you might need to tell guests.
Take advantage of a wedding website: Enclosure cards are tasteful and informative, but they might not be able to fit every single detail of your wedding. That’s why you should add all the important details your guests will be curious about to your website. This can include whether there will be vegan options at your buffet or what the rain plan is.
Good news? Zola’s free wedding website builder makes it easy to keep your guests up to date on everything they’ll need to have an amazing time at your wedding.
If you’re working on wedding invitation wording in between all of your other to-do list tasks, it might be easy to miss a mistake here and there. Once you’ve whipped up a draft of your wording, be sure to sleep on it and then give it a fresh set of eyes.
Don’t be afraid to get creative, but don’t let the fun flair of your wedding invitations detract from the information your guests need to know.
If your swirly script font is difficult to read, take it down a notch. If your comedic prose is getting in the way of the straightforward dates and times on your invitation, save the jokes for the less detail-focused sections of your invitations.
It’s important to note that some of your guests have titles other than Mrs., Ms., or Mr.
To be gender-neutral, you can use the title Mx. when addressing your guests.
If one of your guests is a doctor, you should use Dr. when referring to them, regardless of their gender. This can be an important sign of respect, especially for non-male doctors who often have their hard-earned title dropped or forgotten due to careless patriarchal assumptions.
Going the extra mile to ensure your guests are addressed properly will make them feel loved and cared for.
Not every couple’s parental situation fits easily into a wedding invitation template. Here are a few tips for incorporating your family into your invitation wording:
Even if you or your partner’s parents have passed on, you may want to include their names on your wedding invitations out of respect, love, and honor. To do so, you can refer to a deceased parent as “the late” in your wedding invitations.
For example, this could look like, “Ana Rodriguez, daughter of Mr. Martin Rodriguez and the late Sara Rodriguez...”
Your deceased parent can still be a big part of your life and including their name on your wedding invitations can be a way to pay your respects on this important occasion in your life.
Your or your partner’s parents may not be together anymore, but you may want them both to appear on your wedding invitation nonetheless. However, your parents may not want to see their names written as a couple on your wedding invitations.
To accommodate these conflicting desires, you can simply separate your parents’ names with line breaks on your wedding invitations, as opposed to including them on the same line.
Sometimes the people that raised you aren’t your parents by blood. Stepparents or guardians can play a large and positive role in certain family arrangements, and you or your partner may want to acknowledge them on your wedding invitations as such.
It doesn’t have to get too complicated—just include the stepparent on the same line as the parent they’re married to, as you would with any other couple on a wedding invitation.
For example, it might look like “Mr. Samuel Price & Ms. Laura McClare and Mr. Nathan Starling invite you to...”
If you're unsure about how to list parents on a wedding invitation, you can always have an open conversation with them to understand their preferences. This way, you can be sure to be respectful of everyone’s situation and list their name as they would want to see it.
When you’re planning a wedding, handling a guest list can be a big source of stress. Enter Zola’s wedding guest list manager, which makes managing RSVPs, meal choices, and communication with guests as easy as a slice of, well, wedding cake.
That way, when your Great Aunt Ivy texts you her updated meal choice (again), a few quick taps at the keyboard are all you’ll need to keep your wedding planning going smoothly.
When it comes to wedding invitations, the wording is only one piece of the puzzle. You will also want to consider many design decisions, such as paper type, font, color scheme, and what decorative accents you may want to add.
After all, the wedding invitation wording you’ve worked so hard on deserves a wonderful presentation.
Don’t feel overwhelmed if you don’t know where to start when it comes to designing your wedding invitations. When you work with Zola, we can assist you every step of the way with our easy-to-use tools for everything from designing invitations and websites to searching for wedding venues and florists.
Weddings are about togetherness, and with Zola, you’re not alone in planning your big day.