Expert Advice on How to Figure Out Your Wedding Invitation Wording

Beth Stebner
wedding invitation wording

Photo: Bella Figura

Planning a wedding inolves a million moving parts, but it’s usually the Big Stuff—your venue, your guest list, your dress—that takes up the most mental real estate.

Choosing how you’ll announce your impending nups is also up there, but most of your energy is likely spent sifting through physical invitations, without giving much thought to what you want them to say. According to industry experts, the wording on an invite is just as important as how it looks.

“The wedding invitation is often the first interaction you’ll have with your guests,” Wedding Paper Divas’ style and trend expert Amber Harrison tells us. “It will set the tone for everything to come, hinting at everything from the décor to the dress code.”

MORE: These Are the Biggest Wedding Dress Trends for 2016

And beyond figuring out whether you want formal wording or verbiage that’s a little more casual, Harrison says it’s important to focus on the details, and make sure the tone reflects who you are, and what you hope your wedding to be. “Each piece of stationery should look and feel like you. If that means you forgo traditional wording, so be it!”

wedding invitation wording ideas

Photo: Tamara Gruner Photography

But here are some logistical basics that you need to include, no matter what.

  1. The name of the couple getting married.
  2. The wedding date and time.
  3. Location.
  4. Suggested attire (black tie, cocktail, semi-formal, etc.)

wedding invitation ideas

Photo: Katie Stoops Photography

That’s it! See, it wasn’t so painful. But if you’re having a traditional wedding, there’s more protocol to follow, not to mention the spelling out of a lot of things you normally wouldn’t. Here’s what you need:

  1.  The names of the host(s)
  2. The invitation from the host (try wording like “request the pleasure of your company” for a regal flair)
  3. The couple’s names (the bride’s first and middle name, then the groom’s first, middle, and last name)
  4. The date and time, spelled out (so instead of April 15, 2016, you’d spell it out: “April fifteenth, two thousand and sixteen)
  5. The location, with no abbreviations (so it’s Avenue, not Ave., and Street, not St.)
  6. Include the words “Reception to follow” at the very bottom.

MORE: Beautiful Minimalist Wedding Invitation Ideas

wedding invitation ideas

Photo: Bella Figura

If your vibe is more minimal, Harrison says you need even less:

  1. The names of the couple (no need to include your parents unless you want to)
  2. The date and time of the wedding
  3. The location and address

And while it’s pretty much open season for what you can put on, there are certain things you 100 percent need to leave off—namely, your registry. “Save that for your shower or list it on your wedding site,” Harrison says. Otherwise, you’re not only wasting space, but making your guests feel like the only reason they scored an invite is so you can score a new mixer.

MORE: 25 Gorgeous Letterpress Wedding Invitations That’ll Impress Your Guests

If you’re still feeling confused, try having a heart-to-heart with your stationer to iron out the wording that will make you most happy. This is, after all, your big day.

wedding invitation wording

Photo: Finch & Farrow

wedding invitation wording ideas

Photo: Booth Photographic

wedding invitation wording ideas

Photo: Katie Stoops Photography