How Did You Word Your Invitations?

Readers are always surprised to hear that I’m someone who loves etiquette (in a feminist, sometimes rule breaking sort of way). I can tell you that on a wedding invitation “Requests the honor of your attendance” signals a religious wedding, and “Requests the pleasure of your company” means a secular service. I know that people (couples or no) with different last names have their names and honorifics written on separate lines (ladies first), which is both a technical etiquette rule and a practical one (because have you tried fitting two honorifics, two first names, and two last names on one line of an envelope? It gets crowded up there). I also can tell you that if you have an inner envelope, children’s names are only listed there (in a charming nod to privacy). I’m a veteran rule breaker, but when it comes to things like wedding invitations, I like to consider myself a knowledgeable one.

Because it’s that time of year, we wanted to do an open thread on wedding invitation wording (and yes, we’ll round up your best stuff). But before we get there, I thought I’d do my best to answer the etiquette questions flooding our mailbox, both about wedding invitation wording and envelope addressing, with my decidedly Progressive Traditionalist, feminist spin. Your mileage may vary.

    • What you put on the invitation matters a lot more than what you put on the envelope. As long as you manage to not deeply screw up, most people will never remember the envelope. They won’t remember the invitation either, but you might. Our wedding invitation, with its historical data (names, dates, places), and emotional significance, is one of the wedding mementos that has already stood the test of time. I have a feeling it will be around for awhile.
    • Address people as they wish to be addressed (to the extent that you know). If your widowed granny likes to be addressed as Mrs. John Smith, for god’s sake address her that way. Refusing to do so is just as obnoxious as the relatives who refuse to address you as Ms., when that’s what you go by.
    • Related. Somewhere or other, people got that idea that even if a woman goes by Ms. Her Last, if they’re hiring a calligrapher and doing formal wedding invitations, they have to address the couple as Mr. and Mrs. Hislast, or it’s not properly formal. Bullshit. What’s improper (period) is addressing people by names that are not theirs. The correct form of address is (over two lines): Ms. Herlast / Mr. Hislast. All of us Ms.’s thank you in advance.
    • And finally, there is the always tricky “hosted by” line at the top of the wedding invitation. Once upon a time, it was always the bride’s parents listed up there “Mr. and Mrs. Wombly-Plat request the honor of your presence…” These days, it’s flexible, and therefore, confusing. Maybe you list both sets of parents. Maybe you word it so that you’re the ones hosting, maybe you use the general “together with their families.” But to answer our number one email etiquette question, no matter what the parent who’s grumpily writing a big check tries to convince you, being listed as a host at a wedding is an honor, not something that is sold to the highest bidder. If so-and-so’s mom is writing a big check, and so-and-so’s family can’t write a check but loves you very much, and you want to honor both, you honor both. There is no “way to show who contributed more financially,” in listing order, because in short, that’s no one’s goddamn business. Honor who you want to honor, and nicely tell the check writers to kiss off. xo, Meg

And with that, I’d like to turn the reins over to you, APW. How did you word your invitations? Anything steal-able? Any questions for the team?

P.S. There is nothing we write at APW that causes a greater furor than etiquette. I find it a little dizzying, but it’s true that one of our greatest comment kerfluffles to date was over whether or not you have to send Thank You notes. You do, by the way. (Fun fact, now-APW-Managing-Editor, then-reader Maddie asked that question. She just informed me she still hasn’t sent Thank You’s, so I’m just going to sick Alyssa on her, because she deserves it.) It seems that the problem with discussing etiquette is that people dislike the faintest whiff being told what to do, though I like to think of etiquette as giving us some shared rules of the road to bend as needed. So let’s reframe it this way: it’s so much easier to break the rules (or makes a statement) in a way that makes sense if you know what the rules are in the first place. Or this is what my WASP Jewish feminist Progressive Traditionalist self believes.

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  • Amy March

    I always thought you used “and” if a couple is married. So:

    Ms. Cathy Cambridge
    and Mr. Bill Mountbatten

    if they are married and have different last names, versus

    Ms. Cathy Cambridge
    Mr. Bill Mountbatten

    if they are an unmarried couple living together?

    • AmandaS

      I agree. However, I would put the married couple on one line.

      If the names really are too long to fit on one line, then I would separate at the and. You can fit quite a lot of characters across your average invitation envelope.

      • One More Sara

        That’s what I did. Of course everyone is different, but even though I don’t/won’t share a last name with my partner, I still like to be addressed on the same line. If you use the and between names to signify marriage, I think it’s more aesthetically pleasing to write the “and” on the first line

        Ms. Katniss Everdeen and
        Mr. Peeta Mellark

        (you know, if they got married. I haven’t read the second 2 books, so no spoilers please!!!)

        • Becs

          Cutest comment ever, by the way :)

        • We did it this way too.
          I think it looks prettier when the first line ends with and, rather than starting the second line with and.

    • Liz

      I don’t care what etiquette says, I think it’s horrible to distinguish between married and unmarried couples who live together. It seems to discredit any couple who is committed and living together, without being married.

      • meg

        Well, you win, because etiquette does not distinguish (which I love).

        Every time this rule comes up, people get touchy that the technical rule is that different names go on different lines (though seriously, thank god this is the rule, or I’d constantly end up seeming rude because I ran out of space. But my two cents is this: Everyone in our family has a different last name (or varient). I’m not at all touchy about that, because it’s a conscious choice, and one I’m proud of. So I don’t feel hurt if our names are on different lines (or the same lines). We’re a family, we feel like a family, I’m proud of our family choices, and my only concern is that we’re all adressed by our actual names and on one envelope. Beyond that, well, thank god for multiple lines, or you’d never be able to fit all three names.

        And as ever, we all ignore the rules plenty.

        • Liz

          Your maturity is inspiring!

          • meg

            It’s less maturity and more that it’s not something I’m at all defensive about, instead I’m really PROUD of it. So as long as you get our names right, I love you. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove with the one line or many lines, you know? We all have different names, and we live in the same house, and we’re a family. Yay!

        • Remy

          The one thing I stressed about on addressing our invitations — and I only stressed a little and then consciously LET IT GO — was that my sweetie’s parents’ names (with different surnames) would not fit on the same line and I was worried they would think I was making a comment on their marital status by listing them separately. (My parents have different surnames, but shorter first names, so they fit on the same line. Not that la familia politica would ever see that envelope.)

          As it turned out, no one RSVPed, her mother chose at the last minute to reverse her protest to our same-sex wedding and attend, and her father didn’t come at all. So the potential breach of etiquette on the envelopes was not the largest concern. ;)

    • meg

      Weirdly, it’s the same no matter what. If they’re dating, roommates, married, cousins, anything. Technically, at least. But I like the and, it’s a nice touch (though I’d probably use it for any couple, married or unmarried).

      • Amy March

        What’s your source on this? Crane’s, my usual go to, disagrees.

        (in the interests of clarifying Internet tone, I am genuinely interested.)

        • meg

          Miss Manners, as ever. I sometimes disagree with her, but I always trust her to get it right.

      • Stephanie

        I was about to ask this question further down, but I think you cleared it up here:

        Two of my fiancé’s nephews share an apartment. If I understand correctly, the invitation should be

        Mr. Oldest Nephew
        Mr. Younger Nephew
        Address, etc.

        Is that correct?

        • SD

          We have two older nieces living with their parents so we sent three SEPARATE invitations to the same address, so that we were clear that all were welcome to bring guests etc. It seems wasteful, but more respectful.

        • Amanda L.

          If they are living on their own, then technically I think they get their own envelope (at least, that’s how we did it). Especially if they’ll be getting ‘and guests’.

        • We also sent seperate invitiation to adults living in the same home. For example, we sent a seperate invitation to each of our brothers, because they are all adults, even though they are all living with one parent or another.

      • Yeah, I think I would use the and for any couple, living together. But not for roommates – to me that would presume that they are each other’s guest, which is not necessarily the case.

        • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

          Roommates would get separate invitations, no? I figure a couple would RSVP together. People who happen to be living together still attend events separately.

          • Emily

            I agree with separate invitations for roommates. We sent one envelope to an (unmarried) couple who live together, and a separate envelope to another guest, who also happened to be their roommate. My deciding factor was that I thought both my friends would want their own invitation as a keepsake.

          • Yes, my brother has two roommates, and all three are getting separate invitations.

            They only got one Save the Date, but that is because they were magnetic paper dolls (SOMEONE ASK ME ABOUT MY MAGNETIC PAPER DOLLS; I AM VERY PROUD OF THEM), and who needs 3 different Erins and 3 different British Gentleman’s bodies with all those dress up options all over the damn fridge?

          • Stephanie

            See, now I’m glad I asked! I was thinking more in terms of being efficient, by sending them one invitation. (I don’t think they would even realize that we committed a faux pas by sending one invitation, to tell the truth, but I’ll still make sure to send separate invitations.) Thanks!

          • rys

            Please send separate invites to roommates! (I once lived in a house of 5. One invite was sent to all of us. RSVPing was tricky, to say the least.)

          • Yes, for roommates we sent separate invites. Sometimes couples also respond separately ( I have a few friends who come without spouses they live with because it was a long way, one was working/in med school, etc) but they get one invite. So for example, if 3 people live together and two are a couple and one is their roommate, I would send one invite to
            Willow Rosenberg and
            Tara Maclay

            and one to
            Buffy Summers

            This also meant I tried to make sure to send those invites (and those than you notes) on the same day.

          • Emmers

            Ditto to the separate roommate invites. When I’ve been a roommate, it would be a little weird to get an invitation addressed to the two of us, since it implies that we’re a couple or something.

          • Emmers

            And Erin, do tell about your paper doll invitations!

          • Since I cannot reply to Sasha directly:

            “Willow Rosenberg and
            Tara Maclay

            and one to
            Buffy Summers

            I love your examples.


          Actually, I sort of want to write about them, except there is no larger theme at play than “these were A LOT OF WORK, but also worth it.” My lovely and talented friend drew my fiance and I in paper doll style, as well as three suits and three dresses, and I printed them out on glossy paper and then cut them all out (there was the work!) and affixed them to magnet sheets and then cut THOSE out (okay, like, seriously? It was probably an hour’s worth of work for each set) and now people can dress us up on their fridge. I am currently wearing a top hat on my parents’ fridge, while my fiance rocks the very cute, knee-length pink dress.

          • meg

            Please write about your paper doll invitations!


          • Paranoid Libra

            Obviously it’s a too late for you situation but I think if anyone else wants to do something like this (cuz well it is adorable!) you might save some time cutting out the outfits and magnet sheet at the same time.

            Seriously though a fun how-to-post cuz well you never know when magnetic paper dolls can come in handy.

          • Corrie

            DIY tutorial! This is an awesome idea!

          • Meg!

            I totally just did. :)

    • Samantha

      I would always put in “and” personally – because they are still a couple, married or not. I would prefer to get mail that way too.

      Ms. Cathy Cambridge and Mr. Bill Mountbatten / Cathy Cambridge & Bill Moutbatten

      Just my personal preference. Less formal I suppose.

      • I can’t reply directly to you Sasha, but FIST BUMP for the Buffy reference, thankyouverymuch!

    • Sarah

      For the host line we did “Together with their families” because, while my parents are footing a large portion of the bill, we are also contributing and we hardly wanted to exclude his parents.

      We also did not do RSVP cards for budget/environmental reasons. *GASP* We supplied a phone number and an email and so far it’s working out well.

      For the addressing, we tried to write people’s names the way they prefer to be addressed. Although, my (fantastic) fiancé did all the addressing and forgot about the “same line with an & indicates a married couple” rule, so I guess some of our nearest and dearest just got envelope-married.

      • Envelope-married. I love it!

      • Meghan

        “Envelope-married” – lol! I guess by adding the ‘and’ I just did this to an aunt and uncle (brother and sister) who room together. Whoops!

      • Annabel

        We did “Me and him and their families invite you to blah blah blah” because it’s true! each of us and every parent is putting money in the pot.

  • Cara

    We’re not doing inner envelopes, but I want to give some people plus ones that may not have a steady significant other to use if they choose. Our RSVPs don’t have a “_ seats reserved” so I can’t indicate there, and it seems a little weird to put “John Doe and Guest” on the outer envelope. Should we just put their name and assume they know to bring a guest if they want? We aren’t saying no one can bring a plus one, but I don’t want people to be playing a guessing game either.

    Also, we’re inviting at least 3 couples who will be married between the time the invites go out and our wedding. We will address them by their unmarried names on the envelope for the invitation, since they won’t be married YET, right? Ugh.

    • You’re right- don’t make people play guessing games. The “and Guest” on the outside would work, otherwise maybe someone else has a suggestion? Maybe add a personal note or follow-up with a phone call so they know?

      And you’re right- address invitations with names at the time of sending.

      • Phoebe

        We added a little note for each of our friends or family that were currently single (or not super serious with their person) letting them know that they were welcome to bring someone, but to just let us know the person’s name. We were pretty sure who the plus ones would be for some, but didn’t want to assume anything or add any extra pressure :) The only issue we encountered was having a few people flip-flop on if they were bringing someone, so it may require an extra phone call a few weeks out if you need to provide numbers to vendors or make escort cards.

      • We did the “and Guest” or “et invité” on our envelopes, depending on the language of the recipient…

    • Don’t assume they will know – because if the envelope is addressed to them only then only they are invited. Period. Most people know this by now. If you can get the name of their guest, include it on the invitation. If it is just an open, plus one then you should either put “and guest” or call them and tell them they are free to bring someone if they want.

      Will the couples be married when they receive the invitation? If not, use their unmarried names. But if they will be married by the time the invitations should get to them, use their married names.

    • Teresa

      I had a couple who was not married at the time, but would be by the time our wedding rolled around, return their RSVP card with “The Future Mr. and Mrs. Hislastname” written in…you could address their invites as such?

    • meg

      Don’t make people guess, not everyone includes guests at weddings (we didn’t), so that wouldn’t be the automatic assumption.

      • Emily

        Agreed; this has been the only source of major drama so far in wedding planning, so I’d definitely encourage as much clarity as possible.

      • Copper

        Yes! I really just have two rules of sorts about this:

        1) Make a decision on the +1’s that is clearly defensible (committed relationships yes, all others no. Or, no +1’s except for wedding party and out of town guests) so that when people ask the response is readily at hand, no matter which of you is asked. You don’t want to say no to someone that your partner has already said yes to or visa-versa.

        2) If there’s someone with a live-in partner or fiancee (or god forbid husband or wife!), please include that person’s name in the invitation. The only time I’ve actually been offended by a wedding invitation wording is when a friend of Mr. Copper’s got married, and apparently they just invited who they wanted and did not even consider the issue of +1’s at all (see rule 1!!!). But also, shit! I’ve met the guy like 20+ times, he knows we’re engaged, and the guy can’t even be bothered to think of inviting the fiance of one of his closest friends? I leave people a lot of room for how they choose to do stuff and general thoughtlessness, but that one hurt on my own behalf and on behalf of my partner, whose enjoyment and comfort the groom apparently did not consider one bit, as he didn’t even get an “and guest” (see, here’s me making an allowance in case he didn’t know my last name or something) for an elaborate destination wedding that would take a big chunk of our household budget to send him to, by himself apparently. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

        • Jessica

          Right!?! I was labeled “and Guest” for my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding when we have been dating 6 years and living together for 2. So offensive.

        • CII

          More “Exactly” to number 2!

          Recently a friend of the long-term SO (together more than 7 years, lived together more than 3) sent a wedding invitation to SO and did not include me on the invitation, nor was there any indication that plus ones were welcome. Size of wedding and nature of relationships involved suggested that I should have been invited. SO insisted that, accordingly, I must be invited. I responded that, if my name was not on the invitation, I was not invited and would not be attending. Phone call to groom was required. Groom confirmed I was invited, and expressed confusion as to our doubts relating thereto. SO believed that groom’s reaction confirmed I had been being ridiculuous. I believed that this confirmed WHY THERE ARE ETIQUETTE RULES.

          • Copper

            This is pretty much what happened with this groom as well. Everyone who was in relationships (because he did this to ALL of the guests!) was terribly confused, or felt the need at least to confirm that their SOs were welcome, and the groom wound up at a party going, “Do you need a plus one? How about you?” and then trying to relate all the extra people he’d invited to his bride later. The total count wasn’t any different than it would have been, but they both caused bad feelings and themselves extra work by not figuring that stuff out up front and being clear about it.

          • Mmouse

            This happened to us as well (back when my husband and I were engaged). I insisted that he call his friend to make sure I was invited. He’s friend reacted like, “duh”, but I didn’t want to assume! I think they just didn’t know the “rules”

            And, for the record, we didn’t know the rules back then either. We sent one invite to roommates and included adult children living with their parents on one invitation. We thought we were being economical!

          • Alexandra

            See, I just let my fiance work out all the invitations, since as it turns out he can churn out all the addresses onto envelopes in about an hour, while I’m still worrying about whether the friend of my parents and mother of my bridesmaid would rather be addressed as “Angie” or if that’s just a nickname for a name I don’t know. What this means is that most of the envelopes were addressed in not so neat handwriting, with probably terrible etiquette, but were done in a day instead of over weeks.

            The point I’m trying to say here is, in my experience, men just don’t worry about this stuff as much.

        • Kat

          Along the lines of make decisions about +1 who have not been together very long (I mean shorter than a year but longer than just 3 months and not in the wedding party), invite them by their name. We’re not giving out ANY +1s, we just don’t have the space for it, but there are a few people invited who fit that above rule. My thinking is that if they break up, the invite was for a specifically named person who they are no longer with. If they start dating someone new and it’s outside that rule, then we’re inviting on a case by case situation as space allows.

          I have no idea what the etiquette books say about this sort of think, I don’t really care, it’s a rule that works for us, and seems to be the easiest solution, since G and I have been on the bad side of a not so great invite rule when we first started dating…and I was in the wedding party.

    • Cara

      All right! The consensus is adding “and Guest” on the envelope, I guess, to make it as clear as possible! I appreciate the help!

      • Laurel

        How many people are you talking about? We just handled +1s for people without partners by talking to them individually.

        • Cara

          It’s several cousins and friends, probably about 15 people? And I’m not super close to a lot of them, and don’t have many phone numbers, so I’d have to call my mom to get their mom’s number, then call their mom, then call them to get a hold of them! It’ll be much easier to just make the outer envelope look a little sillier but get the point across, I’m thinking.

          • Stella

            We didn’t have inner envelopes, so for unnamed guests (e.g., where we didn’t know the person’s name or for whatever reason), we just put the named guest on the outer envelope and a handwritten note on an extra card inside saying that they were welcome to bring a guest to the wedding….

      • lucy

        When we invited a + Guest to our wedding we wrote only the friend’s name on the envelope and included the + guest on the invite. I think it is a bit public to address the envelope to a + guest when it is going through the postal service…

    • Emilie cont.

      I’m planning on hand writing: “Feel free to bring a friend!” on the RSVP card for out-of-town-ers who won’t know many other guests.

