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How to Write a Wedding Invitation

If you want to address your guests with style, stick to these tips to compose invites using proper etiquette.


  • TIP: List the names of divorced parents on separate lines.
  • Step 1: Place the bride's name before the groom's name, even if the groom's parents are hosting the wedding. Write "Mr. and Mrs. Bob Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Jane Doe to their son, John Smith."
  • Step 2: Add personal flare. The more informal the wedding the more informal the invitation can be. It is your special day, and adding your own special twist will personalize the wedding as your own.
  • FACT: In the Middle Ages, when most people could not read or write, weddings were announced by a town crier.
  • Step 3: Include the bride's and groom's parents names if they are hosting the occasion.
  • Step 4: Place the name of the host of the reception first on the invitation. If the bride and groom are hosting their own reception, then their parents' names should not be included. Use the bride's and groom's full names.
  • TIP: Including the year is not necessary, but if you include it, spell it out.
  • Step 5: Start each sentence, not every line, with a capital letter. Use capital letters at the beginnings of proper names and titles.
  • Step 6: Omit punctuation marks except after courtesy titles, such as mister, misses, and doctor.
  • Step 7: Use the proper phrase for your ceremony type. Write "request the honor of your presence" if you are having a worship service or "request the pleasure of your company" or "honor of your company" if the service will not include worship.
  • Step 8: Spell out all words, names, and numbers completely -- do not abbreviate. For example, two p.m. should be written as two o'clock in the afternoon.

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