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The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation

Most brides and grooms opt for formal wording on their wedding invitations, but if your wedding is more casual, feel free to loosen up the wording. The structure of your invitation will change depending on who is hosting the wedding, but there are a few things that should not be compromised:

  • Include both you and your fiancé’s full names on the invitation
  • With a more formal invitation, also include the full names of the hosts
  • Make sure to include the year, month, day, and time of your wedding
  • The invitation should have the name of the location as well as a specific address

Now that your guests have the essential information, there are a few additional details they might need.

Most will appreciate direction on attire, and it is important to include if you want a specific style for your wedding. You should also include directions to the venue, details about accommodations, and the types of activities at your wedding reception. Your invitation ensemble can include any extra information, such as a card for directions, along with the RSVP card and the invitation itself.

The wording on your wedding invitation should reflect the formality, location, and hosts of your wedding. There are many different approaches– simple, traditional, and even fun — that allow you to express the type of event your guests can expect. Our advice is to come up with wording that makes sense to you and your partner and causes minimal conflicts with your family.

The Host Line:

As the opening of your invitation, this is where you specify who is throwing the party.


This is where you let people know what is going on. Only use “The honor of your presence” if the ceremony is taking place in a house of worship. For all other venues, use “The pleasure of your company.”

Depending on how you wish to word the invitation, this line and the name line can switch.


This lets your guests know who is getting married. Traditionally, the bride’s name goes first. Only the first and middle names are printed. This is followed by the groom’s full name on a different line. But, the rules are changing, and it is up to you what you put here. If you have a middle name that embarrasses you, leave it off! Or your fiancé goes by a nickname, use that instead.

Ceremony Information:

This is a crucial part of the invitation. This lets your guests know the date, time, and location of your wedding. Don’t forget to list the address of the venue!

Reception Information:

If your reception is in the same location as your ceremony, your job is easy. Just include ‘Reception to Follow’ on your invitation. This lets your guests know they won’t have to drive anywhere following the ceremony.

However, if your ceremony and reception are at two different locations, you just need to add a couple of extra words to your invitation, for example ‘Reception immediately following the ceremony.’ Include the name of the reception venue. We also recommend including an insert with directions to the venue, as well as providing your guests with maps depicting the route from the ceremony to the reception venue.

Now you’re ready to get those invitations in the mail and the countdown to your wedding day really begins!

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