    • Caitlin

      We didn’t do inner envelopes either and I (stupidly) assumed people would know they COULD bring a “plus one”. I thought +1s were the default, but apparently I was majorly out of the loop for wedding invitation etiquette. Once I realized the confusion, I ended up just calling up the people who were affected and telling them over the phone that they could bring a guest. It turned out fine but it would have been easier to make it clear from the beginning.

    • We did and Guest on the outer envelope. Since the “and guest” only went to friends our own age, I didn’t worry that any of them would care about the faux pas of not having the guest on the inner envelope (which we didnt have)
      Although hilariously one of my husband’s friends put “His Name and Guest” on the reply card and I was like “does your guest have a name? that was where you were supposed to tell us his name.” He was pretty clueless about all things wedding-y. Lucky fella.

      Also, I think the inner envelope is a waste of paper and money, so I’m all for skipping it and making the one envelope work!

    • Elsie

      My understanding was that it is not proper to use ‘and guest’ at all. (I’m thinking this comes from Miss Manners.) Instead, call the friend and ask the name and address of his/her date, and send that person their own, separate invitation. Certainly harder, and admittedly not always fasible, but it avoids offending someone by not mentioning them by name. Additionally, it gives you a ‘rule’ of having no extra guests just for the sake of having dates, if you’re limiting the size of the guest list. I’m sure this isn’t for everyone, but it’s what we did.

    • MDBethann

      I had the fun instance of sending an invite to one of my DH’s cousins (who lived on the opposite coast) and was, to our knowledge, single, so we addressed it just to her. She decided to bring a guest (a guy from back home that she liked but wasn’t actually dating) without asking us – just RSVPed for 2, when 2 were not invited. I got lucky in that some people I invited couldn’t attend so I didn’t have to call her on it (we had a tight head count for our venue), but I found it rather rude to just assume you could bring someone. If it doesn’t say “and guest” and you aren’t told to bring a guest, don’t assume you can bring one.

      Point of this is that you should definitely do “and guest” if you want them to bring a guest but don’t know the guest’s name.

  • Ah this is great!

    We just sent out our invitations last week. To be honest, I just didn’t pay any attention to etiquette, (although I did pay attention to calling people what they prefer to be called). I thought pretty envelopes and nice penmanship and proper conventions was going to be important, but for me it was way to stressful to figure out the formal way to address the envelopes. (In part because I didn’t have this handy dandy guide at the time.) Also, my partner, who has the handwriting of an inmate/5 year old child, also addressed half of our invitations. For about 4 seconds I insisted on doing it myself, and then I realized: everyone knows what his handwriting looks like and they still support our wedding. Go figure!

    Slightly off topic, but that’s sort of been my process with this whole wedding planning. I thought I would really care about the details, (I’m a details person, I used to sneak wedding magazines, and I’ve been thinking about the details of this wedding for years & years) but as the wedding approaches I find myself barely caring about the details. I cannot wait to get married, and celebrate with my loved ones, but I keeping coming across details, finding myself shrugging my shoulders and going *meh* that’ll be fine. I keep surprising myself in that regard, b/c I thought I’d be all about teaching myself calligraphy and hand making bunting. Anyone else have this experience?

    • Also: advice to anyone who is stressed about addressing invitations and wants to find an easy way of making it clear who is and isn’t invited (when it comes to plus ones, children, etc.). Our RSVP cards looked like this: “__ of __ respectfully declines” and we filled in the second blank space with the number of invited guests.

      • We did that for ours, except it was __tickets have been reserved for you! and filled in the blank with number invited. We didn’t have inner envelopes.

      • What a great way of doing it. I wish I’d seen that before our wedding. I ended up putting and guest or kids’ names on the outer envelope because we didn’t have inner envelopes and I wanted to make sure everyone knew they could bring them. Your way is an elegant way of accomplishing that and also letting people know that no, they can’t bring their mother AND three adult children we’ve never met who aren’t listed on the invitation. (Yes, that came up.)

    • I am like that too. I live for the details in my job, hobbies and other places in my life. But I’m finding when it comes to the wedding, I’m leaning towards a “meh” on details. Food, florals, chairs and linens are all I’m concerned about as decor. I’ll get there on the little things closer to the day (2 months from now), and it will stress me. But right now, I’m feeling golden.

    • There were a lot of the supposedly big detail type questions regarding our wedding that I made up on the spot off the top of my head.

      • meg

        Us too. I know a lot of the technical rules on this, for example, but in the end I just got stuff out the door. I just didn’t care very much. (I did really care about what was on the invites, just not the envelopes).

    • Rebecca

      I have a design related degree, all the graphics software you could ever want, and practically every craft tool in existence, and I did basically nothing details wise. Our invites were handwritten on plain Crane invites (because the guest list was too small to bother printing), our decorations were flowers (by someone else) + LED tealights in votive holders, we used an all-inclusive venue- basically the opposite of detail oriented or DIY. Like you, I just didn’t care- and after the fact, I’m not sorry to have left them out, either. Bunting is hard work!

      Word to the wise- 15 invites is a reasonable per day upper limit on hand-writing invites unless you have serious stamina. I didn’t.

      • Stephanie

        I think if I received a handwritten wedding invitation, I would save it forever! What a lovely idea. (Our guest list is fewer than 50 people, and will likely be fewer than 25 actual invitations, because of families/couples living at the same address. I had never considered hand-writing our invitations, but now I’m thinking about it…)

        • Emily

          My mom calligraphs for the side, and occasionally addresses envelopes for weddings. She once did the calligraphy for the entire invitation (vs. having that printed), and I think it was just 35 of them. This was over a decade ago, and I still remember her complaining about how onerous the job was — and she does this semi-professionally. So while it’s an awesome idea and I hope you can pull it off, make sure you leave yourself twice the time you think it’ll take, and be prepared for frustrations!

      • meg

        Funny story: handwritten invites are the MOST traditional. Swoon. I love them so much.

        • But, like, actually, fully handwritten, right? Because my fiance seems to think you can get, like, an invite that just has blanks for time, place and names and that suffices, as if this is a child’s 5 year old, mermaid-themed birthday party. Baffling.

          I’m not opposed to getting some very good paper and busting the whole thing out though!

          • meg

            HAAAAAA. Yeah, I think that’s reserved for children’s birthday parties. Though I *love* those for birthday parties. So old school, in the best way.

          • But wouldn’t it be a *little* awesome to get mermaid themed birthday invites and then fill in the blanks? Like, just a little?

            Although of course, if that’s not what the wedding will be like then it would be inapprropriate

          • If I received such an invitation, I would be insanely excited for that wedding. Bonus points if there were dinosaurs involved somewhere.

          • It WOULD be awesome to have an invite like that, but I think in the grand scheme of things, we’re going to scale up just a little.

            Dinosaur hidden somewhere in the text, now . . . .

          • Brenda

            You totally can get those for a wedding though, with tasteful designs of course. I considered it.

          • Sam A

            Dinosaurs RULE.
            (And… I am officially older than 5… But we defo had dinosaurs at our wedding… On the cake!)
            Also – i honest-to-goodness had NO IDEA there was so much envelope etiquette! We just sort of winged it.

          • meg

            Personally, I want to know what a mermaid fill in the blank wedding WOULD be like….

          • KM

            Our MADLIB style RSVP response cards were not so far off from this! I posted a few miles down the comment chain with a link to our card – it was a huge hit with guests and so much more fun to receive in the mail than a simple Yes or No!

        • Caroline

          I’ve been wanting to do handwritten invitations for years, for this reason. Even though our wedding will be (fairly) casual, I’m a fancy-pants girl, and I love the idea that even though we can’t afford letterpress or engraving, those were originally the cheaper, less classy alternative to handwritten invites. So hopefully, handwritten invites it is. We will have about 35-40 invites (about 60 people, but lots of couples and families), so I think that is manageable. I think I can manage to make the invitations over the course of a few weeks.

          I love that they are the most traditional, and intimate, and personal and pretty.

          Also, I’m thinking that each invite will start
          Aunt So-and-so and Uncle Thus-and-such
          the honour of your presence
          ….) because how awesome would it be to get a wedding invite with your name at the top?

          • meg


            It's true. Engraving and letterpress were just an attempt to imitate handwriting. Riiiggghhhhttttt? Awesome.

          • Rebecca

            The best part for me was that I totally got to enjoy the fancy paper that I love anyways, because nice paper is soooo nice to write on.

            But seriously, they took time. I could only do 2-3 full invites at a time, with a hour break between. I also did a draft of our wording with a font slightly larger than my handwriting to see how things would fit on the card (set up a custom page size to the size of the card- and remember margins!) so I could get the line breaks right.

            I also used that to make a template- I printed a copy and spray mounted it to chipboard and cut out slits just below the letters, used those to draw lines (in very light pencil) on the invites so I had guidelines- I tend to slant as I write. If you wait for the ink to dry you can erase right over the ink (I like the Staedler Mars white erasers).

            And don’t forget to write one for yourselves! Unlike printed invites, you don’t wind up with spares unless you write them…

    • Gina

      Yup! Totally having this experience. I was obsessed with Pinterest and wedding boards before I got engaged. Now? I couldn’t care less. Maybe it’s because my mind-set had to switch from “oh-so-pretty-I-want-it” to “how much time and money is this going to take?” It takes all the fun out of it. I used to obsess over the perfect wildflower centerpieces. Now, if I show up and there ARE flowers, I will be happy.

      Also, I laughed out loud at “inmate/5 year old child.” You also described my fiance’s handwriting. The other night we had him practice with the calligraphy pen, just for laughs.

      • Remy

        My wife’s handwriting is passable — sometimes neater than mine, anyway, and legible — but we had one ridiculous fight (read: I threw a tantrum) because she addressed an envelope fully two inches to the left of center and it looked stupid. (Not one of my finer moments, if we are not yet clear on that.)

        • Gina

          Hahaha! That does look stupid. Probably not as stupid as when I write the whole address block crooked, though.

    • Oh god, I feel you! I love stationery and had grand plans for our invitations. Lined envelopes! Wax seals! Assorted vintagey stamps! But it all ended up being so stressful that I crossed over to the other side of “I don’t give an effing eff anymore; let’s just finish these g***d*** mother******s already!” And yes, there really was that much swearing. In the end we paid NO attention to etiquette because I got tired of thinking about how to address the darn things. There were no envelope liners, we settled for stickers for seals and the guy at the post office looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for assorted stamps in strange denominations. And you know what? Nobody cared in the end – least of all us!

      • Remy

        Empathy hugs! I actually really enjoyed the clear stick-on labels we used for addresses (and the typed addresses that were much prettier than our handwriting), so I didn’t care about the fanciness lost. But I had sadfeels when postage went up and we couldn’t use the BEST STAMPS EVER ( At least we hadn’t bought them yet.

        • We used clear labels for the Save the Dates, and except for a few in which I got a random cat hair stuck under them (grr), SO EASY and simple. I kind of like the idea that I read somewhere about printing out the addresses in fancy script using a very light color, then tracing over it with ink (so it looks like you have good hand writing), but I’m not sure I can be arsed.

  • Angela

    Well, my parents are paying for the church ceremony because they really really wanted that to happen and the fella and I are happy to do it. It is free and traditional. BUT he and I are paying for the reception, which is quite a bit more expensive. I’ve decided to word the invitation something like this:

    Mr. and Mrs. S request your presence at the Celebration of Matrimony between their daughter
    Mr. J. M.
    at time/date/church/location

    Following the service the newly joined couple
    invite you to celebrate with them at
    for cocktails and dancing

    Please RSVP for each event at

    • meg

      I like this loads. Less because of who is paying for what (because I maintain that’s no ones business), but more because it makes it your first act of hospitality as a married couple. <3 <3 <3

  • APW Lurker

    So we said:

    Together with their families
    APW Lurker
    APW Lurker Hubby
    Second Lieutentant Unites States Air Force

    Invite you to joint in the celebration
    Of their marriage
    Saturday, the third if August
    Two thousand and thirteen
    At six o’clock in the evening
    Insert Reception address
    Cocktail hour and reception immediately to follow

    We also kept everything in all capitals because I honestly didn’t want to research when to capitalize versus not to capitalize. With the RSVP postcards we worded the response “yes, will be there/no, will be square” to keep it light. And as ridiculous as I thought it was I created an information card with a map of the area including the hotel and the venue and the website information. But lo and behold a few people are probably going to use the map instead of GPS! Blows my mind!

    • I think we are going to have to do a map, because literally the address for the wedding venue? Is coordinates. Which is awesome for both my Navy uncle and my astronaut friend, but everyone else will be befuddled. And assuming everyone has a GPS-enabled phone (the overseas guests, for instance, probably wouldn’t have a working iPhone or int’l data plan) seems kind of silly.

      Long story short: I LIKE MAPS!

    • Love your RSVP lines. My cousin, of similar light humor, wrote hers with three options: will be there with bells on!/ will be there, unsure about this bell nonsense/will not be there, bells or otherwise.

      Of course, I replied I’d be there with bells on. And noted that my partner would be there, but sans bells. :-)

      • Our RSVPs (online) have the menu option as “Meat is Murder!” and “Tasty, tasty murder.”

        • Mira

          My husband *really* wanted to do this!

    • Emily

      This reminds me that we still need to make maps! Since our ceremony location actually has no street address. GPS coordinates sound awesome, although I’m guessing not many people will be using smartphones since it’ll be in another country.

      • All Hail Google..mostly

        Funny thing happened with our maps; Google actually had a major street mis-numbered while we were building the map (wedding was in a different state). So we printed them with the wrong number. And people called and called the day of the wedding, and I was panicking.

        Wedding magic: Dad using white medical tape to CHANGE THE COUNTY ROAD SIGN to what we had printed on our map!!!

        The photo of the altered sign is what my wedding felt like to me :)

        • Sam A

          That is awesome. Where i come from, that would be called ” ‘n boer maak a plan” (loosely translated: a farmer makes a plan)

          • Jessica


    • SD

      Side note:
      My RSVP was worded “Number of guests attending”, which I thought was pretty clear, you know, just give me a darn number for the reception.
      I had a good friend from a different culture (her first big white wedding) that I KNEW was attending send back the RSVP card indicating “0” guests. She thought the fact that she was sending back the RSVP meant I understood *she* was coming, but the “none” meant she wasn’t bringing anyone. If it had been one of my hubby’s friend that I knew less well, I would have assumed it meant no. So be careful on the wording!

      • Jo

        I have TOTALLY had this feeling as a guest before — that “number of guests” means people other than me… I don’t know why, but it is sometimes worded confusingly. And I’m not foreign or anything.

        • This happened to us as well, not with a foreigner. I think it only is troublesome for 2 kinds of people:
          -The person you invited “& Guest” (one of our groomsmen sent this back with a 0, which I know he was coming, but he wasn’t bringing a date I guess
          -A person you didn’t invite a +1 for that has decided to bring one (one of my husband’s friends who casually dates many women, we didn’t want him to bring one to our wedding so we invited him solo but he returned the card with a cryptic “+1,” of course with no name)

          I don’t really have a good alternative though because if you invite a family of 5, you need some way to find out who of that family is coming to the wedding. So you need a number somewhere! I think the only solution is to call people who get it wrong and clarify.

  • Quinners

    I do worry about how to word things – my fiancee’s parents are paying for what will probably be about half, my parents are not contributing financially at all, and my fiancee and I are paying/have paid for the rest. Is “Together with their families, Quinn and [Fiancee] request the pleasure of your company” still okay even though my parents aren’t contributing financially? I will not feel good about making it obvious that my parents didn’t offer us anything but her parents did.

    (My feelings on this issue are further complicated by the fact that neither set of parents is thrilled about our same-sex marriage. They’re trying to be supportive, but frankly none of them are especially good at it. Using “families” instead of parents helps, because my brother and sister are supportive, but I do feel weird about implying that my parents are inviting people to a ceremony that they actually refuse to tell their loved ones about)

    • I think “Together with their families” is perfect! It acknowledges your awesome siblings, without rocking the boat or making a bold statement re support and/or money, which is unnecessary and would prob be uncomfortable.

    • To me, “Together with their families” doesn’t suggest any kind of financial situation. It can just mean that the couple wants to honor both families and be a little more progressive than sticking with the very traditional “Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Parents request…” It’s a nice way to include all the family good feelings.

      • Laura C

        I fell in love with “together with their families” the first time I got an invitation with it, for exactly the reasons you say. I think it’s a very elegant way to be progressive yet family-centered, and to avoid all of the questions of who paid and so on.

        • Ana in Boston

          I also love” together with their families”, or, in our case “together with their families and with joyful hearts”

      • Mira

        I think “together with their families” sounds like the perfect solution for you. I really wanted to use that, and was told it implied we already had children (like, from previous relationships).

        In retrospect, I can’t believe I let myself be talked into “together with their parents” (which was totally fine for us, but not what I initially wanted). I remember sitting in the printshop and trying to think of a single person we were inviting who might mistakenly believe that we already had children…because, why were those hypothetical people getting an invitation, again?

    • meg

      As I noted in the post, that hosting line has nothing to do with money, so totally totally fine (etiquette wise, obviously fine to do whatever feels right, non-etiquette wise). And emotionally, phew. I think that’s a lovely solution to a shitty situation.

    • Emmers

      I love “together with their families” too for if some parental units are divorcing/have awkwardness.

    • CII

      Does anyone have a good suggestion for an opening line in lieu of “Together with their families”? I think it’s a great line where the family is hosting, but, in our situation, we’re planning / financing / hosting this wedding on our own, and the families are attending as honored guests.

      So far, we have seen:
      “Please join” A + B as they [exchange vows, whatever]
      “Come celebrate as A + B [exchange vows, whatever]

      • Jessica

        I think just jump right into it.

        A + B invite you to….
        A + B request the pleasure of your company at…

      • Brenda

        We said:

        Please join us as we,

        ME and YOU

        exchange vows and rings on
        etc etc….

      • Alden

        We included our parents, but later on, and you could leave that part out. Ours are a little wordier at the beginning, but I lurrrve them

        Because you have shared in our lives
        in friendship and love, we
        together with our parents

      • Margaret

        We did “The pleasure of your company is requested at the wedding of (my name) and (his name)…” It just seemed shorter and cleaner to us.

  • I followed etiquette for the most part. I didn’t included Mr and Mrs,
    I went Grandpa and Gramma Maternal versus Mr. Grampa and Mrs. Gramma Maternal for married couples.
    Gal Friend and Guy Friend for unmarried couples, with the Guy friend coming first if we knew him better.
    For the singleites, Straight up Gal Friend or Guy Friend. Depending on whether they had a boyfriend or girlfriend we added the guest. For friends without boyfriends or girlfriends we did not include guests.

    The decision to not give single friends guests has struck some nerves, particularly with a bridesmaid. I don’t understand why she would want to bring a friend, when she will be doing bridesmaid duties all day and night, and her friend would not know anyone there because all of our mutual friends have been invited.

    I wish some people were aware of the etiquette rules that if you are addressed as plus guest on the invite, then you do not assume you can bring one, even though the RSVP line has “Name(s):” I’ve had to already let some people down on that because they were not clear on it. It’s hard. No matter what I find I scramble for an excuse and hurt feelings instead of following scripts that are all over APW on the matter.

    The invite itself was Awesome Bride and Awesome Groom, together with our parents, invite you to share with us a celebration of love.

