Wedding Invitation Wording – Helpful Hints
Wedding Invitation Wording can be daunting and always a gray area for brides since you are not sure where to start. We always try to help and educate our brides as much as we can with wording and etiquette, hints and tips. With all the questions that we receive we decided to compile a list of helpful hints to help answer any questions and help you get the best out of your wedding invitations.
To be socially correct, all words should be spelled out on invitations, accessory cards and envelopes .
EX: “Road” instead of “Rd.”, “Boulevard” instead of “Blvd.”, “Indiana” instead of “IN”.
- Honorifics may be abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., military rank, etc.).
- “St.” or “Sts.” may be used for “Saint” or “Saints”.
- Numerical time should use the abbreviations “a.m.” and “p.m.”.
- “Junior” or “Senior”, when used in a name, are correctly abbreviated “Jr.” or “Sr.”. They should always be separated from the last name by a comma.
Invitations require time to be spelled out, whereas numerals may be used on accessory cards.
- Time should be spelled out.
- Time should never be capitalized.
- Time, on the hour, should be followed by “o’clock” (Note: lowercase and apostrophe).
- Do not use “o’clock” if the time is not on the hour.
- Time, not on the hour, should be hyphenated. EX: “two-thirty” instead of “two thirty” or “two forty-five” instead of “two forty five”.
- Time should always be followed by “in the morning”, “noon”, “in the afternoon”, “in the evening”, or “midnight”.
- 12:01 a.m.-11:59 a.m. is morning.
- 12:00 p.m. is noon.
- 12:01 p.m. – 5:59 p.m. is afternoon.
- 6:00 p.m.- 11:59 p.m. is evening.
- 12:00 a.m. is midnight
- Time may be spelled out, following the invitation rules above, or numerals may be used.
- When numerals are used, they should be followed by “a.m.” or “p.m.” (Note: lowercase and periods)
- “Immediately” may be used as a substitute for time. The use of “immediately” and a time is redundant.
EX: “Reception immediately following ceremony” is correct, whereas “Reception immediately following ceremony at six o’clock in the evening” is incorrect.
On the accessory cards, date and time formats should be consistent. If time is not provided, you may spell out the date, abbreviate it, or use a numerical date.
- Date should be spelled out.
- Date should be preceded by the day of the week, spelled out.
- Day of the week and date should be separated by a comma.
- Year is printed on a separate line and may be omitted, if desired.
- Month and year should not be separated by a comma.
- EX: “on Saturday, the fifth of June
Two thousand and four”
- If time is used on the accessory card, be consistent with the date. In other words, when spelling out the time, spell out the date. If you use numerical time, use a numerical date.
- If time is not used, any of the following formats are acceptable:
- on Saturday, the fifth of June
- on Saturday, June 5, 2004
- on Saturday, June 5th
- June 5, 2004
We often see the use of symbols to represent words. This is increasingly popular, yet remains a social faux pas. EX: “Mr. & Mrs.” instead of “Mr. and Mrs.”
Etiquette dictates the following protocol:
- Names of people and places are always capitalized.
- “corner” as in “corner of Fifth and Main Streets” is not capitalized.
- When spelling out the year, capitalize the “t” in Two: Two thousand and eight.
- Sentences (or each new thought on an invitation) always begin with a capital letter.
6. Zip Codes
They do not belong on invitations or most accessory cards. They are appropriate on outer envelopes, r.s.v.p. envelopes and at home cards.
Ask someone else to proofread your wording, paying close attention to proper nouns. Many common words are often misspelled, or misused. EX: “night” is better than “nite”. Should it be “to” or “too”?
Make sure your venue location is also spelled correctly, your invitation designer cannot catch this as a possible error.
- Pronouns should be consistent throughout your invitations. If using first person pronouns (I, we, us, our and me), use them everywhere. If using third person pronouns (them, they, their), use them everywhere.
- Do not use punctuation at the end of a line, such as commas and periods, in your invitation wording.
9. And vs. To
- When parents for both bride and groom are issuing the invitation, the word between the bride and groom’s names should be “and”, not “to”.
Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their children
- When the invitations are issued by parent(s) of just the bride or just the groom, the word between the bride and groom’s names should be “to”, not “and”.
Ex. Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Mr. Richard Allen Smith
10. Respond Date
- Respond date should be two to four weeks before the wedding date.
- Respond date should ALWAYS be before the wedding date. You would be surprised how many people get these two dates switched.
- Use the same ink color/design on your invitations and accessory cards.
- Use the same typestyle/design on your invitations and accessory cards.
- Use accessory cards that match your invitations.
12. Additional Tips
- Make sure you have filled out all necessary information for every item.
- Make sure you have ordered enough. It is much cheaper to order a few extra initially than it is to order a few extra later, usually at the designer’s minimum.
- If your wedding date is more than six months away, it is considerate to send Save The Date cards six to twelve months before the wedding and invitations four to six weeks before the wedding.