What to include on a wedding invite March 23 2015

If you are planning to get married, there are a host of things you will need to arrange – key among them is who to include on the guest list. Once you have decided on who you would like to invite, it is time to send out the invitations. You may be unfamiliar with the etiquette and wording required, so here’s a few tips to help.


Formal invitations are written in the third person, referring to the hosts using their full names.

Names to be included are the bride's parents or other hosts, the first and middle names of the bride followed by the first name and surname of the bridegroom and his title. For civil partnerships use the first or full names of the couple. All names should be written in full without abbreviations.

If the ceremony is a civil one, the phrase to be used is: Mr and Mrs Peter Smith request ‘the pleasure of your company to celebrate the wedding of….’. If the ceremony is a religious one, ‘the honour of your presence’ is the correct terminology.

More informal invitations use phases like “would be delighted if you could join them to celebrate” and often do not include middle names.

Get the details right

Other information you should include is:

  • Location of the wedding ceremony and reception
  • Date and time of the wedding ceremony
  • Address for guests to RSVP

Make sure you check every word for errors before your wedding invitations are printed, so you avoid embarrassing spelling mistakes or don’t include the wrong postcode for the wedding venue.

Avoid abbreviations

Generally abbreviations are avoided on wedding invites, so ‘3pm’ should be ‘three o’clock’ and ‘St.’ should be Street. Also spell out all numbers that are single digit, so instead of ‘8’ put eight.


Obviously - there are a host of font options for you to choose from. You should spend some time choosing which one you like and best reflects the type of wedding you wish to host. Fonts like Copperplate and French Script have a more formal air while Comic Sans and Lucida HW tends towards the informal. Ensure whatever font you choose it is easy to read.

Dress codes

Dress codes are not traditionally included on a wedding invitation unless guests are required to dress in an uncustomary way, such as black tie. In this case include ‘black-tie’ on the lower right hand side of the invitation. Any unusual dress codes can explained in the extra information that goes out with the wedding invitations.

No children, please

It is acceptable to request no children at your special day and a short, polite note, such as: “We are sorry, but we are unable to accommodate children” should be enough.

This topic can become quite a bone of contention, so if you feel you want to explain, an alternative note could say something like: “Due to the guest number restriction at our venue, we are unable to extend this invitation to your children. We hope that you will see this as an opportunity to enjoy an adult day, let your hair down and enjoy the party with us.”

Save the date

If you have booked a wedding date a long way in advance, send out some simple ‘save the date’ cards, so all those you want to come along are able to reserve that date on their calendar.


If you are after consistency, use the same fonts for wedding invitations, save a date and thank you cards, menus, RSVP cards, place cards - and use the same supplier or printer.

Helpful information

Maps and directions to the ceremony and reception venues with car-parking areas clearly marked can be helpful. A list of nearby hotel and guests houses and their prices will also aid guest coming from far.