    We chose not to include registry information in the invite, also an etiquette thing, which appalled some of the MIL’s friends that they had to go online to our wedding website for the information. Or they didn’t know they had to. My family, and region of birth, don’t do gifts for weddings, and do presentation (money in cards) instead. So putting it on the invite would have offended them. Not putting it on the invite offended the in-laws, or just the MIL.

    How have others dealt with registry information on invites?

    Holy crackers that was long!

    • My understanding is that putting registries on invitations is pretty tacky. It’s not hard to ask the couple later on — or ask family/friends — where they are registered. Including it on wedding invitations is gauche, even to my fairly modern mind. It’s ok for showers but not the big wedding invite itself.

      • This is a cultural thing, though – a family friend (Chinese-Australian) insists everyone should be explicit about gifts on the invite to aid unerstanding.

        Also, we don’t have showers here, so the wedding is the only gift occasion, which I think changes things somewhat.

        • I’m not chinese or australian and I am with your friend on this though.
          It made sense when your mom saw all the invitees at church every Sunday or whatever that she could just verbally tell everyone that there was a registry and it was at X store.
          But now with the far-flungedness of people, it is difficult to get the word out. As The Book says, people want to buy you gifts. So you might as well tell them where you’re registered.
          I would be happy to see the stigma against putting the registry in the invitation somewhere go away.

    • I’m pretty sure you were correct to not include it on the invitation – etiquette wise. If people want to find out they will inquire. Otherwise it appears that a gift is mandatory, which it is not.

      • meg

        That’s right. Old school is not including it. (We didn’t).

        • kate

          What about on an information card?

          • rachel


          • C R

            We did include registry info on a little information card that was tucked in behind the invite — but we also included our contact info, hotel block info, and our website address on the card. The registry info was last — we worded it as “For those who are interested, the happy couple has registered at X and Y. Please see the website for more details.” Mostly we wanted everyone to have all of the information at hand rather than having to track everything down. Hopefully no one was offended by including registry info within the invite, as it was meant to be helpful. And I felt like our wording on the website made it clear that we’re just happy to have people celebrate with us and no gifts are required.

    • Amy March

      Although it isn’t rude to invite single people alone, I do think it’s a nice courtesy to extend to your bridesmaids, especially if she’s the only single one. And their only really duty is during the ceremony- after the pics are done she’ll probably have plenty of free time.

      • She is the only single bridesmaid, but we have 2 single groomsmen, out of 6 on each side. But She is also really close with two of the other bridesmaids, their partners, and a couple tables worth of friends in the crowd. So I was really confused why she wanted to bring someone who I didn’t know to the wedding, when I had been venting to her about the MIL inviting people that hardly know Awesome Groom to the wedding.

        Communication when you are trying very hard to be delicate and tactful sucks. I eventually went the route of costs, and another bridesmaid helped me out with explaining it all.

        • Dancing? Like, I don’t know, I have definitely been the single person at the “no plus ones unless you’re in a relationship” wedding before, and it kind of really sucked and was hurtful. Did I enjoy myself at their wedding? Of course! Would I have liked to sneak a slow dance or two with someone, or just have someone to kick back with during dinner? Yeah.

        • Sometimes some people feel really sensitive about their singleness around weddings, and in a way knowing lots of people and their significant others can highlight that. It’s possible this was behind your friend’s desire to bring a date.

          Edit to add: I don’t at all mean to imply you should give your friend a +1, just offering a potential reason for her to really want one.

        • Glad your other bridesmaid helped out. That does seem like a strong reaction, considering she’ll have many close friends around to kick it with at the reception (and hey- if she has close guy friends, or single groomsmen, those sound like awesome slow dance partners to me!)

          Good luck with the rest of your planning!

        • Kat

          The only other thing you might want to consider is if you can’t afford to have that bridesmaid’s +1 there for the dinner part of things, invite the +1 to come for the dancing/partying part of things. At least so she doesn’t have to be Ms lonleyhearts during the slow dances. Yes, there’s other people she knows there, but TRUST ME, it sucks to be the only bridesmaid without a dance partner even if you know the entire room…which that doesn’t happen very often, if at all.

      • Liz

        We had the same issue with the plus ones. We ended up deciding no automatic plus ones, but we told the wedding party that if there was someone they really wanted to bring, to let us know and then they could. We wanted to avoid random people we didn’t know, but also respect the effort the bridal part were putting in and give them the choice! Only one out of ten took us up on the plus one offer.

    • Aly

      We are planning to list our wedding website, helping them know to look there for our registries. It still feels a bit like “here it is!!” for me, but I know people will want to know. My mom has appreciated seeing the registry listings straight up listed on bridal shower invitations in the past, so that could be another way to go, especially if someone else is throwing you a shower.

      • Kat

        Actually for showers it is completely different, since the whole purpose of having a shower is to give the couple gifts.

    • Actually, in regards to your lack of honorifics, I know that my grandma, in particular, has openly scolded grandchildren who send her mail with a formal “Mrs. R. N. R” on it. As she put it, being called Grandma is one of the greatest joys in her life, so when we send her mail, we address it “Grandma R,” and therefore I do that for all my grandparents.

      Everyone has their preferences of what to be called, like Meg noted.

    • LMN

      We just had this same invitation and registry issue come back to bite us. We mailed invites two months ago; we’re less than one month away from our wedding. In my family/region, you don’t put registry info in a wedding invite. In my FH’s family/region, you include a little slip of paper with the invite, saying where you’re registered. He and I discussed it and decided that including our wedding website address (where people might find registry info if they so desired) was a good compromise. We thought that was the end of it.

      My family/friends/coworkers were fine with this. His family/friends/coworkers were perplexed. He finally sent them a quick email apologizing for the confusion and giving them both our wedding website and our registry info. So it’s all sorted now, but it got a little messy in the middle. I’d say to be aware of regional differences on this one.

      “But why didn’t they just visit the website that I spent hours making? Then all their questions would have been answered…” That’s the little voice in the back of my head, sobbing quietly every time someone asked me for info about accommodations, places to eat, things to do, our registry, etc. *little sigh*

    • We had a website that we were using that included our registry options, an RSVP setup, and info on our hotel block, so we just put our website on the invite with “for more information or to RSVP, visit (website)”.

    • Dana

      We are finalizing our invites this week and mostly going with traditional, formal format for a religious ceremony:


      The reception information is on a separate insert reading:

      I am from the Northeast, where wedding gifts are traditionally in the form of cash. There’s no mention of registry information anywhere on our invitation, but the information is included on our website (along with all other pertinent info…we did this mainly to conserve paper and be a bit more eco-friendly. Our RSVPs are postcards too…no envelope to waste). His family is from the South and Midwest, and reading through these comments, I realize that I should probably ask future MIL about the gifts more specifically just to make sure no one will be confused or offended from their side of the family.

      My mom has had some concerns about those older relatives that don’t use the computer, but truthfully, that is only a handful and I think this is easily handled by phone calls. We’ve added my parents’ home phone number to the RSVP card as well, under the guise of special dietary needs.


      I am nervous about whether people will reply with the appropriate information we need (# attending and guests and whatnot), but after trying multiple options, we just couldn’t find wording we liked that didn’t seem overly wordy. We are going to cross our fingers and just be ready to follow up with phone calls I guess. Anyway, nothing really earth-shattering or out of the box here. I guess there’s something to be said for old school traditional. I am pretty proud of the 100% recycled content and the fact that we only have 3 pieces of paper plus an envelope per invite.

  • My father had passed away when we got married, but I still wanted to include his name on the invite. I think what we did breaks about a gajillion etiquette rules, but the way we got around this was to have it say

    Ruchi, daughter of X and Y and Dave, son of A and B joyfully invite you blah blah blah….

    Anyway, like I said, I don’t think it’s strictly correct to list a deceased parent on your invite, but it’s what I wanted and I figured I’d put it out there in case there are any other APWers with deceased parents who are wondering what to do….

    • We listed my husband’s father on our invitation even though he passed away several years ago, mostly because I wanted to respect my MIL’s preference. I offered a variety of wording options I found online and she ended up selecting “son of Mrs. FirstName Lastname and the late Mr. FirstName Lastname.”

      That might not be kosher, but it was more important to me to honor his memory and give my MIL the choice than to keep the etiquette strictly.

    • My sister-in-law married a widower and they’ve had a lot of fun trying to figure out how they’ll word the invite when their daughter, daughter of the first wife, gets married. They definitely want to acknowledge the mom who gave birth to her, but also acknowledge the mom who raised her. I have no idea what the rules are on that, but there has to be some way to do it.

      • Hypothetical Sarah

        Not quite the same situation, but my husband wanted to acknowledge both his stepmom (who raised him) and his mother (who’s still in the picture but not so parental). Our invite read:

        Mr. and Mrs. MyDad and MyMom MyLast
        together with
        Mr. and Mrs. HisDad and StepMom HisLast
        and Mrs. BioMom HerLast
        request the honor of your presence at the marriage of…

        for your sister-in-law’s daughter, they could change that to “and the late Mrs. BioMom”

    • meg

      I think that’s a lovely way to solve the problem. The trick is to not word it so a deceased person is inviting you TO something, but that includes the names while having you do the inviting. Such a smart solution. BAM.

      • That’s what caused the giggling when they started thinking about it. Dead people don’t do a whole lot of inviting to parties (outside of Death Day parties in Harry Potter, that is).

    • Kat

      Not to worry, our invite wordings went:

      Father and Mother Last Name
      Invite you to share in the joy of the marriage uniting their daughter

      First Name Middle Name
      His First Name Middle Name

      Son of the late His Dad and His Mom Their Last Name

      Venue Name & Address

      Dinner and merriment to follow


      On a separate reception card we put:

      Venue Name
      Venue Address

      Cocktail Hour Time
      Dinner & Dancing Time
      Bonfire Time

      RSVP by this date to
      Wedding Website URL

  • I’m still very impressed with what my husband designed for our wedding – especially since I’m the one with a graphic design background. We went for ultra modern and ultra simple in design and phrasing. Personally I don’t think etiquette beyond appropriately addressing each invitee as you see fit belongs in a modern discussion of invite wording – that’s just me – and I obviously differ from Meg on that, but if you feel like I do, here is how simple a wedding invite can be worded and still get the message across:




    OCTOBER 20 TH 2012







  • Aly

    Other question: How does envelope wording work with save-the-dates? We’re sending them out this week and some people will definitely be getting a plus-one of their choice (meaning sig. other that I don’t know). My current plan is to address the save-the-date (just tried to abbreviate and discovered it’s STD…yeah, no…) to the person I know with no “and Guest” but make it clear on the actual invitation. Suggestions?

    • We went with Guy Friend or Gal Friend when we gave them STDs. For invites we included the guests. We didn’t get any questions then (STD time) about if they were able to bring a plus one.

    • KE

      I included “and Guest” for people who were getting plus-ones so that they could go ahead and make travel arrangements for their guests.

      • Aly

        Good to know it’s been done before. Thank you!

      • Rachel

        That’s what we did too!

    • One More Sara

      I used the STDs as a sort of practice run for addressing the wedding invites, so I went pretty formal. I didn’t include any generic “and Guest” on the STD (even though we are inviting some people like that), bc I figured it gave us more flexibility to not give them a guest later on if it was no longer possible.

    • Breck

      I don’t know the exact etiquette of addressing STDs (I giggle like a middle schooler every time I see this acronym), but I think adding “and Guest” or the +1’s name (if you know it) is a nice courtesy. I think (I could be wrong, though) the point of the STD is to give your guests a heads up as to when and where you’ll be getting married so they can begin to make plans to attend. Receiving a +1 for a wedding would, for me as a guest, fall into the same “need to plan” category as making sure I have the day free, organizing my travel arrangements, buying a gift, etc.

      • Aly

        Yeah, we’ll definitely include the name of the plus one, but there are a handful of family members (unmarried adult second cousins, etc) that will totally get a plus one, but I feel weird addressing “and Guest” on an envelope when I would have personalized it on the response card. I do very much agree with your point that the whole idea of a STD is to give them a heads up for planning purposes. Hm. Will give it some more thought.

        Inappropriate giggling at STD is totally acceptable. :)

        • Add me to the list of people giggling at STD and refusing to use the acronym. (I used to do sex ed for Planned Parenthood, too.)

      • Yeah, we have a STD sitting on the fridge for the destination wedding of my partner’s cousin with no mention whatsoever of whether or not I’m invited…

        • Aero

          It might be with adding – if you are sending out stds, give yourself some breathing room with numbers. That is if your planing to invite a 100 people maybe only send out 80-85 stds. Between the time you send them and the time the wedding invites go out, a lot can happen (eg money could get tight and numbers might have to reduce, or you make new closer friendships, or boom you inherit more family (births, marriages). We maybe sent out 90% stds but I wish we had made this percentage a bit lower.
          The real etiquette here is its not cool to reneg on a std.

  • Abbey

    We’re having a small wedding and then a much larger party a month later with most of our friends and family. I’m a little stuck on how to phrase the invitation to the second party so that it’s clear that it isn’t a wedding. Calling it a one month anniversary party seems like it just emphasizes the fact that they aren’t being invited to the actual wedding. Any ideas?

    • Call it a Celebration of Our Marriage

    • Amanda

      We used a Hatch poster-style invitation with the wording:

      Presenting Hername & Hisname The Newlyweds
      Help Us Celebrate!
      Date, Time
      Beer, Bourbon, & Barbecue For All

      Then we had a printed note on the back saying: “We ran off to California and got married! Please join us on date to help us celebrate with our favorite East Coasters” and provided a few more details and RSVP info. Worked like a charm!

      • careyp

        We are doing something very similar: a private/elopement with just bride, groom and officiant, then a casual BBQ on east coast the weekend after and a casual picnic on the west coast ( I am from CA, he is from NJ). We didn’t want to do 2 sets of invites/ wanted everyone to feel welcome to either party (but have a pretty good feel of who will be on which coast). We worded it this way:

        On a mountain top far away…
        Bride and Groom are getting married!

        Please join us afterwards to celebrate with friends, family, food and drink!
        Two exciting parties to choose from!
        Date 1: east coast location
        Date 2: west coast location

        For more info visit

        On the website I put all the info about lodging, times, exact locations for each party and registry info. I wanted to keep the invites simple, clean and uncluttered.
        The RSVP card let them “select all that apply” for those who wanted to celebrate twice.
        I didn’t think too much about the exact wording, other than I wanted it to be fun.

    • We had two of those, because both our families had relatives who couldn’t travel either to our wedding in New York, or to a party hosted by the other family (in Ohio and New Hampshire.)

      We called it what our families wanted to call it, and the name was a definate indicator of the level of formality of the actual event.

      For his family’s party, which was catered at a banquet hall, with dancing and formal toasts, it was a “post-nuptial party.” For my family’s party, which was beer and homemade finger food at my parents’ home, the wording was “An Open House to Celebrate the Marriage of Sarah and Chris.”

      • Mira

        We’re spent a long time talking about this (my mother and I) and settled on a hybrid wedding announcement and party invite. Worded as follows:

        Mom & Dad Lastname
        are delighted to announce the marriage of their daughter

        HubbyFirst HubbyLast

        on WeddingDate

        Please join us to celebrate with the newlyweds!
        Open House Brunch

        no gifts, please

        The other one I’ve seen and really liked was for a couple who created a hybrid last name.

        Parents used it as an opportunity to announce their son and DIL’s new names

        Mom and Dad Lastname
        Invite to to celebrate the marriage of
        GuyFirst GuyLast & GalFirst GalLast

        GuyFirst & GalFirst GuyGal


    • Caroline

      I think traditionally, it is still a reception for the newly married couple, so you could call it that, if it’s formal.
      “The pleasure of your company is requested
      at a reception
      in honor of the marriage of
      Your Partner

      time place etc”

      • Abbey

        Thanks for all the responses- this has been amazingly helpful!

    • Jo

      For all of you who eloped and had parties later –
      (First, thanks for posting thoughts on invite wording, SO helpful!)

      What did you do about a website? It feels weird to use a “”/etc kind of website b/c it’s not for our wedding, but for a celebration of an elopement that has already happened. And getting a domain name that is our two names seems weird too for some reason, but this is a gut thing. I feel like since we’re not having a ceremony, this celebration isn’t so much about the two of us as it is about our whole community of friends and family coming together.

      And this may be a little off-topic, but while I’ve got a few of you here… How have you handled registries? My gut feels tacky about having a registry, I feel that since people weren’t invited to our actual getting-married-moment, we don’t expect any gifts. On the other hand, I do realize that some people will want to give us gifts anyway. So far, we’ve already received gifts from some even before people know that we’re going to have a celebration, and it’s been mostly gift certificates or cash. While I of course appreciate the gifts, I feel really weird about a registry. Thoughts?

      • Not eloping, but we skipped the wedding website in favor of wordpress which was super easy & our domainname is (bride)and(groom) which I think is sufficiently silly and effective.

      • Brenda

        We didn’t quite elope – we had our legal ceremony first because we had a visa deadline, but our wedding is going to have a ceremony and we do feel it’s a real wedding. We’re not going around shouting about how we’re already married, but we’re also not pretending we’re not if someone asks.

        After lots of going back and forth about it, we decided not to do a registry at all. I honestly don’t imagine we’ll get many gifts (and that’s fine, we don’t need gifts.) For the few people who have asked, I said either – “we don’t have a gift list – the best gift is that you can come celebrate with us”, or, for family who I know want to give a gift, I said we had no list but I was sure anything they felt they wanted to give would be wonderful.

      • MTM

        If you don’t register, you’ll just get a bunch of random stuff. Let people celebrate you :)

    • we did this too!
      we sent save the date photo postcards as the wedding announcement – with a nice picture from our village court wedding ceremony – asking people to celebrate with us later.

      and for our wedding party invite, because I’m so focused on keeping costs down so we can have all of our extended family and friends there – we made business cards with:

      (please join us to celebrate!)

      [[party location]]
      ceremony 3PM + dinner follows
      JULY 13 2013

      potluck dessert table
      rsvp by June 15 2013
      festive attire/hats welcome

      I really struggled with the wording because it was such limited space on the business card (we used but I wanted people to know when to get there, what to expect food-wise, and what to wear. I think that’s really what’s important. I wanted to call it a Marriage Party, but my husband overruled, he preferred Wedding Party.

      With such casual invites we had to address the envelope specifically with who was invited, but that’s ok – we don’t have a lot of “and guest” situations and we asked those friends if they wanted to bring someone so we could put their names on the invites. I addressed things to people informally, because, well, 1. we had to fit a lot of people onto some of the invitations, and 2. it’s a fancy informal party, really.

  • Jenny

    Ours said

    Your love and friendship
    have helped us become
    who we are.

    Together with our parents,
    we invite you to share our joy
    and support our love,
    as we exchange vows
    and celebrate our marriage.

    Her name
    His name

    Date, time

    Eating, dancing and awesome times will follow the ceremony.
    RSVP to

    • Aly

      That beginning is just beautiful.

    • I love that beginning. That’s what we used as well!

    • LMN

      We used that wording, too! Love it.

