Wedding Invitation Etiquette
Wedding season is well underway, and if you’re planning on ordering your wedding invitations, it may be time to start thinking about how you want to word your invitation text. Every season we go through and see trends of etiquette questions and traditions that customers question and we typically notice some of the same common etiquette mistakes and I always like to share so that we can all be on the same page.
The whole purpose of writing your wedding invitation wording is to convey the pertinent information about your wedding details to your guests in a clear and concise manner. Consistency is also very important – in other words, if your formally write your date on your invitation, your reply-by date should follow suit. The lessons we learned back in grammar school will help you with writing your invitation wording properly, however proper invitation etiquette goes even a little bit beyond that. Below are some great tips for you when writing your invitation wording…
-Write in 3rd person – You should never write your wedding invitation request in first person, (for example – Kate Taylor and Adam Reynolds invite you to join us at our wedding). Instead it should be written as, “Kate Taylor and Adam Reynolds invite you to join them at their wedding. If your parents are hosting, still keep everything in third person.
-Lower case letters – Similar to writing a college or school paper, you only want to capitalize proper nouns, (person/place), and the beginning of a sentence. Therefore, typically only the first letter of your invitation is capitalized, as well as your names/location, etc. For example, you would not want to capitalize “Request”, “Honor” or
“Presence”. The first line of your invitation should be capitalized as, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter…” and so on.
-Write the date out - When writing out the date, start with the day of the week (Mon- Sun), followed by the date of the month and then year. It should be written formally in two lines, the first line with the day of the week and date of the month, the second line being the year. Numbers of the day should be written out, as well as the year. Example: Sunday, the twenty-sixth of June Two thousand and eleven.
-Write the time out – When writing out the time on an invitation we actually use whole and half hours only. Therefor, there is no ” thirty” in the time. You would write half hours as “half past” or “half after”. 6:30 PM should read “at half past six in the evening” as opposed to “at six-thirty in the evening”. Also, only use “o’clock” on whole hours. You wouldn’t say “six-thirty o’clock”, (sounds funny when you think about it, doesn’t it?), so you shouldn’t write it, either.
-Reception info – The traditional etiquette rules state that if your reception is at the same location as your ceremony, you’ll follow the ceremony address with “reception to follow”. If your reception is at an alternate location from the ceremony, you would put that information on a separate reception card to be included with your invitation ensemble. If your budget allows, that is the best way. However, it is now acceptable, (and invitations are usually large enough), to accommodate your wedding and reception details on one card, thus eliminating the extra reception card, if necessary.
Hopefully the above information has helped you clear up any misconceptions or questions you may have about how to word your wedding invitation perfectly. If you have any questions, please feel free to send them our way! If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find it!