Your wedding invitation will often set the first impression for what your guests can expect for your wedding day. Whether you’ve commissioned bespoke wedding stationery, chosen a template online, or made each wedding invite by hand, wedding invitations communicate a sense of your theme, from the level of formality to the style of the day. Of course the design is important, but so is the information you include on your wedding invitations. These are the key pieces of information every wedding invitation should include.
Traditionally a wedding invitation starts with who is ‘hosting’ the wedding. Put bluntly this means who’s paying – you or your parents.
Examples of how to word who is hosting
One set of parents:
Mr & Mrs John Smith…
Both sets of parents:
Mr & Mrs John Smith and Mr & Mrs John Jones…
Together with their parents…
Miss Sarah Smith & Mr James Jones…
Mr James Jones & Mr Sean Smith…
Note: if using parents names becomes complicated (through divorce, or remarriage, or any other reason), it might be best to start with Together with their families…
What the invitation is for?
The point of this piece of correspondence: ie the request or invitation to come to the wedding or the evening party.
Examples of how to word a wedding invitation
Request the pleasure of [guest name(s) / your company] at the marriage of…
Invite you to celebrate/attend/come to the wedding of…
Invite you to an evening of drinks and dancing to celebrate the marriage of…
Traditionally the bride’s name is first and then the groom’s. Alphabetical order works well for same-sex couples.
Examples of how to write the couples’ names on a wedding invitation
An invitation from one set of parents:
Mr James Jones
An invitation from both sets of parents:
Sarah and James
If the invitation is from you, the couple, or if the invitation starts together with their parents:
Sarah and James
Be clear who you are inviting by stating their name(s) on the invitation to avoid uninvited plus ones or children turning up on the day.
Examples of how to say who is invited to a wedding
Luke and Simon Brown
Luke plus one
Luke, Simon, Todd and Tabitha Brown
Luke, Simon and their two children
Note: If you are planning an adult-only celebration, it’s worth politely stating this at the bottom even if you have only included the parents’ names in the invitation.
Examples of how to say children aren’t invited to a wedding
We have chosen a child-free wedding. We hope you are still able to celebrate with us.
Our wedding will be a child-free occasion and we hope you will enjoy a night off.
Regretfully, children are not invited.
Your wedding date and time
Be sure to include the year in the date, and make sure you give the time of your wedding.
Giving the time your ceremony starts is fine, as anyone who’s ever attended a wedding will know to turn up early. Some couples prefer to give an expected arrival time for guests too – for example ceremony at 2pm, please be seated at 1.45pm – but bear in mind some guests will turn up an hour earlier than the first time stated which could put pressure on the first of the couple to arrive.
Examples of the date and time for a wedding invitation
Saturday 30th July 2022
The name, full address and postcode of your wedding venue (or venues, if your ceremony and reception are at different venues).
The Barn at Cott Farm
Somerset BA22 9ES
It’s a good idea to give guests very basic details of the format for the evening party too – for example what will follow in the evening and the finish time so guests can make arrangements for transport.
Followed by an afternoon wedding reception
and an evening of drinks and dancing
Carriages at midnight
Adding details for wedding gifts may feel a bit presumptuous. But it’s a wedding, and the majority of your guests will probably want to gift you both something. It’s far less awkward for you and them if you state what you want (or don’t want!).
Examples of how to say about gifts on a wedding invitation
We only ask for you to attend our special day and don’t expect gifts. However, if you really want to give something, our registry is here…
Your presence is the only present we need. If you do insist on more than presence on our special day, we’d appreciate a small contribution to our [honeymoon fund/house project/savings] at…
If you’d like to get a small something, our gift list is at…
Our home together is already full of love and everything else we need, therefore we don’t require any gift from you. If you really feel you must give something, please consider making a donation to our favourite charity, XX.
Information for RSVPs should include:
- How you’d like them to respond (for example by email, post or wedding website)
- A deadline date for RSVPing (this should be at least two months in advance of the wedding to give you time to chase non-responders and get your table plans organised)
- Information you need from them: their name(s); their dietary requirements, plus menu choices for each course if applicable
Examples for wedding invitation RSVPs
Please RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th May 2022. Be sure to let us know who can make it and if you have any dietary requirements or allergies.
Please visit our wedding website: xxxx.co.uk to RSVP by 30th May 2022.
Please RSVP by completing the enclosed card by 30th May 2022.
Other useful information to include on your wedding invitation
Finally, include any additional information helpful for your guests, and especially those who don’t know the area. The following is often included either as an insert with – or a wedding website address on – the invitation.
Dress code, if you have one. If part of your wedding is outdoors, you might like to make this clear on your invitations so that guests don’t wear their best ivory satin heels, or know to bring a coat or brolly, or flip flops (for example: our venue is a farm – please dress your feet accordingly)
Directions to venue (especially if the ceremony and reception are in different venues), including nearest train stations for non-drivers and nearest airports for overseas guests. The nearest train stations to Cott Farm are in Yeovil and Crewkerne, and our nearest airports are Bristol, Exeter and Bournemouth.
Details of how to book accommodation and breakfast at the venue (for example should they contact you or the venue?), and/or suggestions for local hotels and nearby accommodation
For example if you have booked our camping & glamping option
We and our families [/bridal party] will be staying overnight at Cott Farm in bell tents. We would love you to bring your own tents/campervans and join us in the campsite and for breakfast the following morning. Please let us know when you RSVP if you’d like a camping pitch for the night and breakfast in the morning.
Please see our suggestions for our local hotels and nearby accommodation if you or some of your guests are not camping – you’re welcome to copy and paste this information to your invitation inserts or wedding website, or just give your guests the link to that page.
The finish time for ‘carriages’, plus any transport details, such as arrangements for private buses and coaches, whether vehicles can be left at the venue overnight (and, if so, what is the pick up time?), requirements for pre-booking taxis.
Carriages [and camping] [/coaches] at midnight [11pm for week nights]. Guests are able to leave their cars overnight at Cott Farm at their own risk. All vehicles must be collected between 10am and 12 noon on the Sunday, as the gates will be locked outside of these times. Note the phone signal is unreliable at the venue. You will need to book your taxi in advance.
Final tips for your wedding invitations
- Have your stationery set (invitations, invites and RSVPs) printed together to ensure they match.
- Consider creating a wedding website for all the details to keep your invitations short and sweet.
- Count how many invitations you actually need before commissioning the printing. You’re unlikely to need one for each guest if most of your guests are couples or families. (Yes, I made this mistake and ordered about twice as many as needed!)
- Make sure to have a spare invite for your photographer to capture on the morning of your wedding.
- Don’t overthink it. You’re inviting these people because you love them and they love you. There’s no right or wrong way to word your invites and the main purpose is to give guests the key info.