    • Ours were very similar. (I’m pretty sure I stole it from something I saw on Pinterest.) It said:

      Because your love and friendship have made us who we are, we
      my name
      his name
      invite you to share in our joy as we exchange vows and celebrate our marriage
      date, time
      cocktails, dinner, and dancing to follow

      Then for our reply cards, I shamelessly stole and modified from Pintrest:
      ___ Will be there with bells on
      ___ Will attend, no bells
      ___ Will wear bells from afar
      ___ Unable to attend due to crippling bell phobia

  • Stephanie

    When addressing the envelope to an unmarried couple who lives together, PLEASE use both of their names. I wouldn’t have thought that would need to be said, but…

    One of the more hurtful things I’ve experienced was receiving a wedding invitation from a friend I had known for close to 20 years. My fiancé and I had lived together for 3 years at the time. The friend had met my fiancé several times.

    The invitation? Addressed to “Ms. Stephanie Lastname AND GUEST.”


    • Marcela

      This so hard!
      It really hurt my feelings when the fella’s friend addressed the invitation to him and guest. We’ve been together longer than him and his (now) wife!
      I really feel that in the age of facebook there is no excusing this.

    • KE

      A more charitable reading of the situation:

      Your name was on there because you’re the one who has the relationship with the bride/groom. The “and guest” was to indicate that you can bring any guest– presumably your live-in partner, but also a friend if your partner can’t make it. Your partner is invited through you, not on his own (because they wouldn’t be inviting him if he weren’t partnered with you) which is why his name isn’t on there.

      I agree with your overall point that both names of a couple should be on the invite, especially when they live together or are engaged. But I thought I’d provide an alternative reading of the situation. It could be off base, but I wouldn’t see “and Guest” as meaning your friend doesn’t take your relationship seriously if this person has otherwise been a supportive friend.

      • Stephanie

        This confuses me somewhat. For our invitations, I was planning on addressing it to both partners of unmarried couples (i.e., Ms. Niece Lastname and Mr. Live-In Partner). Should I actually address it to Ms. Niece Lastname and Guest, since Niece is the one who is actually related to us? That feels rude to me. Mr. Live-In Partner has been her partner for 5 years. I wouldn’t want to just erase him with “and Guest.”

        I mean, yes, if Mr. Live-In Partner were not the live-in partner of Ms. Niece, then he wouldn’t be invited, because we wouldn’t know him. But we DO know him. It would never occur to me in a million years to NOT explicitly name him on the invitation.

        • KE

          To be clear, I wasn’t commenting on the etiquette of the invitation you received. My point was that different people have different understandings of the purpose and meaning of the phrase “and Guest.” So while you found “and Guest” hurtful, your friend may have had a more benign purpose. You know your friend best, and maybe it was a subtle reminder that he/she saw your relationship as less valid. But if this person had otherwise been supportive of your relationship, it’s worth considering that “and Guest” was intended to give you options, not as a slight to your partner. That was what I tried to express in my original comment.

          In your example, Ms. Niece Lastname (on one line) Mr. Live-In Partner (on the next) is the most correct version; having them on the same line with “and” in between is also commonly used. Etiquette backs you up on that one, and (more importantly) it sounds like the best choice for your situation.

        • Samantha

          I would personally explicitly write the name of the live in partner.

          Also that indicates that only the partner is invited and if he cannot make it then you niece does not get to bring a different guest. If you write and guest, then she can bring whomever she wants. So there is that difference too.

      • Rebekah

        At my sister’s wedding I was invited “and guest.”

        My boyfriend was out of state at the time and had no way to make it. Due to extenuating circumstances, I was less than pleased to attend at all, so being able to bring a friend to support me was a really great option to take advantage of.

        Stephanie, I’m so sorry your feelings were hurt. Perhaps your friend was trying to be gracious in giving you an option, like KE said, or it was easier to address things according to a template. Still, it’s nice to hear your response so that when I address mine I can be more cautious.

    • Copper

      I went into more detail a few threads up, but my fiance’s received a wedding invitation that didn’t even allow him a guest, and that’s the only time I’ve been offended by this sort of etiquette stuff in my life. The groom of that couple had been my fiance’s friend for 10+ years, met me probably like 20 times. I could at least try to excuse an “and guest” if for instance he didn’t know my last name or how to spell my name, or something like that… but someone who is engaged not being allowed to bring their fiance at all is mean.

      • KE

        Yeah, that’s unambiguously rude.

      • I know how you feel. At a friend’s recent wedding, only the other married couples were allowed to bring their partners. So my fiance, with whom I live, with whom I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years was not invited. No long-term partners, no live-in partners, no affianced partners were invited at all. Rude.

      • Kat

        I’ve been a guest at a wedding where that was the case. There were VERY weird rules as to whom was allowed a +1 or not. Some of the wedding party were, some of the guests were, but there were a few situations where the +1 rule was not followed even though it should’ve been ie: guest was getting married a month later, fiance was not invited even though that day’s bridal couple were both invited.

    • Caroline

      I’ve been there. It’s super sucky. We were invited to a wedding addressed to “Caroline MyLast and HisFirst.” No last name for him. Really? How hard is it to call me and say “Hey, I know your boyfriend of 4 years, who you live with, has some weird, hard to spell last name. What is it again?” or even facebook me the question? I was really hurt.

      • Aubry

        UG, can I take a moment for knowing names or spelling in the era of facebook? It is officially not OK anymore to not know the name of your friends partners or kids, unless they don’t have facebook (shock face) or have crazy privacy settings. I hope each main person I am inviting is friends with me on FB (a few old/out of the internet loop people maybe not), and somewhere in a comment, photo, status, or friends post they have written the name of their partner/child. I have used this extensively when making the guest list, as spellings and last names can vary widely. It might take a little digging, but it is worth it!

        Also, as someone with an unusual name that gets misspelled a lot, I appreciate someone taking 1 minute to check it on the internet. My own Aunt spelled my name “Aubrey” on a recent wedding related envelope. I have been “Aubry” for 25 years!

        • Caroline

          For the sake of fairness, I must admit, my fiancé doesn’t have facebook (and I have crazy privacy settings but am friends with the people who would invite me to a wedding.) His last name definitely is nowhere on facebook. Still, it’s not so hard to send me a facebook message/email/phone call asking, is it?

  • Inner envelopes and a foldable card were two of the maybe four things I had planned for my wedding long in advance.

    Also, I’m kind of looking forward to someone, just once, addressing something to us as Mr. & Dr. Burrpie.

    Our invitations, on the inside read thusly:
    Together with their parents,
    My parents and
    His parents
    announce their marriage on date, at place

    Then we included an insert for the reception and one for the ceremony if they were invited to that (ceremony was limited to 30 people by virtue of the size of the room).

    Our ceremony insert read:
    Burrpie & Giggles
    would be honored to have you join them as they are sealed at place, date, at time.
    Please arrive thirty minutes prior to the ceremony.

    The reception insert read:
    Burrpie & Giggles
    would be honored if you would join them in a celebration of their marriage
    Please RSVP with the enclosed card or at website.

    • meg

      I want to know two Dr.s with the same last name.

      The Doctors Burrpie is only the best form of adress IN THE HISTORY OF TIME.

      • Lisa

        I got to do this! None of my friends (or I) regularly use our Dr. title, but when I found out how to address married doctors with the same last name, I knew I had to take advantage of the situation!

      • Mira

        We’re going to be this! (If I ever graduate). Hubby’s a PhD, I’m in an MD/PhD program.

        Every time we get something addressed to “Dr. & Mrs. HisFirst OurLast*” he likes to tease me… I threaten that someday I’m going to insist on being addressed as Dr. Dr. and Dr. MYFirst OurLast


      • We had a few of The Doctors X (med school friends of the husband) and one The Reverends X (Episcopal priests). The one tricky one I had was a married couple in which he has a PhD and she doesn’t and they have different last names. Etiquette told me ladies first, but also that the person with the greater honorific goes first. Common sense told me that these people are good friends who couldn’t care less. I went with Dr. First Hislast and Ms. First Herlast and then ended up sticking a big conspicuous r into the Ms. when I emailed her about the dilemma and she said actually she uses Mrs. Herlast. Mostly because as a young-looking teacher, she finds she gets more respect from parents as a Mrs. than as a Ms. I didn’t know that separate lines were appropriate/preferable, which would have saved me some difficulty in trying to fit two full titles and names onto one line for lots of our invitations. Raj didn’t know whether some of his recently married female friends had changed their names, so I just used whatever it said on Facebook.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I looked at every etiquette book I could get my hands on, and none had good advice for my parents’ honorifics. Mom’s a MD; Dad “just” has a master’s. The old books wanted “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request…” The new books wanted “Mary and John Smith request…”

      We went with “Mr. John and Dr. Mary Smith request…”

      I later learned that “a man’s first name is never separated from his last name,” so it should have been: “Dr. Mary and Mr. John Smith…”

      • Why can you separate a woman’s name but not a man’s?

        My husband has his masters and has decided to stop there because the idea of original research isn’t that appealing to him. He says if I’m being addressed as Doctor than he should be addressed as Master.

        But I’m pretty sure “Master Burrpie and Doctor Giggles Lastname” is not in any etiquette book. But if we’re not separating his name, would it be “Master Burrpie Lastname and Doctor Giggles Lastname”? Or could we shorten it to “Master and Doctor Lastname”?

        Speaking of, why is there no tittle associated with masters degrees?

        And if you are including titles, do you include the stuff at the end as well? So that would make it “Master Burrpie Lastname, MS and Doctor Giggles Lastname PhD.”

        Things are getting a bit out of control. I’ll stop now. I need another otter pop.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I have no idea why you can’t separate a man’s first and last names. Before I heard the rule, I focused on “ladies first” and the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” conventions. If I had to guess at some reason behind the rule, it probably has something to do with notions of men being the head of the household/business person of the marriage. So the man’s legal name is always stated, but the wife gets a lonely “Mary and…”

          The etiquette books were pretty clear on how few abbreviations are acceptable for wedding invitations. “MD” and “PhD” aren’t among them.

          My mother’s business cards read “Dr. Mary Smith, MD” – redundant and not approved by any etiquette book. But “Dr. Mary Smith” signifies a chiropractor around here, and “Mary Smith, MD” got her called “Mary” too often in inappropriate contexts.

      • meg

        You did it right!! The one thing people don’t tend to think about is the fact that not all PhD’s use a title socially (my dad does not). So they are still Mr. and Mrs. not Dr. and Mrs.

        • meg

          Looked up. I stand corrected. The correct addressing is (for an envelope):

          Dr. Mary Smith
          Mr. John Smith

          Apparently like with different last names, different titles get different lines. Unless you’re The Doctors Smith (swoon).

          For the invitation, I’m sure your way is just fine, though we didn’t use honorifics on our parents names (or ours).

          • Oh, this is good to know. It’s simple and makes sense. (I wasn’t able to get back to the thread yesterday after my comment/question below, just catching up now.)

            Matt would probably go the route of “no honorifics for anyone” – depending on what kind of party we end up throwing I may just go for that, too!

          • Emily

            I’m still surprised by 2 separate lines for couples with honourifics. I remember seeing a few places this approach: “Dr. Mary and Mr. John Smith” since the person with the higher title goes first.

            We also decided not to give “Dr” to “just” the PhDs, not just because one normally doesn’t use it socially, but because there were too darn many of them! We actually had to redo one invite, though, when we discovered a friend’s husband was an MD/PhD, not “just” a PhD lie she was. We have “Dr” to a veterinarian and a dentist; hopefully that was right?

    • Speaking of this – for a Dr. and Mr. who share a last name, like my sister and her husband, what is the correct way to address them? (She took his surname, if that makes any difference.)

      Dr. Sister O’Canada* & Mr. Brotherinlaw O’Canada seems potentially correct (?).

      *Not their actual surname.

      My sister always thought it would be fun to get mail addressed to The Doctors O’Canada, had her husband gone that route.

      • Laura C

        Oh my gosh, this whole conversation is making me redouble my view that no one gets any honorifics at all. I expect this decision to cut the amount of time we spend on invitations in half.

        • Depending on the person and situation (formalness of the wedding), ignoring honorifics might not be a bad way to go.

          I only pull mine out when I’m mad at people, ie sending an email to a company or organization letting them know they are stupid. If I’m using my full name, you are in trouble.

          So that means if I’m coming to your wedding you are 99.9% not in trouble with me (I can’t say 100% because I’m sure there is some situation somewhere that would have me at your wedding when you’re in trouble with me, but I can’t think of what it would be). And so my honorifics would be a bit pompous in that case.

          If the marriage was taking place at an academic conference, it would be a different story. And that would be a very interesting story actually.

          • meg

            You do need another otter pop.

          • Brenda

            The only people who got titles at all on mine were grandparents, because I thought it would matter to them, and people who live in France and Belgium, because it’s fun to write M et Mme.

            And the Italians, who I addressed as La Famiglia Italiana. Because there are a million of them and it’s fun.

          • Mira

            Agreed. Except, when I get my PhD, I will be *pissed* if my husband gets to be Dr. and I am Mrs.

            I want to by Mr and Ms., or Dr. and Dr.

      • Hypothetical Sarah

        We didn’t stick strictly to the etiquette books (as Meg notes above, different titles are supposed to get different lines), but we did have a consistent set of rules.

        Our standard format (for couples sharing a last name) was:
        Mr. and Mrs. Adam and Eve Smith

        For people with professional titles, the higher title went first:
        Dr. and Mrs. Adam and Eve Smith
        Dr. and Mr. Eve and Adam Smith

        For dual-doctor couples, we used “The Doctors Smith” or “Drs. Adam and Eve Smith”… I can’t remember which.

        My favorite one was “The Honorable and Mr. Eve and Adam Smith”

        • Sara

          Pretty much exactly what we will be doing as well. I intentionally ignored the rule about not separating a man’s first name from his last because I read that it was born out of the idea that a man has a public life outside of his marriage while a woman does not.

  • Amanda

    We kept it super simple:

    with joyful hearts, we invite you to celebrate the marriage of
    her name & his name

    date, time


    dinner, drinks and merriment to follow

    And for RSVP card:

    we can’t wait to see you there!
    kindly reply by date

    to rsvp and view wedding and travel information, please visit:

  • Abby Mae

    We wanted everyone to go to our website to RSVP so we purposefully skipped the address on our invites. But, this is what we wrote:

    It is with great joy and excitement
    That we invite you to witness
    the Wedding Ceremony of

    Abigail Rivas and Matthew Mayhugh

    Friday, The 21st of June
    At 7 o Clock in the Evening
    Beneath the Trees
    At Lambs Canyon

    Dinner, Dancing, Smores
    Immediately Following

    We sincerely request your RSVP
    No Later than June 1st
    Information at

    • Rebekah

      Unrelated: If you’re taking your husband’s last name and it really is Mayhugh, can you PLEASE do at least one Halloween where you dress as a Dr. Seuss Who? Mrs. May-who?

      • Abby Mae

        Ha! Well….It IS and I AM!

        I always thought his last name sounded Seussian and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who thinks so.

        Maybe I could do Halloween but I’m thinking maybe Christmas! I’ll hot-glue plastic breakfasts onto my skirt and everything. Ha =)

    • Suzy

      Abby, who made your wedding announcement? I found another couple that used the same announcement but in a suite on Pinterest, but never found the source.

      • Abby Mae

        The same exact announcement!? That’s so strange! We made it up ourselves.

        I mean, we took bits and pieces from other invites that we saw online and in stores and kind of used that as inspiration for our own invites/announcement. Then we just figured out the rest of the wording to fit how we wanted it to fit.
        Here are a couple of links to invites that I liked to refer back to as we worded ours:

        I’m sorry I can’t give you direct source but I hope that helps!

  • Liz

    The inspiration behind ours:
    We wanted to honour all three sets of parents (my two and his one). We wanted to omit surnames to reflect the laid-back, relaxed and friendly vibe of our wedding. I wasn’t spelling out dates as we trying to avoid formal! We went with:

    Mike and Jill, Karin and Graeme,
    and Steve and Linda
    invite you to the wedding of their children


    Join us for a ceremony in the snow
    at Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort
    on April6, 3013
    followed by dinner, dacing and good times
    at Sunshine Village’s Lookout Lounge at 6pm.

  • Anon

    Advice on inviting two last name families with children who’s names you don’t want to write out (or um, don’t always know and it’s awkward to ask!). I’m going with the “Hislastname/Herlastname Family,” but wonder if that’s weird. (We also will be a two last name family, so I’ll be imposing this awkwardness on others soon ;)).

    • H

      This. I did this. I do not regret it in the least.

    • Jessica

      Is it the kids’ first names you don’t know, or their last name?
      I’d go with Mom Herlast, Dad Hislast, and child’s firstname, child’s firstname, child’s firstname. (Or just Mom Herlast, Dad Hislast on outer envelope, and all first names on inner envelope.) As one of five kids, I have gone to weddings when the people invited were just me, my mom, and my dad (not the rest of the sibs – if it was someone who grew up with me/knew my parents but didn’t have a close relationship my siblings). It’s always best to be as clear as possible, I think.
      If you have a seating chart, you’ll probably need the kids’ names anyway.
      And if you don’t know the kids’ first names…I’m a little surprised that they’re coming to the wedding! But I guess I’d check facebook, ask around, etc.

    • One More Sara

      I think the solution you though of is correct, but I would use a hyphen instead of a slash. I’m going to be doing this to people too, but because of culture norms, I expect to usually be addressed as the HisName Family at first (at which point I will pitch a fit and insist that we are either the MyName-HisName Family or HisName-MyName Family).

      I think a good way to preempt being called the wrong thing is how you sign your holiday cards (if you choose to send them). If you say “Happy Holidays from the FirstLast-SecondLast family!” I think more people will know to address you as such.

    • rowany

      We did – “Family of His First Name + Last Name and Her First Name+ Last name”
      Order of whose name was first was based on who was related to me by blood.

    • meg

      I do “and family” all the time.

      • Jessica

        This is what we’re planning to do for aunts/uncles/cousins (all are invited). Is it still appropriate to say:

        Aunt’s Name & Uncle’s Name and Family
        Address line 1
        City, State Zip

        if the cousins no longer live in the same house as the aunt and uncle (due to residence at college, in apartments with unknown lease dates, or similar)? We’ll be including menu options, so maybe we can specify guest names there? Should menu options be listed by name, or by Guest 1, Guest 2, etc?

        • Claire

          When I, in the cousin position, have been invited in this way it has hurt my feelings. It has made me feel like the inviter does not know or respect the fact that I am an adult who lives on her own.

          • meg

            I think when cousins are invited that way it’s sort of “if your kids want to come with you, that’s cool.” Not so much a formal invite to you. Technically, that’s why you always name everyone on the envelope. Informally, that’s to make a general broader invitation, but not to specifically invite YOU as the cousin.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Related to the roommates getting separate invitations issue, I missed my cousin’s wedding because my parents in California got an “and family” invitation and didn’t relay the info to adult me with an apartment at law school in Virginia. In general, people old enough to have a driver’s license should get separate invitations, IMO. We made an exception for teens we’d never met – They might come with their parents (and they might not), but they wouldn’t come without their parents.

          • Jessica

            good to know – thanks!

