• Kathy Gelbman

Wording Matters...

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

Once we work through the plan for the design of your invitations, the next decisions will be about the content. The star of the show obviously being the main invitation. Believe it or not, there is a ton of thought that goes into the wording of invitations. There are conventional, and un-conventional ways to word things. You can choose to roll with tradition or break free from it. Regardless, don't stress, we've got your road map for working through the wild world of invitation wording!

Important note... It's almost impossible to address every permutation of situations. Feel free to email me with specific questions (yes, even if I'm not designing your invites) if your situation is not covered here. For some couples, traditional wording presents issues. In that case, it may be easier to break from tradition, and do a non-traditional wording, which is just as lovely and classy.

That said, we've done our best to put together a roadmap to the anatomy of an invitation.

Traditionally, the invitation starts with the HOST(S). This line (or lines), tells guests who is inviting them. Are you and your partner paying? If so, then you are inviting. Are your parents paying? Your partner's parents? Is everyone chipping in? There are endless scenarios here. regardless, this is what gets taken into consideration when we word the introduction.


If one set of parents are hosting...

You would start with the title with which the host parents want to be referred.

For example:"Mr. and Mrs. John Smith", Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Rebecca Nash", Mr. Howard Rose and Mr. Bill Murphy", "Mrs. Beth Walach and Mrs. Trudy Levlor".

This is the traditional format showing one set of parents hosting.

If both sets of parents are hosting:

You can choose to list both sets of parent's names

Fiancé 1 parent's names


Fiancé 2 parent's names

Heather and David listed both of their parents as hosts of their wedding. They also chose a non-traditional layout with some page break dividers and stylization of certain words.

Couple Hosting...

In this case, you can have your names come first, and then follow the guidelines for the inviting part starting with "The Invitation Line" below.

Laura and Philip hosted their wedding and you can see how we styled that here. You can also see examples of this below on Claudia and Pedro's and Jennifer and Ricardo's invitations.

If everyone is chipping in to help...

You can use

Together with their families... (or something similar to this)

Melissa and James used "Together with their families"... and they also added a little saying on the top to tie in with the fairytale theme of their wedding.

Another way of acknowledging both sets of parents, without including them as hosts, is to list them under each partner like Donna and Richard did.

Next we have The Invitation Line, there are lots of choices here, and you can be creative as well:

request the honor of your presence (can be honor or honour)

request the pleasure of your company

invite you to

joyfully invite you

invite you to share in our joy

invite you to share in their happiness

***Make it as traditional or as fun and flowery as you'd like. Add some adjectives if you'd like. Make it yours.

Now the WHAT:

at the marriage of

at the marriage of their daughter

at the marriage of their son

at the wedding of

at the celebration of their marriage


Your names can be stylized, in a different typeface, in a different color, etc,... OR, they can read fluidly with the rest of the wording.

A few notes on names...

*Middle names, that's up to you, if you like them and if you have them.

*Last names - the rule for this is to use each last names only if the corresponding parent's last name is not listed. So... if you choose to say "Mr. and Mrs. James Washington, request the honor of your presence at the wedding of their daughter"... Since the bride's parent's last name is there, hers is not necessary. If on the same invitation, the fiance's parents are not being listed, then you WOULD include his/her last name.

Taylor and Steven's invitation below is a good example of this. Taylor's parents are hosting, and since their names and last name are there, Taylor's is not necessary. Taylor does not have a middle name so none was used. Steven's parents were not on the invitation, so Steven has his first and last name on the invitation.

Second set of parent (optional):

If one set of parents is hosting the wedding, you have the choice of whether or not to mention the other set of parents. It's not a MUST do, however, it is a nice thing to do. But neither is right or wrong, so this is completely a personal preference.

Here on Dina and Matthew's invitation, you can see that Dina's parents were hosting the wedding, but Matthew's parents are noted as well. You can also see that neither of the couple has their last name used, just first and middle. This is because their last names are listed with their parents.

Now comes the Information:

You can choose to use "on", "at" in between, or you can list the info. If you refer to Heather and David's invitation above, you can see that they not only chose to use the little words, we stylized them as well for a bit of a non-traditional twist. Dina and Matthew (directly above) did not use "on" or "at" and listed the information.


Your choices here are...

Written out:

Saturday, the fifth of June

two thousand twenty (two thousand and twenty is also acceptable - personal preference)

Semi-written out:

Saturday, June 5, 2020




Here, the couple chose to list the information (not "on" or "at") and used "two thousand and sixteen". They also chose to include a line that reads "as they pledge their faith, their love, and their lives". These are the elements that you can adjust and adapt to make the invitation fit your style.

Jennifer and Ricardo chose to have the date in a non-traditional format and for us to include their palm motif in the date design.


written out: six o'clock in the evening

numerical: at 6 pm

On Claudia and Pedro's invitation, you can see that the date is semi-written out and the time is fully written out. Their names, the date and the venue are also stylized.


List your venue's location with the city and state. Zip code is optional.

And there you have it! All of the parts of an invitation. Remember, this is your day, and it should reflect your style. If you are not a traditional type of person, and like to break free from conventions, and forge your own path, then have at it! Use the above information to inform your choices of what information to include, and do it in a way that will reflect your style.

Jade and Dan were both rabbinical students at the time of their marriage, and you can see how they personalized their invitation with the Hebrew phrase on top and their Hebrew names right below the English Translation.

Well, that was a ton of information! Did I miss anything? If so, please ask and I'll fill in any gap. Send me your wording and then we can get started on your invitation layout!