Wording your wedding invitations can be a daunting experience. You might want to be creative, but of course you can't be so creative that the crucial details are easily missed. Also, there is family to consider - it sounds weird but some people will use invitation wording as an excuse to start a massive blow-out argument, simply because it wasn't the wording they would have used. Yikes! But never fear, here are some tips to help you out.
Things You Need to Include:
This is the fundamental information that means everyone will know what is going on. Ceremony and recpetion location, who is getting married, times etc.
Host Line: This line is for the names of whomever you choose to host the wedding. You may choose to have both sets of parents, just one set of parents or yourselves to host. It's not an official title per se, but is a special honour bestowed by the couple should they choose to. If either set of parents is paying for the wedding, then they should be the hosts in this case.
Invitation/Action Line: This is the official invitation to the event, and tells the guests what type of event it is. "Sandra and Bob request the pleasure of your attendance for the marriage of"; "you are cordially invited to the wedding of"; etc are common wordings for this part.
Names: Well, this is pretty obvious - the names of the bride and groom. Almost always this will be the bride and grooms first and middle names. If you have chosen to host the wedding yourselves, then it is customary to include the bride's surname as well as the groom's, although you don't have to include either surname. If the bride's parents are hosting it is standard to leave off her last name, unless she has a different last name to her parents.
Information: This means the date, time, location, etc. Everything the guests need to know about the ceremony and reception. If you need to include a lot of information, such as parking information, special rules for the venue, maps, hotels in the area, etc then a separate information card is often helpful for this information.
The Party Line: What happening after the formalities. "Dancing and food to follow." "Reception at Location X at 7pm." You are giving your guests an idea of the kind of reception or after reception activities are going to occur.
If you choose to have both your sets of parents host the wedding, then the bride's parents names, go first, then the groom's parents names and then of course the bride and groom. You can have both parents first names (Mr Harry and Mrs Olivia Smith or Mr & Mrs Harry and Olivia Smith) or simply use the father's first name (ie Mr & Mrs Harry Smith).
Things get more complicated if a parent is deceased or if one of the couple has one or more step-parents. In the event of a deceased parent, then they best way to incorporate them is to put "Mr Harry Smith (in honour of the late Mrs Olivia Smith) in the bride or groom's parents line. In the case of step-parents, it is somewhat dependent on what the relationship of the bride or groom is with their step-parent. You can simply put both biological parents names and include the step-parent in brackets underneath the bride or groom's name (ie. Emily Grace Smith in appreciation of Mrs Holly Smith). You can also choose to go with something like "Mrs Olivia Smith, along with Mr and Mrs Harry and Holly Smith". In the case where both parents have re-married, something like "Mr and Mrs Harry and Holly Smith, along with Mr and Mrs Benedict and Olivia Thomas" would be appropriate.
Example Wedding Invitation Wording:
Couple as hosts:
"Emily Grace and Grant Andrew cordially invite you to celebrate their marriage on Month, Day, Year, at Ceremony Location at Time. Food and Drink to follow at Reception Location at Time."
"You are invited to the wedding of Emily Grace and Grant Andrew on Month, Day, Year, at Ceremony Location at Time. Bring your dancing shoes for fun to follow at Reception Location at Time."
"Emily and Grant are getting married. Help them celebrate on Month, Day, Year, at Ceremony Location at Time. Fun and frolicking to follow at Reception Location at Time."
Bride's Parents as Hosts:
"Mr and Mrs Harry and Olivia Smith cordially invite you to the marriage of their daughter Emily Grace to Grant Andrew Harris son of Mr and Mrs George and Louise Harris."
"Mr and Mrs Harry Smith cordially invite you to the marriage of their daughter Emily Grace to Grant Andrew Harris son of Mr and Mrs George Harris."
Groom's Parents as Hosts:
"Mr and Mrs George and Louise Harris cordially invite you to the marriage of their son Grant Andrew to Emily Grace Smith, daughter of Mr and Mrs Harry and Olivia Smith."
"Mr and Mrs George Harris cordially invite you to the marriage of their son Grant Andrew to Emily Grace Smith, daughter of Mr and Mrs Harry Smith."