    • Rachel

      We used Postable to collect addresses so guests put everything in themselves…it was a great way to avoid the whole ‘ugh I can’t remember so-and-so’s name/spelling” thing!

      • Ok, I’m totally intrigued by Postable.

    • kate

      I think that it this would be an appropriate time to ask and I bet they’d appreciate it! Or send a family member or friend on the mission.


    I really want to meet this Mr. & Mrs Wombly-Plat… just saying

    We included an RSVP card with the wording “We are holding __ seats for you…” to be extra clear about how many people (plus ones or not) are being invited. The RSVP card directs them to a survey that asks for the names of people RSVPing yes and no as well as a few other questions for the weekend to help us plan how much alcohol and food to bring, as well as wine/beer preferences. Probably not the best etiquette but the wedding is going to be somewhat casual so it seems to fit.

    • Jessica B

      My dude was very confused the first time we received an RSVP card that just had the “M” and two blank lines. He insisted we send out enough cards for every single person invited. This is both annoying and brilliant. Annoying because, well, will people get it? I hope so. Brilliant because we know exactly who is having what for dinner and can put the corresponding symbol on their escort card.

      • CII

        What does the M mean?? I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while now.

        • Rebekah

          It’s to fill in your own honorific. It’s kind of :

          ____Will ____Will Not be attending

          and you’re supposed to write in to make it say

          M_rs_Sara Topps______
          _x_ Will ____Will Not be attending

          • CII

            Thank you! You just blew my mind. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it indicated, as you so aptly put it, that I was to “[f]ill in [my] own honorific”

        • KTMARIE

          I’ve always found that so confusing. The first time we got a wedding invite I was like – what’s up with the M?

          • Jessica B

            This makes me feel better about the RSVP card for every single guest.

      • To solve the who picked steak/salmon/pork chop dilemma, We wrote “meal selection (please initial)” and so far it’s writing out perfectly.

  • Laura C

    My big questions are about timing. We are inviting a lot of people from India and other places that will make it very necessary for tickets to be booked well ahead of time. Is a save the date sufficient to keep us from needing to send out invitations especially early? Also, we will have a substantial B-list. Is there ANY gracious way to make that work out?

    • Amy March

      I think as long as the save the date include the date, time, and city, they have enough info to make travel plans. If there are multi-day festivities, I’d put that info on as well.

    • meg

      I’d still send out invites really early. I never buy tickets till I get an invite… just in case. Now, coming in internationally people probably will, but still… early wouldn’t hurt, right?

      (Also, why not add “book your tickets now!” or something like that to the Save The Date, so people don’t think they need to wait. The older generation is a bit confused as to what Save The Dates even ARE, since they’re new.)

      • Laura C

        Good points. And, as I think about it, my FMIL sounded surprised enough when I mentioned save the dates that I wonder if they aren’t a thing that’s even done in India and may confuse some people. Though her solution of her just inviting people in person when visiting is definitely not a good substitute…

        • Marcela

          They probably aren’t a thing over there. I remember there were many phone calls spent explaining that the Save the Date wasn’t the actual invitation and there was something else coming later.
          Cultural differences are FUN!
          Don’t get me started on the rehearsal dinner fiasco.

          • We had people from my husband’s country that thought our emailed save the date was the invitation. They started RSVPing once they got that, which was a nice side-effect, actually.

    • rowany

      The save the date should be sufficient. I would also recommend sending invitations to the people who are traveling the farthest (and thus less likely to come) much earlier and have an earlier RSVP date for them (before you send out invitations for the rest of your list). That way you can move up some people from the B-list by the time you send out the rest of the invitations.

    • Marcela

      We dealt with this too since my family is mostly in Brazil (with a few Australian, American and British outposts!) and the fella’s family is scattered throughout the United States. Our solution was to figure out the guest list immediately (it was 90% nailed down within two months of the engagement) and start spreading the word. At least on my side of the family, most people had already purchased their plane tickets before we got to sending out the Save the Dates at the 9 month to the wedding mark. We also didn’t do RSVP cards for my international people since we were in pretty constant communication with them about the wedding any way. They all got their invitations at the 10 week mark (I wanted to give the in US but still far away guests plenty of time to figure out planes and accommodations.) We live in a tourist heavy city and knew that most people would want to extend their stay to a mini- (or full blown) vacation.
      It seems to have worked well for us. Good luck, international guests are a whole nother ball game.

    • Jessica

      I personally can’t stand how late the traditional timing of wedding invitations is done. In this day and age, with people scattered all over the country and world, with financial and time-off requests necessary to plan far in advance, and plane tickets to buy months ahead of time, I feel like wedding invitations should be send out months in advance instead of weeks. The last wedding I went to, I had to book the hotel almost 12 months ahead of time to get a room. By the time I got the actual invitation, I already had a flight, hotel, and had attended the shower.

      • Michelle

        I’ve been thinking a lot about this too. Has anyone sent their invitations earlier than 6-8 weeks? How did it go? Did you have issues with people forgetting about RSVPing or needing to change their RSVPs?

        • Laura Lee

          We sent ours 11 weeks before the wedding, 6 weeks before the RSVP deadline. We’re in the stage of hunting down missing rsvp’s now, but I don’t think we’ve had a higher number of missing replies than is typical. Speaking of, what is so freaking hard about RSVP’ing? The traditional 6-8 week timeframe just seemed to short to me. I have to get the caterer and venue final numbers two weeks out, AND I’m DIY’ing escort cards and place cards, do I need ample time to get that done. So I bumped up the RSVP deadline and the mailing date for invites so guests would still have plenty of time.

        • GCDC

          We sent ours out very early (I think 3 months ahead of the wedding) for many of the same reasons – people coming internationally needed to book flights, etc. It worked out fine. There were only a few people who forgot to send the RSVP’s and they are the same people who would have failed to send them had we sent the invitations out closer to the date of the wedding.

      • Daisy6564

        My mom has proclaimed that she thinks Save the Dates are rude. She thinks it is rude to ask people 6-12 months in advance to set aside the date for your wedding.

        If people are free, they’re free. If they’re not, they’re not. (Never mind that people might actually WANT to come to your wedding and be sad if they have already made other plans for that date b/c you only gave them 6-8 weeks notice).

        I think this is a fairly old-school way of thinking. I pointed out to her that I have to fly and book a hotel for nearly every wedding I attend and that I appreciate as much advance notice as possible. Meaning that many of my friends will have to do the same for mine. When I explained it to her that way she did come around a bit.

        So I think the short invitation window is antiquated and based on this sort of old mentality of not making demands on others’ time. That said, I have never been invited to a wedding that I didn’t know about well in advance through personal contact. I think it would be strange to receive an invite to a wedding if I didn’t talk to the people often enough to know when it was well before the invitation came out. So I do think Save the Dates are often unneeded.

  • Samantha

    We went pretty casual and use typography on ours:

    Samantha Middle Last
    Groom Middle Last
    Invite you to join in a celebration of their
    Date time | Location
    Reception to follow: Address
    Please RSVP by DATE at:

  • Samantha

    We went pretty casual and used a lot of typography on ours:

    Samantha Middle Last
    Groom Middle Last
    Invite you to join in a celebration of their
    Date time | Location
    Reception to follow: Address
    Please RSVP by DATE at:

  • Liz

    I would love some advice! We are planning (ever so slowly) a backyard wedding and DIYing nearly all aspects of it. We live together and have done so for a few years–so the tab is on us. Despite some horribly wiley ducks, we’re determined to say F*ck the economy, let’s do this! I just started drafting some invitations and feel pretty lost. It’s going to be super casual–our Labrador might rock a bow tie, but that’s as dressy as we’ll get. We’re also atheists, so we don’t want religious tones. My biggest concern is that I simply can’t afford the whole host of printed invitations, rsvp cards, directions, save the dates, etc. that you’re expected to provide! I can come up with printed invitations, a badass website (free!!), and a mobile app (also free! and makes me feel tech savvy).

    So on our invitations, can I skip the mention of parents (all of ours are divorced), families (we’re on our own with this and that’s ok) and just say that “Brad and Liz invite you to celebrate their marriage…date…address for our house…and our wedding website” so that people can RSVP online? Is that breaking all the rules?

    • Samantha

      See my post directly above. That is what we did. We are also doing this shin-dig on our own so we are hosting. I honestly didn’t think about it too much and I hope we didn’t offend anyone but I think being autonomous adults who are living together and hosting their wedding it should be okay. Maybe we broke the rules – oh well. We are also just doing one invitation sheet – I designed it and had it printed through Aper + Pink (comparably priced to trying to deal with Staples and buying my own paper – so worth it). In a “euro-flap” envelope – BAM. I think I’ll add a liner to spice it up. Oh and we are going to get a wax seal hahah! But really very simple, not a million things in there. You don’t need all that stuff! What for?! Good luck breaking the rules! xxx

      • Liz

        Sorry I missed it before! Thank you for the suggestions! I will definitely look into Aper + Pink and most importantly, I will stop stressing about all those “extras”!

    • Jessica B

      I think you kind of have to rock out what you like. I’ve had friends that did this and it worked out pretty well. Maybe have a phone number to call on there for the less tech-savvy guests? My grandmother would be in a tizzy if she had to RSVP online.

      • Liz

        Great point about non tech-savvy guests. I have to keep that in mind. Thank you!

    • Amanda

      I think that wording totally works, go with it!

      Re: the RSVPing online, just be prepared to follow up. Despite our website RSVP tool being very straightforward in my opinion, a lot of guests didn’t use it. Older family members I can understand for technology reasons, but also young friends that are most definitely web-savvy.

      • My husband RSVPed “no” online to our wedding just because he could. I bring it up from time to time. :D

      • We had that (the non responses/prompts needed), but so did friends who mailed invites with addressed and stamped response envelopes. And we had some of parents calling people and the RSVPing for them (his mom did the RSVPs for the whole Dutch family, which was awesome, because I don’t speak Dutch)

      • How did you word your RSVPing online? Not on the actual invite, but on the website – did you have it so that they RSVP for each invited guest? Because that is what I am trying to do (that way i know what everyone wants to eat, and exactly who is coming), but I don’t know how to write it out so it makes sense.

        • Amanda

          I wish I could be more helpful on this, but don’t remember the specifics (and we did buffet, so no menu response needed). I suppose a lot will depend on how many options the site you’re using offers in terms of setup. My best guess — write a short paragraph above the fill-in section describing exactly what info you need (names of guests, chicken or fish, etc.)

    • meg

      That’s breaking *none* of the rules. Not that the rules overly matter, but. Nothing but invites are traditional anyway. People are supposed to use their own paper and stamps to RSVP, old school style, and STD’s, maps, ect, are all NON-traditional. (Fuck, I love me some real tradition). You know what would be MORE traditional? Hand writing your invites on simple stationary.

      Anyway, rock on with your actually-more-traditional-than-a-fancy-wedding bad ass wedding.

      • Liz

        Cue my sigh of relief. Thank you for validating my feeling to move-the-heck onward without all the extras. I rarely comment, but I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of this community.

    • Trin

      I’m hoping to do something like this–postcard invitations with a web site for RSVPs. We’re having a very small, private ceremony with an open-house reception later in the day at a VFW hall, so hopefully that justifies the informality of the invitations?

    • rowany

      We had very similar wording. On top of not wanting to spend a lot of money on invites we are also lazy and did not want to deal with paper and stamps. We are thus using mainly online invitations with paperless post and sending a few by mail using pingg. We designed the invite in Photoshop; because the online invitations are ‘two-sided’, we put “We hope you can join us!” and our wedding website on the back.

      We only included a phone number in the paper invitations; if people who received the on-line invitations were able to open their e-mail and see the invitation, they can click the “click here button” to go to our website and fill out the RSVP. You can see who didn’t open the invitation and either hassle them personally or send a paper invitation.

      Are you using for your wedding website? That’s what we have and it’s awesome! We embedded our google form into one of the pages to make it even easier.

      The only other note I’d like to make is that I wanted the invitation to be LEGIBLE. As pretty as calligraphy is it’s WORK to read it, and therefore easy to forget. One wedding I couldn’t remember the exact time the wedding was held because it was written “four-thirty o’clock in the afternoon” in cursive and was obscured by the GIANT letters of the couple’s names. I made sure everything was in large font, legible, and just put 5:00pm.

    • Caroline

      Sorry, this was in the wrong spot!

  • Emily

    Our invitation wording…

    Your love and support have helped us become who we are.

    Together with our parents, we invite you to share our joy as we exchange vows and celebrate our marriage.

    My name & His name

    City, State

    A celebration with dinner, drinks, and dancing will follow.

    Please RSVP at our website: add website

  • Amy March

    Question: I like RSVPing with a handwritten note on my own stationary (because when else is it going to get used), and then include the couple’s RSVP card in the envelope to make sure they can keep track of meal selection etc. For an online RSVP, would it be okay to RSVP by paper? By paper and online? Or is this just too much hassle for the couple and I should give it up?

    • Amanda

      I’d recommend RSVPing online no matter what — it can be hard to keep track of folks who RSVP another way despite their kindest intentions. But a handwritten “I can’t wait to celebrate with you” note in addition would be so lovely!

    • meg

      (I always send my own note too. YAY for that. It’s a kind of tradition I really love. But yeah, RSVP online too, I think, for organization.)

    • KE

      I think you RSVP however the couple requests. I love your writing a note on your stationery and including the response card in there, but it could be hard to track with an online RSVP system. A follow-up “I RSVPed online but wanted to say again how thrilled I am to attend” note could be a nice compromise.

    • Brenda

      We’ve got a spreadsheet – as long as people tell me, I don’t care how! In person, phone, text, email, facebook, postcard, letter, we’ve had them all.

      *This may not work for people who are not as spreadsheet obsessed as I am. I go into my spreadsheet and check the person off right away because it’s so satisfying.

  • Marika

    I sent out my invites over the weekend. Why didn’t you post this last week?
    We worded our invites as:

    Together with their Families
    Invite you to celebrate their marriage
    City, State
    Dinner, Drinks and merriment to follow

    My parents are paying for the whole wedding, but they thought it was too stuffy to have their names at the top, so we did it as families.
    I addressed envelopes with and’s regardless of if people where married or not, because I didn’t realize I was supposed to do it differently. ooops, I hope no one is offended.
    We had a bunch of friends over to help us stuff envelopes which was really fun. (I had everything addressed before they came over)

  • Jessica B

    Jessica & J
    Together with our families, we invite you to join us as we celebrate our marriage on Saturday (date)

    Time, Location,

    Dinner, Dancing, and Merriment to Follow

    We wanted to keep it simple.

    The only problem I had when addressing the save the dates (we haven’t sent the invite yet) was to my uncle who lives with his two daughters and girlfriend. Three of them have the same name, one does not. I ended up sending my cousins (who are 13 & 16) their own save the date so they could take it to their mom’s house if they wanted. It will be a little easier to deal with when we’re hand writing the invites and can use more than a mailing label as far as space goes.

  • How do you address couples that don’t live together but with whom you are better friends with one or the other? So, for instance, my friend John Lennon is dating Ringo Starr, and they don’t live together, and I only know Ringo through John, but I’m 99.99999999% sure John and Ringo will be together in six weeks’ time and are coming to the wedding? Also, please consider I’m cheap and don’t want to send out 20+ extra invites to people whose addresses I don’t know.

    TL; DR: what is the best way to honor a friend’s relationship when they don’t live together? So far I have addressed StDs as such:

    Mr John Lennon &
    Mr Ringo Starr

    and sent it to John Lennon’s address. Kosher?

    ALSO, while we’re on the subject, my brother would like to bring his girlfriend (with whom he does not live) and her kid. Best way to address that invitation? Do I write “Mr Brother’s Name and guests?” Or should I say Mr Brother’s Name on the outside envelope and “Brother’s Name and Brother’s Girlfriend’s Name and Brother’s Girlfriend’s Kid’s name” on the inner envelope? I’m leaning that way.

    • Jessica B

      I’ve been asking my friends who are in long-term relationships about this, and they said just sending it to the friend I know better is fine–they’ll both end up in the right place at the right time.

      Since it’s your brother, I think it’s cool to do the latter and include the kid’s name on the inner envelope.

      • Yeah, I think I will do that. Even though my brother will likely not understand the significance of invite addressing, I would like it to be clear that his girlfriend is definitely and specifically invited, since I haven’t been 100% supportive of their relationship in the past.

        (To be fair, that’s because when my brother started dating her, she was engaged. To another guy. That lasted for two years.)

        • Anon

          Seconded on the explicit inclusion of the girlfriend’s name. Even if he doesn’t know the significance, she might, and that could go a long way in terms of mending the past (if that’s what you’re aiming for).

          I was recently left off an invite that my boyfriend received for a good friend’s wedding, and it kind of stung. I’m a very sensitive person, so I’m trying to let it go and give them the benefit of the doubt, but (along with some other weirdness surrounding the wedding) it’s definitely tempered my excitement for the event.

          • I’m sort of in the position of mending fences on behalf of my entire family, with this one! I mean, now that she has dumped her fiance and is openly dating my brother, instead of keeping him her secret lovah, I’m fine with her!

          • anon

            I hope I didn’t come across as though I was discounting the uncoolness of this woman being engaged whilst dating your brother; that sounds like a really tough situation for everyone involved. That’s awesome that you’re trying to get everyone past this!

          • Ha ha, Anon, you didn’t! I think, though, writing it out, I may not be quiiiiiite as 100% invested in their relationship as I thought! :)

    • Ellen

      As the one who lived “away” when an invite came to my then boyfriend/now fiance’s apartment addressed to both of us, it made me feel super special inside that I was recognized enough to be getting mail at his place. Go for it!

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        I save envelopes to show my mid-distance boyfriend when they specifically include him. He doesn’t care of it, but I do.

    • My brother got married three months before I did. I did not live with my husband before marriage, but we’d been engaged for two months by the time my brother got married (although my brother had asked me about inviting him before we got engaged). The invitation to my brother’s wedding was addressed to Miss Giggles and Mr. Burrpie and sent to my address. I think the names were both on the same line but I’d have to double check that. See, nobody remembers the details of the envelope. :) (I only remember that Burrpie’s name was on there because it felt big for me that he was being welcomed to the family.)

    • I agree with Jessica. Usually if you’re sending something to someone at someone else’s mailing address, you can use c/o, but I’m not sure where that would fit in this situation.

    • We have this too for some couples that have their separate places of residence. We sent the invite to the closer friends’ house with the other half’s name included.

      Ron Weasley
      and Hermione Granger
      Ron’s Address (if we knew Ron better, or knew Hermione through Ron)

      • I love that we know all these amazing people!

    • We just sent it to John Lennon & Ringo Starr at John’s address. I think that might not be following the rules, but it’s easier. I’m all about the easy.

    • Lindsey

      My pre-fiance and I have been dating for 2+ years and receiving personal mail (invites, thank you notes, holiday cards, etc) addressed to both of us at my address for at least a year. I always get a little thrill at seeing our names together! I think it’s perfectly appropriate to send one invite. People generally understand how expensive they are AND it’s easier for me to provide context about who is getting married than if we got two separate invites.

