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Your Guide to Wedding Etiquette

An invite to your wedding can be worded and arranged in countless ways to reflect the style of the occasion and the changing times. Some may opt for something quite formal and ‘proper’ whilst others may like to have the whole affair a little more on the casual side.

Here are some guidelines to be considered when wording your invites to workout which style will suit you best…


Whose hosting?

Begin with the names of the wedding hosts, traditionally the bride’s parents. Complicated family structures and financial dynamics can often make this the most difficult part of the process, so follow the format that best fits your situation. It is very common these days for the bride and groom to host their own wedding in which case there is no need to mention the names of either parents.

Heart Invites. Deal 021214 Picture: Alan Langley


Set the Tone…

Here is where you set the tone of the wedding as formal or informal. As a guideline I have provided three different examples below:

A Formal/Church Wedding: Request the honour of your presence…

Informal Ceremony: Would like to invite you to the marriage of their daughter….

Informal Reception Only: Invite you to join them at the wedding reception of…

Make sure that whatever wording you choose, that you indicate whether the guest is being invited to the wedding ceremony or just the evening reception

concertina wedding invite


The Stars of the Show…

Because the bride and groom are the stars of the show, their names are usually placed on their own separate lines in a larger and/or different font.

Here are a couple of rules with surnames and titles to consider:

Traditional: If the bride’s last name is the same as her parents’ above, it is typically not included again nor is a title used (Miss or Ms)

Contemporary: If the bridal couple or both sets of parents are to host, treat the names equally.

Heart Invites. Deal 021214 Picture: Alan Langley


Don’t Forget!

Be sure to include the year of the wedding when supplying the date on your invites as you don’t want your guests to have to second guess which year to turn up!


It’s traditional not to include street addresses of churches or well-known locations, but this is becoming less common so if you feel you would rather provide the full address here then do so.

Heart Invites. Deal 021214 Picture: Alan Langley

Did Someone Say Party?

If the ceremony and reception are in the same space, then there is no need to repeat the venue or address. Simply state ‘Reception to follow’.


Brides today generally like to include a separate or detachable RSVP card to prompt their guests to respond. Leaving your guests to their own devices may result in the RSVPs being returned late in dribs and drabs.

If you choose to allow your guests to send their own RSVP, be sure to include the appropriate details at the bottom of the invite. It is common practice to include the RSVP date and a home address, phone number, email address, or website.

If you are providing your cards with their own RSVP card to return to you this must include the RSVP date and have spaces provided for guest names, accept and decline tick boxes, and any other details you may require from your guests such as dietary requirements. Another popular one I am regularly asked to include on RSVPs these days is to ask your guest/s to write a song down that will get them on the dance floor. I love this idea and it can really help you pull a good play list together.

Heart Invites. Deal 021214 Picture: Alan Langley

The Important Deets…

If you have any other important details that you would like to inform your guests of ideally it would be better to put these on a separate information card (or on a different page if opting for one of Heart Invites Concertina style invites as seen below)

For example, if you wanted to stress the importance of a dress code or you have instructions about plus ones or no children being able to attend, or provide directions then ideally these would go on a separate card so that the invitation with the most important details doesn’t get clogged up with too much information. One, your guests may miss some of the details and two, it doesn’t do much for the overall design of the invite!

Heart Invites. Deal 021214 Picture: Alan Langley

Gift Lists

It is becoming more and more common to include Gift List poems in invitations, usually as a polite way to ask for money instead of gifts or in some cases to request that no gifts be bought at all.

Concertina Hydrangea Invite

Please see a few examples of these below:

We are sending out this invitation
In hope you’ll join our celebration,
But if a gift is your intention
We’ll take this opportunity to mention,
We have already got a kettle and toaster
crockery, dinner mats, and matching coasters,
So rather than something we have already got
We would appreciate money for our honeymoon pot,
But most importantly we request
That you come to our wedding as our guest.

We really hope that you can join us
on our special day,
you’ll make our memories complete
in every single way
We do not have a gift list
and we know you’ll understand,
our house and contents are complete
with pots and plates and pans!
But should you really want to give
and celebrate this way,
a gift of money would be lovely
for a rainy day

If thinking of a gift for us
I ask if you’d please consider
Contributing to our honeymoon
To make it all the sweeter.
Our house is full of all the things
A family could require
And so a holiday away
Is what we’d most desire.
Then while we’re relaxing on the beach
Or by the pool so blue
We’ll sit back and know
That it is truly thanks to you!

I hope you find this post useful when putting together the content and wording for your own invites. If you are finding it tricky and get stuck please do not hesitate to drop me an email and I will be more than happy to help you out.

If you haven’t yet started the search for your perfect invite please check out my blog post Your Guide to the Perfect Wedding Invite for lots of hints and tips.

Lauren xx

The beautiful photography of Heart Invites stationery featured in this blog post is by: www.doverdesign.co.uk