How to Write a Wedding Invitation: Examples and Tips

wedding invitations

Creating the perfect wedding invitation is an essential part of planning your special day. From choosing the right wording to incorporating all the key details like date and time, location, and dress code, crafting invitations that reflect your unique style and convey the necessary information can feel overwhelming. But with some guidance and wedding invitation examples, you can design beautiful invites that will set the tone for your celebration and delight your guests.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of how to write wedding invitations, covering everything from wedding invitation etiquette and format to sample wedding invitation wording and design inspiration. Whether you prefer formal wedding invitations, online evites, or something in between, you’ll find helpful tips on addressing envelopes, including RSVP cards, and wording your invites. With these wedding invitation examples and guidelines, you can create stunning invitations that perfectly capture the spirit of your special day.

Determine Who is Hosting

Traditionally, the first line of a wedding invitation indicates who is hosting the event. In the past, it was common for the bride’s family to host the wedding, and the invitation would begin with “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their daughter…”. However, times have changed, and there are now many different possibilities for who may be hosting the wedding, such as the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, the couple themselves, or a combination of these.

Traditional Hosts

According to traditional etiquette, the hosts are the ones who are paying for the wedding. If the bride’s parents are hosting, there is technically no requirement to list the groom’s parents’ names on the invitation unless they are contributing to the wedding itself. Some examples of traditional wording for different hosting scenarios include:

  • Bride’s parents hosting: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Jane Marie to Mr. Jeffrey James Johnson son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson…”
  • Groom’s parents hosting: “Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of Jane Marie Smith to Jeffrey James Johnson…”
  • Bride and Groom’s families both hosting: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson request the pleasure of your company and the marriage of their children Jane Marie and Jeffrey James…”

Modern Hosting Scenarios

In recent years, it has become more common for couples to contribute to or fully host their own weddings. Mixed families and complicated family dynamics can also make it difficult to determine exactly who should be listed on the invitation. Some examples of modern hosting scenarios include:

  • Bride and Groom hosting with both families: “Jane Marie Smith and Jeffrey James Johnson together with their parents Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson invite you to celebrate their marriage…”
  • Bride and Groom hosting: “Miss Jane Marie Smith and Mr. Jeffrey James Johnson invite you to share in the celebration of their wedding…”
  • Bride’s divorced parents hosting: “Mr. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Thompson invite you to share in the marriage of their daughter Jane Marie to Mr. Jeffrey James Johnson…”
  • Bride and Groom’s divorced parents hosting: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Thompson together with Mr. Jack Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Adams request the pleasure of your company and the marriage of their children Jane Marie and Jeffrey James…”

Ultimately, the wording of the host line should make sense, feel right, and not offend anyone. It’s important to ask all parents what they are most comfortable with when it comes to the invitation before finalizing the wording. While it is the couple’s wedding, it is also a big day for the family, so being respectful of everyone’s feelings is key.

Crafting the Request Line

The request line is where you extend the invitation to attend your wedding, setting the tone for your celebration. If the wedding is formal, use more formal language like “request the honor of your presence…” to reflect the occasion. For casual weddings, you can use less formal phrasing such as “Would love for you to join them…” or “Want you to come party with us…”.

Some key considerations:

  • “The honor of your presence” is traditionally used to denote a religious service. Some couples opt to spell “honour” using the British spelling for a more formal, traditional feel. If using “honour” on the invitation, match it with “favour” as in “favour of your reply” on the RSVP card.
  • “The pleasure of your company” or variations on this phrase are used to indicate a non-religious ceremony venue.

Formal vs. Informal Wording

The biggest difference between formal and informal wording on wedding invitations is that formal invites spell everything out fully. The date and time should be written as words, not numbers. Use the full names of the hosts and the middle names of the couple getting married.

In contrast, casual wedding invitation wording can feel more conversational. The request to attend line can be warm and welcoming. Numbers are used for the date and time on informal invites.

Examples of Request Lines

Here are some sample phrases to consider for your request line:

  • request the honor of your presence
  • request the honour of your presence (for formal, religious ceremonies)
  • request the pleasure of your company
  • cordially invite you to attend
  • would love for you to join them
  • would be delighted by your presence
  • invite you to celebrate with them
  • invite you to their wedding
  • joyfully request the pleasure of your company
  • invite you to celebrate their marriage
  • invite you to join them
  • invite you to the celebration of
  • invite you to share in the festivities
  • invite you to share in their joy
  • would love your presence
  • extend this invitation to celebrate
  • invite you to witness their love story

Including Key Details

The wedding invitation should include the full names of the couple getting married. Traditionally, the first and middle names of both the bride and groom are used, but many contemporary couples choose to omit the middle and/or last names.

Bride and Groom Names

It is customary to list both the bride and groom’s names on the invitation. For different-sex couples, the bride’s name traditionally precedes the groom’s name. Same-sex couples can list their names in alphabetical order or simply with what sounds best.

Date and Time

The wedding date should be written out in full, although in many contemporary invitations these may be abbreviated or written as numerals. In Australia, the day of the week is listed first, followed by the date and month (e.g. Saturday, fourth of June 2018).

Times can be written as numerals or in full. Including the time of day (e.g. “Saturday afternoon”) is optional. In Australia, afternoon begins at twelve o’clock and evening at six o’clock, but this may differ in other countries and cultures.

Ceremony Location

Be sure to check the correct spelling and wording of your venue. You may want to list specific spaces as well (e.g. ‘In the Chapel’ or ‘On the Lawn’). The full street address is optional, as is including the state or postcode.