  • pixie_moxie

    ours was very casual

    hers first middle last
    his first middle last

    would be honored if you would join them
    in City & State

    to celebrate their biggest adventure yet
    it all begins Location

    food and merriment to follow

    • B (the other one)

      Oops, didn’t mean to report! I was trying to “exactly” it!

  • Other Katelyn

    We paid for almost all of our wedding ourselves. But we wanted to honor the contributions our parents did make (including their love and support), so we did:

    My Name
    His Name

    along with their parents
    My parents
    His parents

    blah blah

  • Our invite wording was also pretty casual. I wanted to include some parents and not others (long story), so we simplified it to leave out names and be unobtrusive.

    Together with their families
    [Insert Your Cool Names Here]
    invite you to join them
    as best friends become husband & wife

    ceremony to be followed by dinner, drinks
    & awkward but enthusiastic dancing

    RSVP & find out more at
    [Your Awesome Website Place]

    • Tina

      I love the “awkward but enthusiastic dancing” part. I may have to steal that. My guy is not a dancer at all, and I try. This is fair warning. :)

  • Emmy

    My parents gave us a substantial gift for our wedding, but my fiancé’s father and stepmother are actually letting us do it at their house (!), but we’re actually the hosts. Also, my mom specifically requested no “cutesy wording,” and we wanted to keep it simple to reflect our low-key wedding. So ours say:

    MyFirst Last and HisFirst Last
    Together with their parents
    Invite you to their wedding
    Dinner and Dancing to Follow

    The address is in an insert with directions and a wee map. Oh, and I just addressed the invitations willy nilly, with no honorifics or anything. Sometimes the lady’s name is first, sometimes the man, according to how I usually say it.

    • We’ve actually had conversations with the extended families about how it almost seems a bit random whose name comes first in a couple. Generally it’s the person with closer ties to the family, but not always. And with some couples in our family it switches willy nilly.

  • i once got a wedding invitation addressed to “mr. and mrs. my full name”. by which i assume they meant my and my girlfriend at the time.

    the best part was that i had *no idea* who the people getting married were either. it was eerie until she read it and it turned out to be the full name of her friend who i only knew by a nickname and had never met – it also turned out that the bride’s mother did the addressing and seeing a “boy’s name” and a “girls name” of folks she’d neither met nor heard of went with the obvious proper, southern, formal address.

    it was completely epic. i’m really quite proud of that envelope.

    • Ha! That’s awesome!

    • Other Katelyn

      Oh my god– when I was addressing envelopes for our wedding, there was a person with a more masculinely-named person on the guest list from my husband’s side– I picked the wrong honorific and didn’t realize until I greeted her at the wedding. LOL.

    • Kelsey

      That’s fantastic!
      We’re having so many genderqueer attendees, I’m skipping honorifics altogether on the envelopes. Unless we’re attending your gay wedding this summer. Then I’m envelope marrying the heck out of you.

  • Kirstin

    First of all, I love the “Together with our families.” I am of the mindset that regardless of who is financially contributing, we are extending the invitation, not our parents. In fact, we didn’t give them any invites on the list.

    I was told by a friend that it is tradition that RSVPs still get sent to the parents’ house, but I’m not doing that either. Too much room for them to get lost.

    Any ideas on how to address an invite when you are just inviting folks to the reception? We will have a smaller group that we are inviting to the ceremony but for most folks, the reception is it…do I need two invites for that? Not sure on how to properly distinguish the two.

    • Ours are getting sent to my parents’ house, because we were house hunting at the time, and were unsure if we would be at the new place for when RSVPs would be returning. And with my parents not being in the same province, it got them to be involved in more “in-person” things, rather than helping through photos and emails.

    • Remy

      I’ve seen this situation addressed by separate cards for the ceremony and the reception. Each one is explicit about what is happening at that place/time, with the reception one saying something like “celebrate our marriage” or “to celebrate the marriage of B’Elanna and Kathryn”. Both are included in the same envelope (or only the reception card if that’s the case).

      • Kirstin

        Thanks for the feedback. I definitely think we will have to be as clear as possible on the wording.

    • I put above how we handled the separate invites for ceremony and reception. We had a main invite simply announcing we were getting married. Then we had little inserts with information about the ceremony and reception and included the appropriate inserts for the different guests.

  • Megan

    We found (and blatantly copied) tons of cute, sweet phrases for invitations and misc other printed things on rocknrollbride and offbeatbride. Ultimately, our invitations read:

    M & M
    invite you to a celebration of
    love, friendship, and family.

    On the date at time in the afternoon at the
    hislastname family cabin in location,
    we’ll commit to a lifetime of adventure together.

    Food, drink, and awkward but
    enthusiastic dancing to follow.

    Our invitations are two pages front and back. The back page of the above text includes the rsvp information (website, email address, phone number, and requested deadline). The second page includes a short summary of the schedule (we’re having a weekend of activities) and the map (hooray maps!). All gorgeously hand drawn and designed (with cartoons of us and our dog!) by my fiancee’s brother in law, because he (BIL) is awesome like that and we’re incredibly lucky.

    As implied by my parenthetical up there, we did not include rsvp cards or envelopes – we didn’t really want to deal with physical rsvps since we knew we’d be tracking them all digitally anyway. The majority of our guests have been able to manage the online rsvp page and those who prefer not to are calling my fiancee, who then logs their info in our spreadsheet.

    • I like the bit about awkward but enthusiastic dancing. :D

  • Moe

    We eloped spontaneously and then planned a wedding about 8 months later. When I sent out the invitations they were worded with my new married last name, because I was already married. I didn’t think it was a big deal but it sparked a somewhat annoying comment from a guest:

    “you changed your name already?”


    “so this isn’t like a real wedding, it’s more like a show?”

    Um. No. It was not a show. We exchanged vows already and we did it again publicly for our family and friends and those vows are just as real as the ones we made the first time.

    By the way, when we made those vows at the family wedding we referred to each other as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ to aknowledge that we were already married.

  • Carly

    You gals always have amazing timing with this stuff!!

    I’ve mentioned this before, but the conundrum we’re grappling with is the fact that we want a very small ceremony – 25 folks (including us) max; just immediate family and close friends who’ve impacted our relationship, but are also looking to have a slightly larger reception with extended family to include them as well…

    My partner comes from a large family and a small town so I am concerned that even being CRYSTAL clear in terms of wording for those invited to the ceremony & reception versus those invited to the reception (how do I do that, by the way??) there will be confusion and upset and the potential for hurt feelings. I’m trying to balance our intense desire for a private ceremony with the fear of making people feel like they’re being put in to a ‘hierarchy of importance [to us].

    • Amy March

      I think there’s sometimes just no way to avoid hurt feelings. You can send them a reception only invite, but if you’re inviting 25 people to the ceremony and 50 to the reception, that’s a pretty clear hierarchy of importance. There are tons of reasons why it could be important enough to you to gave a private ceremony, but I think you also need to accept that some guests may be hurt.

      • Carly

        You know, that’s completely fair and yeah – being blunt – there are totally people that have been formative in our relationship that we’d want as witnesses, but apart from that… We initially wanted only a small affair, but as extended family has been less than, shall we say, supportive we’re hesitant to do a completely private wedding for fear of alienating them entirely (and having really shitty repercussions for my partner down the line). That said, we are both private people and neither of us is prepared to say very personal, intimate things in front of a crowd of people we aren’t particularly close with.

        Weddings are so damn fraught.

    • By necessity our ceremony was less than 30 people.

      Our invitations included a general announcement that we were getting married but no details.

      Then we included an insert with details about the ceremony for those invited to the ceremony and an insert with details about the reception (“Come celebrate our marriage” type wording) for those invited to the reception. People invited to both got both inserts.

      And then we kept all details about the when and where of the ceremony (and the reception actually) off the internet so there would be no crashers.

  • Rachel

    First of all, I love the ode to etiquette and tradition in this post!

    Second, I need some advice on something that came up when we were working on our save-the-dates. If a straight couple is married and shares a last name and you’re really only friends with the wife, Eric and I both found ourselves wanting to address it to her more than him. So instead of Mr. and Mrs. His Name, we kinda wanted to address it to Mrs. and Mr. Her Name. Now, my feminist instinct tells me that that should be fine and is actually kind of cheeky, but I wasn’t sure if all our guests would appreciate that as much as I would. But on the other hand, I just can’t bring myself to send my girlfriends’ wedding invites to their husbands, and I know it would really annoy me if I got something from a friend addressed that way.

    So! The options so far are:

    1. Mrs. and Mr. Her Name
    2. Mrs. Her Name and Mr. His Name
    3. Her Name and His Name (no titles)
    4. The Shared Last Name Family (in the event that they have no kids)

    What do y’all think?

    • Emily

      We wanted to spell out both their first names, but had the same problem of how to include both. We switched it up with who was first (depending on closeness of relationship, always putting a Dr. first), but did:

      Ms. Her First Name and Mr. His First Name Their Last Name

      (obviously with no extra space)

      If only there were some sort of cannon of feminist etiquette… it took us forever to decide on this approach!

      • Rachel

        Oh that’s great, thank you so much! One question though…should it be “Mrs.” Her Name and Mr. His Name Their Last Name instead of “Ms.”? Not arguing, I’m just genuinely curious how you address a married woman using her first name when she shares her husband’s last name.

        • If you aren’t sure, you can always ask them. There’s no rule that says you can’t use “Ms.” if you took your husband’s last name. And titles are so rarely used in day-to-day life, it’s totally reasonable for you to not know if your married friends prefer Mrs. or Ms. If it were me getting the invite, I wouldn’t find the asking rude -I’d actually prefer it.

        • My mother changed her name (partly because she hated her middle name and wanted a cheap/”easy” way to legally change it!) but she HAAAAATES to be called “Mrs.” As she says, “why should a woman’s title change based on her marital status?” I never use Mrs to address anyone, unless they specifically ask.

        • That’s going to depend on the person. I’ve always hated “Ms.” when used for me. Hopefully you know which the person prefers.

    • For our invitations, I absolutely refused to do the traditional/technically required “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe” thing (what happened to her name?!?), so we addressed them as “Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe.”

      • Rachel

        Oh I like that a lot! Thanks!!

      • Emily

        Agreed. We ended up doing Mr. John and Mrs. (or Ms. if they preferred) Jane Doe, mostly because my mom wanted to cut the second “and’ to reduce the number of words she had to write :-)

    • LikelyLaura

      2. – Assuming you mean Mrs. HerFirst and Mr. HisFirst TheirLast (which is actually what we did for all married couples with the same last name.)

      Or the not listed Mrs. & Mr. TheirLast (no first name).

      Sidenote: I’ve always been told it’s Mrs. & Mr. not Mr. and Mrs. The reason was some bullshit about “not separating a man and his name”, but I choose to think of it as “ladies first.” (I feel like this might tie into the earlier Southern Traditions post.) Though I can’t imagine anyone throwing a fit over it.

    • Samantha

      I would go with # 2 or #3 depending on if you want titles. Or as Emily says below Ms./ Mrs. HER name & Mr. HIS name LAST name if they share.

  • Jen G

    We are paying for 90% of the wedding ourselves. My parents bought my dress as a xmas present, and his mom is covering the rehearsal dinner which is an extremely generous gift from them. But even though we are having a more modern, casual approach to the whole wedding, they are part of welcoming people to the event (and they are super proud of us). However, I detested – for myself – the approach of our parents inviting people to their children’s wedding as if the “children” – aka the bride and groom- aren’t a part of it. And I know everyone has their different elements of tradition and approaches that they like/don’t like or set off little bells in their heads. For whatever reason, that just happens to be one of mine. Our wording was similar to what it seems a lot of folks used:

    Together with our families,
    We warmly invite you to join us
    In celebrating our wedding


    Date, Time, etc.

    We were trying to be environmentally conscious and cost-efficient so we dispensed with separate layers of extra envelopes and reply cards. The thought of addressing all of that also made my eye twitch. [Etiquette be damned, I also printed address labels (in a pretty font) rather than hand-addressing. No way could I afford to pay someone else to do it and neither of us have pretty writing.] We did double-sided invitations. The back had the RSVP date and the website to actually reply, as well as note that hotel, other event information could be found there.

    The tricky part was where to put the info on the second reception. The wedding is in the Bay Area where we live now and where the Boy grew up. The second reception is in my hometown 1 month after the wedding. We went through quite a bit of drama trying to figure out who to invite to which event, how to do it, would some people end up at both through various things (family mostly) and would they mention the wedding at the reception and then somehow offend people who only got invited to one, etc. etc. drama drama drama. Can we afford to invites, do we then need two different websites…ARGH. Our solution was to just do one invite and invite everyone to both, because most of the people who were probably on the second-reception only list just weren’t going to travel if they had an option (more older folks, some old family friends), and most of the locals woudl recognize the second reception as not aimed at them specifically. A few people who can’t make the wedding have already said they’re excited they get to come to the second reception, so that was nice. And folks who are obviously only coming to the second reception (based on calls to my mom) are really excited to have been invited to the wedding. Now, we are doing a BBQ-in-the-park wedding with second reception in a private room of a brewpub, so the lack of space restrictions at both locations lends itself to this approach, which is very lucky. But I honestly also just had a hard time emotionally dividing people into a first and second tier style guest list, and we made the choice to save our emotional/mental health and just went for it hoping the numbers woudl all work out just fine. Here’s hoping…invites in the mail tomorrow actually. Responses to the save-the-dates has been positive, so we’re hoping the approach works when official RSVPs start coming in.

    Our second reception language…on the lower 1/2 of the reverse of the invite.

    We are pleased to invite you to a
    second wedding reception in Portland!

    Location, etc.

    • We also printed our labels with the guest address, our return address, and we added a pretty swirl that was a wedding motif. We used black envelopes and the labels were large white ones with black ink. I think the black envelopes established that it was somewhat nontraditional, but the formal/pretty font and design of the labels (and the interior invite) made them classy. All that to say, labels were a way more aesthetically pleasing route for us, given our handwriting and budget….and I don’t regret it in the least (3.5+ years later).

  • Because my husband and I, my parents, and his parents each equally paid for the wedding, ours said:

    Mr. and Mrs. Dad and Mom Bride
    Mr. and Mrs. Dad and Mom Groom
    request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children
    Bride Middle Last
    Groom Middle Last

    • Anon

      We paid a part of the wedding and my parents paid a part of the wedding, and his parents have supported us in many other ways (even financially) so I did it the same way you did it because I think my parents wanted that and I didnt want to leave his out! :)

  • DrSmooch

    I didn’t see this brought up and from reading numerous things on APW, I know there are plenty of PhD, MD, DVM, [insert doctorate of awesome].

    As someone who has one of those, I get EXTREMELY bothered living in the etiquette capital of the world (the South), when a formal invitation comes addressed to us as Mr. HisName and Ms. MaidenName. First off, these people know I worked my butt off for my doctorate. I don’t care in social situations, but a formal invitation calls for formality. So please use DR. Secondly, the “Dr.” ALWAYS goes first, so please, if you have any female guests that have a doctorate of awesome, please address it as:

    Dr. LastName and Mr/s. LastName
    *end rant*

    • Stephanie

      I really would like a doctorate of awesome. I feel like the defense would just be an extended air guitar solo.

  • Melissa

    Ours are pretty simple:

    “For some people, small beautiful events are what life’s all about.”
    Melissa Not-Chenzo
    Boy Chenzo
    invite you to join them at their wedding.


    Dinner, Dancing, and Shenanigans to Follow.

    The quote we included is actually from Doctor Who, but is incongruous enough to keep from terrifying our non-sci fi loving guests.

    One thing I will add is be careful if you’re using a spreadsheet and mail merge to print lables or whathaveyou for the invitations. We received an invite last year to his estranged uncle’s wedding, addressed to Mr. Boy Chenzo and Brandi Not-Chenzo. They got my last name right, and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, but we’d been together for 5 years at that point. A simple phone call could’ve solved that one, though it has created a running gag and endless singing of Brandi by The Looking Glass, which is one of my favorite songs ever.

    Seriously though, proof read.

  • Emily

    Invitations went out about a week and half ago for our late July wedding (squee!), and writing/designing them was an adventure. We’re getting married in Michigan (where I grew up, even though we currently live in the Southwest and are moving to the east coast…), and we want to honor the location, so my mom came up with the brilliant idea of using the already pretty blank notecards done by a local artist. I bought a ton of them (enough to print programs on them too), and matching smaller notecards for RSVPs, and a few other things, all for…$250?

    The funny thing is, even though I’m not hugely into things being formal/traditional (though I do believe strongly in good etiquette) I had a moment of weirdness re: the design (notecards, so printed with pretty outdoorsy stuff on the outside, and they open like a regular card, where we printed the invites), because I’d been looking at the pricey but beautiful invites online and they were all one piece of paper unfolded. BUT THEN. I had a moment of clarity. I liked the invites. All other relevant parties liked them. Were the wedding police going to come after me if my invites weren’t “traditional”?


    So, the stationary came, I fed it through my laserjet, and it was all relatively easy and cheap! We worded the invites carefully, with input from (rather traditional) parents:

    Because you have believed in them
    Celebrated with them
    Loved and encouraged them

    Emily Middlename Lastname
    Groom Middlename Lastname

    Together with their parents
    Mr. EmilysDad and Mrs. Emilysmom lastname
    Mr. Groomsdad and Mrs. Groomsmom lastname
    Ask you to join them in celebrating
    the most joyous of occasions as they exchange vows
    and celebrate their marriage
    Date and time (not all written out)

    Ceremony location
    Reception to Follow

    The “Ask you to join them in celebrating the most joyous of occasions” wording is the same as my parents used on their invites, and I like both the tradition and the sentiment.

    On the insert (printed on cardstock, again from home) we included:

    The Reception will be held at (location)

    Cocktail hour* with hors d’oeurves will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7:00
    We will have a room with childcare providers, games, etc. to keep little ones entertained when they tire of the adults

    Blocks of guest rooms have been reserved at (hotels – we have lots of out of town guests, because our families are HUGE). Reservations must be made by (date).

    For full details about the weekend, things to see and do in (hometown), more hotel information, maps and directions, and (most importantly) to RSVP, please visit

    RSVPs respectfully requested by (date)
    *Guests of drinking age should be sure to bring ID

    That might all be TMI, but I put a lot of thought into it. I also did calligraphy on the envelopes, using the
    “Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe” format for married couples (though I reversed it when we’re much closer with the wife), “and Family” for large families when the names wouldn’t all fit, and other variations mentioned above.

    All in all? The invites were really fun, and actually not all that much work! Also, tons of people have been to the wedding website :)

    • Emily

      Oh, and one more thing – I had a friend call me just to say how pleased she was to have her name on the envelope, because of how annoyed she’d been when an invite was addressed to “Mr. & Mrs. Hislastname.” To quote her, “I am not my husband’s chattel!”

    • I think the folded invites are older than the flat ones. The flat ones are easier to put through your own printer. But folded invites in a double envelope were something I knew I’d have at my wedding (because they are more formal) since I was little. The flat ones are relatively new.

      • Emily

        Interesting! I was able to order the folded ones un-folded, so they ran through the printer easily, and then just fold them myself, so I think it was a win all around.

