• How to Word a Traditional Wedding Invitation

    Invitations and announcements are usually issued by the parents of the bride, or the surviving parent. If the bride is without parents, invitations may be issued by the closest relative. The accepted order of kinship is as follows:
    1. Elder brother
    2. Elder sister
    3. Both grandparents or surviving grandparent
    4. Uncle and aunt
    5. Guardian
    6. Bride and Groom issue invitations themselves
    7. Groom’s family

    Generally, the parents of the groom are not mentioned unless they are splitting the expense of the wedding.

    If the bride’s father and mother are issuing the invitations, the conventional form is:

    Mr. and Mrs. Larry Dean Cliett
    request the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of their daughter
    Laurie Anne
    to
    Mr. James Walter Chapman, Jr.
    on Saturday, the twenty-first of March
    Two thousand and ten
    at six o’clock in the evening
    Fellowship Presbyterian Church
    Tallahassee, FloridaIf the father or mother is deceased and the surviving parent issues the invitation:

    Mrs. (or Mr.) Larry Dean Cliett
    requests the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of her (his) daughter
    Laurie Anne
    to
    Mr. James Walter Chapman, Jr.
    on Saturday, the twenty-first of March
    Two thousand and ten
    at six o’clock in the evening
    Fellowship Presbyterian Church
    Tallahassee, FloridaIf the father or mother is deceased and the surviving parent has remarried, the remarried mother would use her present husband’s name, but the remarried father would use the conventional form:

    Mrs. David Lee Carson
    requests the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of her daughter
    Laurie Anne Cliett
    (etc…)If the bride’s parents are deceased and the invitation is issued by an older, unmarried sister or brother:

    Mr. Thomas Allen Harper
    requests the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of his sister
    (etc…)If the bride’s parents are deceased and the invitation is issued by an older married brother or sister:

    Mr. and Mrs. Robert David Thornton
    request the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of his sister
    (etc…)If the bride and groom issue their own invitations, the conventional wording would be:

    Miss Laurie Anne Cliett
    and
    Mr. James Walter Chapman, Jr.
    request the honour of your presence
    at their marriage
    (etc…)The proper way to word an invitation when the bride’s parents are divorced is to list the names of the bride’s parents at the top of the invitation. Her mother’s name is on the first line and her father’s name is on the line beneath it. The lines are not separated by “and”. If the bride’s mother has not remarried, she uses “Mrs.” followed by her first name, maiden name, and married name.

    Mrs. Sally Jones HarperA divorced father who issues the invitation uses the conventional form:

    Mr. Matthew Ellis HarperIf the groom’s family issues the invitations:

    Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Allen Lee
    request the honour of your presence
    at the marriage of
    Miss Anne Haley Harper
    to their son
    Mr. Michael Samuel Lee
    (etc…)

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