Other key details to consider are:

  • The dress code (e.g. Black tie, Semi-formal, Cocktail, Smart Casual)
  • RSVP details with a date, contact name, address, number and/or email
  • Reception information, if held at a different location

By including these essential elements, your wedding invitations will provide guests with all the crucial information they need about who is getting married, and when and where the ceremony and reception will be held.

Adding Reception Information

If your ceremony and reception are being held at the same venue, you can simply add “Reception to follow” at the bottom of your wedding invitation. This lets guests know that the reception will take place immediately after the ceremony without needing to provide additional details.

However, if your reception is at a different location than the ceremony, you have a couple of options for including this information:

  1. Use a separate reception card: Your ceremony location and start time should always be listed on the main invitation. Then, include a small enclosure card with your reception venue address and start time.
  2. List all details on the invitation: If you prefer not to have a separate card, you can include the reception information on the main invite. For example:

Nora Rose
Oliver Reid Bennett

the twenty-second of September
two thousand twenty-eight
half past four o’clock in the afternoon

Holy Cross Catholic Church
4492 Lake Avenue
Rochester, New York

Reception to follow at six o’clock
Arbor at the Port
1000 North River Street
Suite 110
Rochester, New York

Keep in mind that including both ceremony and reception details on one invitation can make it look crowded, so this works best with simpler invitation designs that have more space.

Some additional reception wording examples you can use:

  • Reception immediately following
  • Dinner and dancing to follow
  • An evening of dinner and dancing to follow
  • Adult reception to follow

By clearly communicating the reception details, whether on the wedding invitation itself or on a separate enclosure card, your guests will know exactly where they need to be and when to celebrate with you after you say “I do.”

Additional Enclosures

In addition to the wedding invitation itself, there are several other important enclosures that couples may choose to include in their invitation suite. These additional pieces provide guests with crucial information about the wedding day and help them plan accordingly.

Reception Details

If the wedding reception is being held at a different location than the ceremony, it is essential to include a separate reception card with the time and location details. This card should clearly outline the formality and nature of the event, such as “Dinner Reception” for a sit-down meal or simply “Reception” for events after 1 p.m.. For adults-only receptions, it is best to notify guests through word-of-mouth and by addressing the invitation appropriately, but if necessary, an “Adults-Only Reception” line can be included as the last line on the reception card.

RSVP Information

Response cards are a crucial component of the wedding invitation suite, as they allow guests to easily RSVP and provide the couple with an accurate headcount. When sending response cards, be sure to include a pre-addressed and stamped envelope for your guests’ convenience. To help keep track of responses, consider numbering the names on your guest list and writing the corresponding number on the back of each response card. If you’re offering meal choices, include checkboxes on the response cards for guests to select their preferred option.

Other Necessary Details

Depending on the specifics of your wedding, there may be additional details you need to communicate to your guests. These can include:

  • Accommodations: If you have reserved hotel room blocks for out-of-town guests, include an accommodations card with the hotel name, address, and booking information.
  • Directions: A map or directions card can be helpful for guests, especially if your venue is difficult to find or located in an area with limited cell service.
  • Weekend Events: If your wedding spans multiple days and includes events like a welcome party or farewell brunch, consider including a weekend itinerary card so guests know what to expect.
  • Dress Code: If your wedding has a specific dress code, such as black-tie or cocktail attire, this can be noted on the reception card or a separate attire card.

By carefully considering which additional enclosures to include in your wedding invitation suite, you can ensure that your guests have all the information they need to celebrate with you on your special day.


Creating the perfect wedding invitation may seem daunting, but by following these guidelines and examples, you can craft invitations that beautifully reflect your unique style and convey all the essential details. Remember to consider who is hosting, choose the appropriate wording for your request line, and include key information such as the couple’s names, date, time, and location. With careful attention to these elements, your invitations will set the tone for a truly unforgettable celebration.

As you embark on this exciting journey of designing your wedding invitations, keep in mind that they serve as a [treasured keepsake]( for both you and your guests. By infusing your invitations with your personality and love story, you’ll create a cherished memento that will be remembered long after the last dance. So embrace the process, have fun, and let your invitations be a beautiful reflection of the joy and love that awaits you on your special day.


1. What are the essential elements to include when writing a wedding invitation?
To properly write a wedding invitation, start with the host line to acknowledge who is hosting the wedding. Follow this with a formal request line inviting guests to the occasion. Next, list the names of the couple, followed by the date, time, and location of the ceremony. Conclude the invitation with details about the reception.

2. Can you provide an example of how to word a wedding invitation?
Certainly! Here are some informal examples for wording a wedding invitation:

  • “You are invited to the wedding of [Couple’s Names].”
  • “You are invited to celebrate the marriage of [Couple’s Names].”
  • “Your presence is requested at the wedding of [Couple’s Names].”
  • “[Couple’s Names] request the pleasure of your company at their wedding.”
  • “[Couple’s Names] joyfully invite you to share in a celebration of love and commitment.”

3. What details should be included on a wedding invitation?
A wedding invitation should clearly state:

  • A polite request for attendance, such as “With great excitement, we invite you to share this special day with us!”
  • The full names of the couple getting married.
  • The names of the hosts (if different from the couple).
  • The venue location.
  • The ceremony’s time and date.
  • Information on the reception.
  • RSVP instructions.
  • Any preferred dress code.

4. What is the proper procedure for assembling wedding invitations?
Assembling wedding invitations involves several steps:

  • Start with the main invitation card.
  • Add any vellum liners if used.
  • Place the reception card on top.
  • Include other enclosure cards, such as directions or accommodation details.
  • Insert the RSVP card and its envelope.
  • Add any finishing touches, such as ribbons or seals.
  • Finally, address the envelope to the recipient.