        I mostly liked my moment of realization that the wedding police wouldn’t come after me :) Major anxiety was lifted in all wedding planning after that!

        • I quilt and it’s very common in quilting circles to talk about the nonexistence of the “quilting police.” The only hard and fast quilting rule I’ve heard is it’s not a mistake if you hang the quilt on your front porch and a guy riding by on a horse can’t see it (the “mistake,” not the quilt).

      • Super interesting! I didn’t know that. We used folded cards because we needed to do bilingual invites so each side was in one of the languages. I thought we were being pretty nontraditional about that (out of necessity), but it’s nice to know that there is a history to a folded wedding invite card.

  • Remy

    Informal and self-funded here, with a theme of Sweetest Day (it’s the commercial holiday we started dating on and were married on 3 years later). The phrasing ended up as a kind of a weird third/first-person split, which actually didn’t bother me.

    Remy M. Lastname and Sweetie M. Lastname
    would be honored to share with you
    the sweetness of our wedding day

    Saturday, October 20, 2012
    2:00 PM
    Address First Line
    Address Second Line

    Afternoon tea and cake will follow the ceremony

    The wedding website URL and password were on the reverse.

  • Anon

    In Case Anyone is interested – I had Bilingual Invitations which were not exact translations – more like what worked in each culture, but as close to the same format as possible.

    Mr and Mrs Brides Parents
    Sr Groom Dad and Sra Groom Mom de ….
    request the honour of your presence
    at the Nuptial Mass uniting their children
    Saturday, the Seventh of July
    Two Thousand Twelve
    at Two O’Clock
    And afterward at the reception

    Mr y Mrs Brides Parents
    Sr Papá Novio and Sra Mamá Novio
    Tienen el gusto de invitar a la ceremonia religiosa
    de matrimonio de sus hijos
    Sábado siete de julio de dos mil doce
    A las dos de la tarde
    y a la recepción que se ofrecerá a continuación en

  • Meghan

    We went rather informal on the envelope wording because we were having a rather casual wedding and we’re really not formal people in everyday life and didn’t feel like faking it for our wedding.

    All couples – married or not, living together or not, etc. – were written on a single line (with overflow where necessary – but the clear intent was one line). If same last name, we did: FirstNameA and FirstNameB LastName, where A was the person we knew better/first, regardless of gender. If different last names, we did: FirstNameA LastNameA and FirstNameB LastNameB, same order rules applied.

    For single folks – no real decision, just FirstName LastName. No one had an unnamed plus-one, so that simplified invitation address wording for us.

    We decided to forego honorifics altogether for several reasons. One, we didn’t know whether a lot of the married women we invited preferred “Mrs.” or “Ms.”. Two, we actually had some folks whose title would have changed during the invitation sending process (from Ms. to Mrs. or from Ms./Mr. to Dr.), and that was a lot to deal with. Three, like I said – we’re not very good at formality. (The informal wording combined with the calligraphy might have been confusing, but my mom does calligraphy and it was very important to her that she do our invitation addresses, so why not?)

    As far as I know, we only pissed off one person. An invitation addressed to a couple where the wife hyphenates her name was sent to HisFirst HisLast and HerFirst HerLast-HisLast. We were told that for social settings, that was inappropriate, and we should have addressed it to Dr. and Mrs. HisFirst HisLast. I bring this up just so that I can say this: even if you don’t like the way the invitation was addressed personally, please come off your high horse and let it be. I hate hate HATE being referred to as Mrs. HisFirst HisLast, but I’ve gotten two invitations in the past 6 months addressed that way. As far as I can tell, the bigger etiquette snafu is not inadvertently addressing someone in a way that isn’t their preferred manner, but rather making the sender feel bad about the decision they made.

    That said, I could write a manifesto about how I feel about the use of Mrs. HisFirst HisLast. *sigh*

  • Alexis C.

    OKAY, FOLKS. I’m flummoxed.

    How the heck do I word a save-the-date and an invitation to a “wedding weekend?”

    – we WILL have some kind of wedding website with more detail so I just want the gist that it is an optional multi-day thing with the wedding in the middle on the “save-these-few-dates”(?!?) and invites
    – it will be a sorta fancy but mostly casual secular wedding held in a family home
    – we are paying, but the gracious offering of use of the home as venue will be noted with, “The First Last & First Last Residence”
    – only immediate family and very close friends attending, so wording can be silly, or conversational, or even a little irreverent, depending.
    – everyone lives all over the country, so this is a semi-destination wedding for everyone, including us. Thus us wanting to have a “wedding weekend”, since I can’t have all our friends paying ~$400 to fly to see us only for a handful of hours.
    – events will be: welcome meal the day before the wedding (a hosted casual lunch), then the wedding and reception (ceremony, meal, drinks, dancing), then a hosted very casual dinner after that so we can all keep hanging out alllll niiiight loooong, then a hosted casual brunch the next day. (I don’t want to entirely book their schedules so they can go do stuff they’re interested in if they want.)

    I can’t even tell you how thankful I already am for any suggestions anyone has because I have no idea how to even approach it!

    • Megan

      Hey Alexis,

      My fiancee and I are doing a very similar thing (in terms of distance and timing). We sent out save the dates with minimal information – just the date and location of the ceremony + our website url and basically relied on folks to check out our website, where we posted a breakdown of the schedule of events and made it clear that everyone is invited to everything.

      If you’re worried that a significant proportion of your guests might not check out the website in a timely manner, you could always word the save the date along the lines of “Save the date for a wedding weekend!” or “Weekend celebration!” or “Weekend of festivities!” and then include the date range instead of a single day to make it extra clear.

      We did include an extra page in our invitations with a shorter bullet point summary of the weekend schedule of events, again reminding guests to check out the website for more details. And we sent out our invitations somewhat earlier than typically recommended (they went out about 10 weeks before our date) to ensure folks had time to make travel arrangements.

      Good luck!

  • eulalia

    This is NOT with the etiquette, but one thing I do that I really like on my Christmas cards when there are somewhat ambiguous situations is address the envelope to “The Kling/Klang Family” – of course, for wedding invitations that might be confusing, and you should definitely add specific individual names on an inner envelope. But I like it because it honors my unmarried-but-definitely-a-family friends. I also use it for married but different last name couples. This would be very casual option, though.

  • Caroline

    Okay, maybe this isn’t quite wording, but since this community is so wise about etiquette, is it okay to have really informal save the dates and really formal invites for a garden daytime wedding? I know the formality of the invites is supposed to match the formality of the event. We were thinking of making save-the-dates on the computer with a picture of the view from the venue and some text, and printing them ourselves as a postcard. There may be some doodles/or sketches involved.

    However, I’ve always dreamed of doing simple, handwritten invites on flat cards. As we’ve mentioned above, this is THE most formal invite option.

    Is that weird/problematic? Our wedding will be a daytime garden wedding early on a summer Sunday afternoon. It will be formal enough that men should wear suits or at least slacks and a sports coat, but passed appetizers feels too formal to my fiance so there won’t be passed appetizers. That is, it’s like fancy thanksgiving. I think the handwritten invites are fine for the more casual event because handwritten also seems more personal, and the focus is on family and community. But is that weird with the casual, digital save the dates? You always see save the date suites.

    • Remy

      Yes, okay. Not weird. They will be FINE. I hope your fine muscle coordination will also be fine, afterward. :)

      • Caroline

        I’m used to writing a lot, and we have a smallish guest list, so I’m not worried about that.

    • If you wanted to keep with the handwritten theme you could write info/a message on the save the date postcard? That’s what we did. But regardless, I think it doesn’t matter and no one will need upset or measure the formality of one vs the other.

  • KM

    I was adamant that I wanted our RSVP cards to be a madlib style response – and so I designed them with the fantastically professional and accomodating folks at (though mine was their first request to do so). I was super happy with our invitations, and most of our guests LOVED the madlibs, though I was shocked that a few stressed about how to respond.

    Our template:
    [Name of guest] & [Name of guest] are [adjective] to [attend / not attend] the [adjective] festivities. We wish you both a [adjective] day and [number] years of [noun] to come. Remember, the secret to marital bliss is to always [verb] and [verb] with [plural noun]!

    The result:

    Our clever guests’ responses made getting RSVPS even more fun, and we’ve saved the cards to entertain ourselves on future anniversaries, perhaps!

    • Rebekah

      I love those. Permission to borrow?

      • KM

        Absolutely, thats why I wanted to share – more madlibs fun all around!

    • Rachel

      Those are so great!!

    • I hid a line drawing of a monkey in the design of our RSVPs so that we’d get postcards with chimpanzees on them. A few even came anonymously, which was frustrating to try and get our final count with, but added to the hilarity of it.

      • Rebekah

        That exact reason (the anonymous replies, not the monkey surprises) is why I love the idea of numbering each reply card on the back and keeping a list of what number gets set to whom. That way if it comes back without a name, you can still figure out which guest it is.

        • The anonymous ones also generally came back not filled out at all, so we didn’t know if the unknown person was or was not coming. They just put it in the mail.

  • We didn’t send Save the Dates. I kinda freaked out about it at first, but the world didn’t end, and everyone who we loved made it, and we got married.

    For our invitations, we threw out pretty much all the rules. We said:

    “Together with their families, N and K joyfully invite you to join them in the celebration of their marriage. [ceremony details]. Reception to follow.”

    We made a bit of an age differential in addressing. Our parents’ friends were addressed Mr. and Mrs. HisLastName, with additional guests on the second line. We went Mr./Mrs. FirstName LastName for most of our friends, with their significant other on the second line (most of our friends are not yet married).

  • Jen

    Can someone help me out? It’s really related to guest-list issues, not invitation/ envelope wording but I’m caught between my mother and a friend. I don’t have any kids, so I really just don’t know what is or isn’t too hard on a new mother.

    My friend will have a 4 month old baby (her second child) at the time of my wedding. My fiance and I decided to have a child-free wedding months before we learned my friend was pregnant, and then spread the word to friends and family with kids so that people could make child-care arrangements. My friend feels that she should be excepted from the no-kids policy because she will be nursing her baby. My friend is working full time, away from home (and the baby), at a job that requires her to work 12 hour shifts- which indicates to me that she can, and does on a regular basis, spend time physically apart from the baby. My mother says it would be rude to people with children who have made child-care arrangements, to make an exception for my friend.

    I’m inclined to side with my mother, but I don’t know really anything about nursing a baby, so it’s hard for me to know whether it is unreasonable to ask her to leave the baby at home for a few hours. Thoughts? Advice?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’ve heard that such situations are up to you. A “no children” exception is sometimes made for nursing infants. And sometimes it’s not.

      (My college has lots of alumnae with lots of little kids. A common phrase on invitations to the more formal alumni events is “Babes in Arms Welcome” or “Babes in Arms Only.”)

      I’d invite this friend like all other parents. She may RSVP without the baby, and you have no issue. If she RSVPs with the baby, or declines, you can revisit the issue then.

  • Emm

    Thanks for this post, it is REALLY helpful as we’re starting to do all of this stuff.
    In the UK, where I’m from, it is customary to have a blank line on the actual invitation, where you write in the guest’s or guests’ names, so it’s really clear who’s invited. I am not doing that, but kind of wish we were. We are not having inner envelopes either. I think most of my single friends understand that they are not getting a plus one. I guess those awkward questions do crop up from unexpected people though – that’s just the wedding game, although it’s really exasperating.

    We want to direct our guests to our wedding website to RSVP, and I’m expecting there will be some questions however clear we make it. Little bit nervous about it, but we want to save money on the postage and printing, and we’ll get a nice spreadsheet with their meal choices from the website so it seems worth it.

    We made our wedding website using Wedding Woo – – they’re a new company and the layouts are really fab. We were able to use one of our engagement photos as the full backdrop to the website. All the designs are really clean and design-y and very customizable. They’ve also been extraordinarily open to feedback and adding new features.

    • Blue

      I’ve been to a few weddings that followed up on the invitations by email a few weeks later (we did this ourselves after sending the save-the-dates). Doing this allows you to reintroduce the link when the person is actually sitting in front of a computer and helps people out who lost your invite in a stack of papers!

  • Michelle

    I’m still a little confused on envelope wording for children and “plus one” guests at times. I cannot remember what Miss Manners wrote in her book so I’m wondering if anyone can help.

    One question is at what age do you think children/young adults still living with parents should be sent their own separate invitation? I hope this is not rude, but we’re thinking our cousins (ages 16-21) will really not care/notice getting a separate versus same invitation, as long as their names are clearly on the invitation to the family.

    Also, my uncle has recently started dating someone new. He also has a 16 year old daughter. What do you think?

    Mr. Uncle Goofy
    Ms. Cousin Goofy
    (with a handwritten note inside to say he can bring a guest? But it could get weird because I’m not offering for my cousin to bring her 16 year old boyfriend as well)

    Mr. Uncle Goofy and Guest
    Ms. Cousin Goofy

    Something else?

    Thank you!

    • Will you have inner envelopes? If so, I think the easiest thing to do would be to address the invitation to Mr Uncle Goofy and then put his name, girlfriend’s name (or and guest if you don’t know her name) and his daughter’s name on the inner envelope. If not, I’d probably go with your second option or just address the invitation to him and daughter and make sure someone lets him know he can bring his girlfriend if he wants.

    • Blue

      I lean towards option 2 – it seems nice and clear to me.

  • It was very important for us to set the tone from the beginning that our wedding was going to be focused on comfort and familiarity. We addressed our invitations to the names that we called people (so my aunt who has gone by Peggy her entire life, including the 30 years I’ve known her, got an invite addressed to Peggy Herlastname instead of Mrs. Margaret Herlastname). My groom always goes by a shortened form of his name (like Tom instead of Thomas), so the invitations (and the program and the vows) use “Tom Hislastname” instead of “Mr. Thomas Hismiddlename Hislastname.”

    Invitations had everyone’s names on the front in a single line, including little kids, including “Baby Theirlastname” in a few cases where the baby hadn’t been born yet, because we reasoned that kids like getting mail with their names on it and we really really wanted lots of kids to come to our wedding.

    We had one family where one of the kids has a different last name and we weren’t sure whether she was sensitive about that, so we just wrote all the first names on the envelope with no last name and figured the post office could figure out from the address where it went.

    Basically we didn’t follow any of the “rules” but we made all of our choices deliberately and thoughtfully. If there was anyone who decided they were offended by our lack of attention to etiquette or tradition, it’s probably best that they not come to our wedding anyway. :)

  • Lindsay

    Our wedding invitations read,
    Larry & Honey B***
    and Kris & the late Bruce T*******
    joyfully invite you to celebrate
    at the wedding of their children

    Lindsay B***
    Brian T*******

    (time and date)

    (Venue name)
    (venue address)

    We are breaking rules left and right here:
    1) we used our parents’ nicknames (the names that everyone calls them) and not their formal names Lawrence, Hannelore, and Kristine.
    2) we included my fiance’s dad (the late Bruce), who passed away from cancer 5 months after we got engaged and 10 months before our wedding. YES I know a deceased person cannot invite you to a party. But he was so excited to our wedding and his last words to me (seriously) were, “I’m so sorry I won’t be at the wedding.” How could we not include him?
    3) my fiance goes by his middle name. If we sent the invitations out with his first name, people would be like wait who’s this William guy that Lindsay is marrying? What happened to Brian?

    It is a somewhat formal event, but neither of us could bear to use the formal invitation wording.

  • Danielle

    So… I don’t think that I am in a position to give any sage wedding invitation wording advice since to my own mortification my wedding invitations, which I did the wording for and my sister-in-law did the design for didn’t actually invite anyone to the “wedding” “union” or whatever…

    It said something like… “Together with their families, So-and-So and So-and-So2 request your company on X date, at X location, dinner and dancing to follow”

    BUT FOR WHAT?!?!?! We had like 5 family members proof these invitations… luckily no one thought they were showing up to a joint bat mitzvah.

  • Blue

    My mantra throughout the wedding planning process has been to make everyone feel as included as possible. This meant that instead of following one policy for addressing the envelopes we addressed each with what we thought the person would prefer. I typically used people’s “facebook names” instead of their full, formal names (if Ben goes by Benjamin on facebook, we’ll call him Benjamin, but otherwise he’s Ben) although my fiancee thought his family and friends would like full names so we went with that for them. For grandparents we included honorifics but for most friends and family we did not. We also included guests on the “envelope” (ours were e-invites through paperless post, so virtual envelopes) if we knew their names, it was hard for me to imagine that our friends would be offended by us being so forward.

  • Gina

    The timing for this is perfect, as I have been wrestling these issues for the past few weeks. I just sent out my Save the Dates, and there wasn’t much room for names and titles, so it made sense to keep names short and informal. I addressed families and couples with the same last names as “The Lastnames”. With couples with different last names, I settled on first and last names, separated by an “and” on different lines. Older widowed relatives, I just addressed as Firstname Lastname. I didn’t use any titles.

    But I’ve had the invitations in the back of my mind, and I think they should be more formally addressed. I get Meg’s point about addressing people as they wish to be addressed, and the tradition of “Mrs. Husband’s Name” is usually preferred by elderly relatives. But I seriously don’t think I can do that. I may forego the first name and just address “Mrs. Lastname”. I don’t know. I’m still seriously conflicted on this. I hate that tradition and want to do what I can to change it. I’m just not sure it’s worth the risk of offending a relative. (Our grandmothers won’t notice or care…)

  • Anyone have a good spreadsheet template from which to merge invitations? I want to mail merge my envelopes to save my hands (and because fonts are amazing!!!! ::nerd nerd::) but all the different addressing conventions sort of make for a messy spreadsheet. I really don’t want to have more than one list.

    Techy APW people! Help!

  • Tess

    our save the dates were through email, and we just decided to do a video invite… in addition to being conscious of budget and environmental concerns, its a project for the wedding that my fiance is really excited about (he’s always the one taking tons of video clips and editing short films for fun with his friends…)
    has anyone here done completely non traditional invitations and have any suggestions or feedback??

    also, we need to have the invite in 2 languages… how have you guys handled that??

    • I mentioned this above, but we used fold-over cards and put the text in language 1 on one side and language 2 on the other. If you want to see a photo, there is one here (just scroll down):

      My sister-in-law handled the same issue by just printing two types of invites; one in each language, and then sending the appropriate language to the recipient. We felt it was important, however, for us, to include both languages on each invite. (We also had a bilingual ceremony with surtitres for the language that wasn’t being spoken at the time.) So we felt the invites kind of established that bilingual emphasis from the beginning.

  • Stacey

    We paid an Etsy artist to design our invite based on a design she already had posted in her shop. We just changed the colors, the relevant info, and a bit of wording. Then we uploaded the pdf to Vistaprint. On the back side, we typed relevant information about the hotel block, the airlines that service the town where we’ll be married, relevant footwear choices (as we’ll be outside on grass and gravel), and pasted in a small map of the area including the house where we’ll be married and the hotel, which is a mile away.

    We did not include RSVP cards because I’m a Miss Manners devotee (who says the proper way to reply is by a handwritten note on your own stationery), but we did give alternative choices to snail mail replies. We included our wedding email address and my cell phone number. I got one text-message RSVP, two handwritten notes, and three emails. The rest came word-of-mouth through our parents (we only invited family out to first cousins). So our invite was literally one sheet of cardstock – pretty design on the front, “insert”-type info on the back.

