You’ve done it. You have finally picked out your invitations and are ready to send them out, but pretty paper can quickly lose its character and style when proper etiquette is abandoned. If you are clueless about the rules foe wording invitations, don’t fret we are here to help solve all your invitation woes. See our tips below.

The Invitation Wording ~ 

~ The wedding invitation should be mailed six to eight weeks before the date of the wedding. This allow guests plenty of time to prepare and reply. It is suggested that the invitation be mailed eight weeks in advance if a save the date was not previously sent. If a save the day was sent, then six weeks should be sufficient time.

~ The simple and tradition wording template goes as follows:

Names of those hosting the wedding

request

relationship to bride

name of the bride

name of the groom

day, date, and month

time of wedding

name of the location

city & state

reception line

Thought this is the most tradition format (especially when the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding), there are many many options.

~ The wording of the invitation of itself can be tricky, especially with different family situations. Wording can range from traditional to more contemporary, the decision is up to you. Here are some examples that apply in some of those sticky situations. (If you are working with a stationery, ask him or her for their professional opinion and advice on the wording. They are well-equipped to let you know what is traditional and proper and alternatives that are also acceptable.)  

If the bride’s parents are hosting:

(traditional)

Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Marie
to
Christopher Jeremy James

(casual)

Michael and Sharon Smith
invite you to share and celebrate with them in the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Marie
to Christopher Jeremy James

Notes from Oh-Brides:
If the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding, it is not necessary to include the last name for the bride. However, do include the last name of the groom. The same rule applies for the last name of the groom if his parents are hosting — leave his last name off, but add use the bride’s.
If the wedding is taking place at a house of worship, the customary wording for the request is “request the honor our your presence”. However, for a more casual wedding, “request the pleasure of your company” , “invite you to join in their joy at the marriage of”, etc. are more appropriate. 

If the groom’s parents are hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. John James
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of
Elizabeth Marie Smith
to their son
Christopher Jeremy

If both parents are hosting jointly:

Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. John James
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Elizabeth Marie Smith
and
Christopher Jeremy James

Notes from Oh-Brides:
The brides name always comes first on the invitation. 

If the couple is hosting:

Ms. Elizabeth Marie Smith
and
Mr. Christopher Jeremy James
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage

If the couple and their parents are hosting the wedding:

Ms. Elizabeth Marie Smith
and
Mr. Christopher Jeremy James
together with their parents
Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. John James
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage

Notes from Oh-Brides:
The brides name always comes first. If names of parents are included, the parents of the bride are also listed first. 
The names of the parents do not have to be included. The phrase “together with their parents” works just fine if you want a more informal invitation. 

If a divorced parent is hosting:

Mr. Michael T. Smith
requests the honor of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Elizabeth Marie
and
Christopher Jeremy James
son of
Mr. and Mrs. John James

Note from Oh-Brides:
If a divorced parent has remarried, it is important to be careful when deciding to use the name of new spouse. If they are important to you or helping host the wedding, it is a more customary. 
If divorced parents are hosting together separating their names with “and”. Like this:

Mrs. Tonya Black
and
Mr. John James 

Remember, the name of the mother always comes first.

If a parent is deceased:

Thought it isn’t customary to include the name of a deceased parent, the decision is up to you. However, make sure the you note that the person has passed away. Otherwise it can be very awkward for guests.

The pleasure of your company is requested
at the marriage of
Elizabeth Marie Smith
daughter of Tonya Smith and the late Michael Smith
to
Christopher Jeremy James

Notes from Oh-Brides:
This is just one of the many examples. Wording can vary incredibly from invitation to invitation. 

~ A few additional details about the wording:

The date is not necessary. However, most couples include the date so the invitation may be used as a keepsake.

You may spell out numbers or use the numeral. The first is more formal and the latter more contemporary.

Do not use “a.m.” or “p.m.” or the phrase “in the evening” unless it could be confusing for the guest as to whether the wedding is at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m.

The physical address of the wedding location is not required, but more contemporary invitations are using them. However, the zip code is not ever included. You are not mailing the invitation.

If the reception is located at the same place as the wedding, include it on the invitation. If it is at a different location, include a separate card in the invitation.

Do not include the word “please” with “RSPV”. If you do, you are technically saying please twice as RSPV is an abbreviated version of a French phrase that means “please reply”.

Never include information about the registry in or on the wedding invitation. It is consider tacky and improper.

The preposition “on” may be included in the line with the date of the wedding or it may be omitted. The choice is entirely up to you.

~ Oh-Brides  

image via digbyrose.com