    We did not register for gifts. I was against writing anything at all concerning gifts on the invite, but my future husband was adamant that we write “no gifts” so that people would be clear with the situation. Also, he can’t stand “owing favors” and the like and thought it would be weird for my family members who hadn’t met him to try to pick out a gift for us. We didn’t want to inconvenience anyone with gift-buying. A friend of my mom’s solicited family recipes and put them in a nice book for us – that’s what we’re considering to be our gifts! And I let him win on the invitation wording because it was so important to him – even though it goes against traditional etiquette (which from my understanding is to not mention gifts at all).

    We used “Together with their families” because my parents contributed half the official budget, we put up the other half, and his parents are hosting the wedding at their home. They’ve spent time and money landscaping their yard, purchasing an event rider for their homeowner’s insurance policy, etc so I know it has not been “free” for them, but we don’t know how much they’ve spent.

    Our wording:

    Together with their families,
    Bride First Middle Last and Groom First Middle Last
    Invite you to join them for a day of celebration
    As they exchange vows
    Saturday, June 8th 2013
    Three in the afternoon
    At the Groom’s Parents’ Residence
    Kindly RSVP to (wedding email)
    or call (cell phone) by May 25th, 2013
    Outdoor fun and dinner to follow
    Your presence is your present
    No gifts, please

    Here is our design, in case anyone is curious:
    (No, we are not Adriana and Keith)

    • Emm

      I just have to say, I never thought of printing information on the BACK of the invitation. Why don’t more people do this! Seems so simple and obvious and yet it just had not occurred to me. Such a great way to save on the cost of another printed item, as well as avoiding people losing that info card. So glad you posted this, thank you! I am now investigating it with our invitation vendor.

  • Emily

    I figured, if I know you well enough to come to my wedding, we can skip Mr. Ms. Mrs. So my invites were to Bob & Judy Lastname or Vicki Lastname and Guest.

    Here’s some secular ceremony invite writing, skipping parents all together. We both have divorced and remarried parents, so including them all just didn’t fit. Also felt like this is our wedding – and as much as we love and appreciate our parents and their help, we are doing this thing and we’re doing the inviting.

    Emily MiddleName Last Name
    Fiance MiddleName Last Name
    invite you to celebrate their wedding
    at TIME
    reception to follow

    City, State

  • CII

    Y’all, is six weeks enough time to give people to RSVP? What would Miss Manners say? (We’re not getting married six weeks from the date the invitations will be sent, but we are tentatively setting the RSVP date for six weeks from the send date)

  • Jill

    For our invitations, we wanted to accomplish a few things:
    – set the tone that this will be big fun — and also a religious ceremony
    – explicitly clue folks in that this is a Jewish wedding, both as a matter of identity expression for me and to give a heads-up to my non-Jewish fiancee’s guests about what unfamiliar delights to expect
    – avoid the family mention altogether, since her parents are messy-divorced and mine may not be at the wedding because of teh gay
    – ask people to RSVP with an enclosed postcard where they write their own note, as opposed to filling out a form

    We haven’t sent these out yet, and I’m still not positive that the RSVP line is exactly how I want it, but this is the plan.

    Jill X and Sweetie Y are getting married!

    Meet us under the chuppah

    Get fancy and come get dance-y!

    Please use the enclosed postcard to RSVP and tell us something we will read over and over again.

    [website URL]

  • Het

    Eek – I’m suddenly thinking our plan to go ultra informal is fraught with difficulty – do you guys think this has the potential to offend people? We’re having a civil ceremony (with just us and a two friends) on a Friday, followed by garden party the next day with a humanist ceremony. We’re planning to keep the garden party v relaxed and informal, and as such were just going to send a selection of cards that we’ve been collecting over the years to our 90-ish guests (approx 50 invitations, I think), handwritten with the following (there are a few enclosures with a map, directions, useful info etc too):

    Dear “name that we usually call guest”,

    We would like to invite you to join us in celebrating our marriage, on Saturday xx/xx/xx, at xx. We will be starting with drinks at 6pm, with the ceremony from 6.30pm, followed by a party.

    Please let us know if you are able to come, by Monday xx/xx/xx. Hope you can make it!

    Love from “Him” and “Me”

  • Katie

    I skipped the Mr., Mrs., Ms. all together and just used peoples names, name of the person we were closest to first name of the other person second. Easy and straight forward to program, uses people’s actual names and ignores etiquette all together. May not make everyone happy but traditional etiquette doesn’t make me happy so they can deal with it for one invitation.

  • Dawn

    We did our Save the Dates online. For the invites, the “boy”, in his graphic designer way, made a full page “poster” to send in an e-mail to our guests that links to a wedding website (wedshare, tons of flexibility in it’s design!). The wording at the top of the “poster” is “Please join us to celebrate the adventures of “boy” and “girl” (insert names), and has a drawing of us in true ninja fashion combating something. The Save the Dates had us, cat in hand, swing like Indiana Jones over a snake pit (we have 3 snakes, and I work at a zoo, so it’s very fitting). We’ve been living together for 10 years, and are planning on funding everything ourselves, so we haven’t included any parentals in the wording. The whole website in itself is very informal and fun. The formal invite just isn’t our style at all, and we’re making the whole wedding about reflecting us and what we’re like day to day, even down to my purple dress. Doing everything online is also saving us a TON of money in printing and postage alone! And it’s heaps more environmental than giving people pieces of paper that they probably won’t keep past the end of the year. As for our guests, the website allows us to put down specific names of who’s invited, and in the RSVP they put a check in the box beside whoever is joining us. Should be pretty straightforward, I hope!

  • Stalking Sarah

    Our invite language:

    Together with their families (small text)
    Stalking Sarah & Her Lady (big text)
    invite you to witness & celebrate their marriage (medium text)
    September 8 at 5 pm (medium text)
    Beachfront of the venue (small text)
    Provincetown, MA (small text)
    Dinner & dancing to follow (small text)

    • Stalking Sarah

      Wanted to add two things — we wrote RSVP info on the back, along with our wedding site, since we were not a fan of having another piece of paper (folks RSVP’d via email or online).

      And more importantly, I loved the text of “witness and celebrate” — to me it is a wedding in a nutshell. Witness = ceremony, celebrate = party. And that is why I think you can elope and still have a wedding — just because you do the witnessing separately doesn’t mean you can’t still have the celebrating.

      • Jenna

        Love this! We’re having a small family-only ceremony followed by a party where friends will also attend. On our friends invites we’re saying that they are invited to a “celebration of marriage”.

  • His mom helped pay for the wedding, not just my parents, so we wanted all parents represented. His parents are divorced though so it read like this:

    Mr. and Mrs. Michael Grome
    Ms. Debra Dix
    Mr. Robert Dix
    are delighted to invite you
    to the marriage of their children

    Chasity Linn Grome
    Ross Allen Dix

    Saturday, April the 20th, 2013
    6:30 in the evening

    Texas Old Town at Red Bud Hall
    1205 Roland Lane
    Kyle, Texas

  • Thanks so much for this great information. My husband and I have been trying to figure out what type of wording to put on our wedding invitations. I had no idea this would be such a difficult task. Thanks so much for clearing a few things up for us!

  • Karli

    My fiance and I are currently arguing over the “hosted by” line, which is a little ridiculous, but somehow feels important. Hopefully you guys can help me out.

    So here’s the situation, both my parents and his parents are paying (pretty much equal amounts) for the wedding, but my grandma is also contributing. She has not only allowed us to use her backyard for the ceremony and reception, but she is paying to have it renovated so that it looks nice for us. My uncle is also doing the majority of the labor, and I am paying for my own dress, shoes, etc. I think that since there are so many people helping out, the line should read “together with their families”, but his mom wants to be mentioned by name. What should we do?

  • I agree. However, I would put the married couple on one line.

    If the names really are too long to fit on one line, then I would separate at the and. You can fit quite a lot of characters across your average invitation envelope.

  • Thank you for the function. Article aided me a whole lot

  • Michelle

    I am divorced, and my fiancé and I have decided to change our last name to my maiden name when we marry. How can we reflect this change on the invitation?

  • I truly love your site.. Great color & theme. Did youu create this website yourself?
    Plese reply back as I’m planning to create my very own blog and want to learn where you got this from or what the
    theme is called. Kudos!

  • Erin

    I am really struggling with a simple invitation wording. I would like to honor all sets of parents by listing them on the invitation but I do not know how to go about it.

    My parents and my partner’s mother and step-dad are contributing to our wedding whereas my partner’s father is hosting the rehearsal dinner. My partner’s father is also paying for my partner’s clothing for the wedding day so I think that counts as paying for some of the wedding… and it would just be weird to say that my parents and one set of my fiance’s parents are hosting our wedding. So I have five people and I have no idea how to list them all as hosting in a proper way, but I know that my parents expect their names to be on there as hosting, but it’s not really fair to say they’re hosting when my partner’s parents are contributing too, even if not as much. Ughhhh this is complicated, hope you can follow it!

    I don’t want to say “together with our families” because my partner and I are not paying for our wedding (unless you count a few random things like the deal I scored for my shoes and we are purchasing our wedding bands and ketubah).

    Any suggestion of how to say the parents are hosting? And how to tactfully do it when there are five parents involved?

    Thank you!!!

  • Amber Dawn

    I really need help with invitation wording. My parents are still married but my fiance’s parents are divorced (and my fiance’s mom does NOT like her ex-husband, my fiance’s dad, at all). Should I include both sets of parents’ names on the invite? Or should I just say “[My name] and [His name] request your attendance…”? I just can’t figure out what to do in this case….

  • CoCoCA

    Addressing our guests: We’re having a casual, non-religious ceremony, so we decided that it was okay to just drop the whole Mr. and Ms. thing. We addressed my grandma as Grams (as she likes to be called) and all aunts and uncles accordingly. Anyone 22+ is getting their own invite regardless of where they live (this was important to us when we were that age). We simply did not address children, as we would like to have an adults-only event.

    The invites: We’re paying for the wedding ourselves, so we didn’t have to fret over the hosted by line. I absolutely love our invite wording! We’ve been together 5 years, we’ve lived together 4 of those years, and we bought a home together about a year and a half ago. We see our wedding as a recognition of the life we’ve already begun to build together, and so we wanted our invite to accurately reflect that. Here’s the wording:

    The wooin’ and the courtin’s done
    Our life together has begun
    [His Name]
    [My Name]
    request your familiar smile
    as they tie the knot on

    We ran out of space for the address, so we’re including business cards with the venue information and our website (free from vistaprints!). On the RSVP cards we put, “number of adults____,” and we have the following info on our website:

    Our wedding will be an adults only affair. We see our wedding as a celebration of not only our love as a couple, but a day to remember the bond we all share in love. Your models of love and togetherness strengthen our own. We hope that you can enjoy the evening as a couple, and remember why you fell in love and decided to start a family of your own. If you need help finding childcare for the evening, please let us know and we’d be happy to provide some references.

  • Caroline

    We’re getting close to final on our wedding invite wording. the plan is they will say
    Please join us
    to celebrate the marriage of
    Caroline myMiddles Mylast
    Daughter of
    My dad
    My mom and step-dad
    My Partner
    son of
    his parents

    Sunday, the Tenth of August
    Two Thousand and Fourteen
    corresponding to
    The Fourteenth Day of the Hebrew Month of Av
    Five Thousand Seven Hundrend and Seventy Four

    One in the afternoon
    Lunch and dancing to follow

    venue address


    except the time is TBD, and i’m not quite sure how to do the capitalization on the date and such. and we will use our full names including middle names, and our parents’first and last, no titles.

    • Caroline

      Having trouble editing, but I wanted to mention: my parents are paying for almost the whole thing, but we decided we didn’t want money to be a factor in who is on the invites.

  • Ive had it

    The wedding invitation is one of many things that are becoming “not” traditional, or almost not.
    It’s not Mr. and Mrs. John Doe (bride’s parents presenting bride to groom).
    Instead, it’s all caps:
    John and Jane Doe (not Mr. and Mrs.)
    Together with their daughter
    Susie Cue (fancy bigger Edwardian font and initial caps on lovebirds’ names)
    Roger Ready Smith
    Son of Joseph and Mary Smith
    Invite you to share in the celebration of their wedding
    How would you read this or what would you think it’s implying? I’ve seen in more recent times, the invites, etc, have become less formal, less traditional, etc. In this case, the groom and his family want it written to reflect that the groom is also hosting (paying for) wedding along with the bride’s parents.

  • future mrs. u

    My fiance and I are paying for and planning our entire wedding. Do we still need to have that line with our parents’ names requesting the presence of blah blah blah…? Is it okay to just leave our parents out of the invitation entirely? (see my justification below)

    I don’t mind doing it to honor the parents but while his parents are pretty straightforward- happily married for decades, figuring out how to list mine is a headache I don’t want to deal with (long story short- my mom died when I was young, don’t know my dad, raised by my mom’s partner who I call “Tita” and her next partner for the next 15 years but they have since “divorced” – split up since they were never married- and now my-I guess you’d call her stepmom, though I always called her mom – is in a long-term relationship with another guy…it’s so complicated that I just don’t want to begin with that drama on the invitation). Also, I don’t want to confuse our guests and have them start asking our parents for all the details when honestly, they probably won’t know them all (our parents live out of town and aren’t really involved in the wedding planning.)

    • Ive had it

      Wow, God bless your heart and marriage! I love how you wrote your short version “justification” for leaving out your family’s specific names, and sharing your story of what was a long time of family changes, dynamics, and drama. I think that’s a good idea and understandable to not want it being a focus or distraction before, after, and on your big day.
      As far as the invite goes… I’ve seen several examples of various ways to write the invite, rsvp card, etc, online. It’s been very helpful and a learning lesson. We struggled with the invites and both families agreeing on it, as well as the bride and groom. We finally agreed on it. Then, I “happened” to find out later that the groom’s mother sent out a different version to their people than the one we all agreed on, and 14 weeks before the wedding, to boot. That’s a whole other story lol. Anyway, here’s an example of many variation possibilities.
      Together with their families
      Jane Sue Doe
      John Jay Smith
      Invite you to share in the joy (or celebration) of their wedding
      You can switch the order of lines and wording, of course. Look online at the numerous pictures of invites and I think you’ll find one or get ideas to make it exactly the way y’all want it. You’ve managed to handle your life well and sound very together, after all you’ve been through. Now it’s your turn to make a whole new wonderful life with your fiancé. I pray your wedding, marriage, and family are greatly blessed beyond your expectations!

  • future mrs. u

    Is it okay to not invite children to a destination wedding or to only invite the children of immediate family, those in the actual wedding ceremony, and children under 3?
    (I don’t mean to be cheap but we are on a limited budget and venue capacity limits and I kind of don’t want to spend $100 a plate on the 4-year old children of family friends.)

  • Jackie

    The amount of time I put into looking at different wording seems crazy now, and we definitely broke the “request the honour of your presence” for a church wedding, but made up for it with “Sacrament”…we also included “dancing shoes required” on our reception cards to let our loved ones know that we wanted dancing! Our wording was as follows:
    You are invited to celebrate
    the beginning of our new life together
    as we are united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
    My First Middle Last
    His First Middle Last
    Saturday, the ______ of ____
    two thousand thirteen
    at__ o’clock in the afternoon
    Venue Name
    City, State

  • Treasure Stirling

    For our Renaissance Themed wedding we are going with
    Bride’s (mom first) & ([step]dad first) (Last)
    request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of
    Bride(first middle)
    Groom(first middle)
    Son of Rev. (mom first) & (dad first) (Last)

    Date, Time
    Renaissance Feast Reception to follow
    My folks are paying for appx 1/3, we are hoping his parents can contribute an equal amount, and then he and I are responsible for the balance – We chose our wording b/c it fit the theme of our wedding.

    Ceremony is outside, and Reception is inside, at the same place, No cocktail hour, doing the majority of photos prior to ceremony, (no 1’st looks – the first look will be me walking down the aisle to him!)

    We are ordering postcards and assembling them ourselves, no inner envelope; will print a card with Map on one side and RSVP info on the other – which will be on our website, or call my mom’s house…

    We recently rec’d an invite to one of his groomsmen’s wedding – which we unfortunately can’t attend (and I’ll be getting that in the mail shortly) It was addressed to FH and Guest, at my address – this didn’t bother me in the slightest b/c my only interaction with the inviting groom is via FB – and I use a nickname there – which is not in anyway related to my real name, so he had no way of knowing my real name (the nick name will not be used on my wedding invitations, but will be used on my shower invites); they included a “registered at” card – this has been a HUGE bone of contention between my mother and I – we finally compromised and the RSVP card will also note that Registry info can be found on wedding website (where they’re supposed to RSVP!)

    Our wedsite also helps to pass along the info of our theme, and that we would prefer our guests in attire fitting that theme – and provides links to places to buy; along with what the buffet menu will consist of, etc (its still a work in progress)

    As far as addressing goes – we are using a pretty silver envelope, I have terrible handwriting, FH doesn’t have the prettiest penmanship either – I keep arguing for CLEAR labels, mom keeps saying No – I also want to use “Lord & Lady” instead of “Mr & Mrs” – as it keeps with the theme – I just can’t work out how its supposed to look:

    Lord & Lady Stirling
    Lord & Lady X. Stirling
    Lord X & Lady Y Stirling – Lady Y and Lord X Stirling?

    And what about the folks who don’t participate in Renaissance Faires – will they understand? be alienated/insulted?
    I mean, No, nobody is actually a titled Lord/Lady, it just would be the first step in introducing our theme…
    But then we have the whole, kidlets issue:
    – grown and living at home (separate invite? included on parents?)
    – grown, living on own, no idea of address (or if it will be changing) (with or without Sig.O) – that we’re going send a separate invite, c/o parent’s address;
    – under 16, over 8 trying to figure if there are other’s that will be there in that same age range, or if kid/parents would prefer the kid not attend
    – over 16, under 21 – similar situation as above
    – unruly kids that we’d rather not have attend – but we’re not doing “no kids”

    the best I can figure is under 16 and welcome are going to be addressed “And family”
    the “i don’t want your kids there” will be addressed to the parents only, and when there is 1 kid that would be welcome, but the others not so much – will be discussed privately with individuals

    I’m having difficulty with my wedsite though, b/c I can limit the number of guests on my RSVP – but without inputting my entire guest list (which i really don’t want to do) I can’t limit it by guest… which means that some who don’t currently have a S/O but may end up dating somebody by the time of the wedding may want to bring them…. and I’m probably over-thinking it and borrowing trouble….

    And here’s an odd one for y’all.. my mom’s cousin – that I have always called Aunt – I call her by her nickname (her initials), she’s re-married (again) but I don’t think I’ve met her husband – do I address hers as “Aunt DID & Hubby Lastname”
    “Mr & Mrs Lastname”
    “Her(real)First & Hist First Lastname”
    “Aunt DID & UncleFirst Lastname”

    Honestly I’m leaning towards the first

  • help

    would you normally put …. so and so request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their ‘youngest’, ‘younger’ or ‘nothing just go straight to’ …daughter