Wedding Invitation Wording Etiquette




Here are some tips dealing with the most prevalent mistakes when creating the text for your wedding invitations.

Abbreviations

The standard that is socially accepted is that all words should be written out on wedding invitations. Avoid abbreviations for addresses. View the exceptions below.

Example: “Street” instead of “St.”, “Avenue” instead of “Ave.”, “Ohio” instead of “OH”.

Exceptions:
  • Honorifics may be abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., military rank, etc.).
  • “St.” may be used for “Saint”.
  • Numerical time should use the abbreviations “a.m.” and “p.m.”.
  • “Junior” or “Senior”, when used in a name, are correctly abbreviated “Jr.” or “Sr.”. They should always be separated from the last name by a comma such as Casey Jones, Sr.

Time

Invitations are proper when time is spelled out. Numerals may be used on insert cards.

Invitations:
Time should be spelled out.
Time should never be capitalized.
Time, on the hour, should be followed by “o’clock” (Note: lowercase and apostrophe).
Do not use “o’clock” if the time is not on the hour.

Time, not on the hour, should be hyphenated. Example: “five-thirty” instead of “five thirty” or “five forty-five” instead of “five forty five”.

Time should always be followed by “in the morning”, “noon”, “in the afternoon”, “in the evening”, or “midnight”.
12:00 a.m. is midnight
Any other a.m. is morning.
12:00 p.m. is noon.
12:01 p.m. – 5:59 p.m. is afternoon.
6:00 p.m.- 11:59 p.m. is evening.


Insert Cards:
Time may be spelled out, following the invitation rules above, or numerals may be used.

When numerals are used, they should be followed by “a.m.” or “p.m.” (Note: lowercase and periods)

“Immediately” may be used as a replacement for time. The use of “immediately” and a time is redundant.
Example: “Dinner immediately following ceremony” is correct, whereas “Dinner immediately following ceremony at seven o’clock in the evening” is incorrect.

Dates

On the insert cards, date and time formats should be consistent. If time is not provided, you may spell out the date, abbreviate it, or use a numerical date.

Invitations:
Date should be spelled out.
Date should be before the day of the week, spelled out.
Day of the week and date should be separated by a comma.
Year is printed on a separate line and may be omitted.
Month and year should not be separated by a comma.
Example: “on Sunday, the ninth of September
Two thousand and fifteen”

Insert Cards:
If time is used on the insert card, be consistent with the date. In other words, when spelling out the time, spell out the date. If you use numerical time, use a numerical date.

If time is not used, any of the following formats are acceptable:
on Sunday, the ninth of September
on Sunday, September 9, 2015
on Sunday, September 9th
September 9, 2015

Symbols

Symbols have become increasingly popular, but still remain a social faux pas. We say go for it! Example: “Mr. & Mrs.” instead of “Mr. and Mrs.”

Zip Codes

Zip codes do not belong on invitations or most insert cards. They are appropriate on envelopes and RSVP envelopes.


Capitalization

Etiquette dictates the following protocol:

Names of people and places are always capitalized.
“intersection” as in “intersection of Broadway and College Avenues” is not capitalized.

When spelling out the year, capitalize the “t” in Two: Two thousand and fifteen.

Sentences or each new paragraph on an invitation always begin with a capital letter.

Spelling

Have someone else proofread your wording, paying close attention to proper nouns. Many common words are often misspelled, or misused. Example: "night" is better than "nite". Don't confuse "to" or "too".

Grammar

Pronouns should be consistent throughout your invitations. Use first person pronouns (I, we, us, our and me), or third person pronouns (them, they, their).

Do not use punctuation at the end of a line, such as commas and periods, in your invitation wording.

And vs. To

When parents for both bride and groom are issuing the invitation, the word between the bride and groom’s names should be “and”, not “to”.

Example:
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Remmington
and
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Schmidt
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Rachel Elizabeth
and
Richard Alpert

When the invitations are issued by parent(s) of just the bride or just the groom, the word between the bride and groom’s names should be “to”, not “and”.

Example:
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Remmington
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Rachel Elizabeth
to
Mr. Richard Alpert

Respond Date

Response date should be two to four weeks before the wedding date.

Response date should always be before the wedding date.

Believe it or not, people actually get these dates confused.

Consistency

Use the same ink color on your invitations and insert cards.

Use the same type-style on your invitations and insert cards.

Use insert cards that match your invitations.

*All of our designs can be made into a full wedding suite with matching RSVP, insert cards, place cards, menus, programs and thank you notes.

Additional Tips

Make sure you have filled out all necessary information for every item.

Use our online form to submit your text:
To be safe order extra invitations. It is better to order a few extra initially than it is to order a few extra later. As the quantity increases, the price per invitation goes down.

How far away is your wedding date?
  • Send Save The Date cards 6 to 12 months before the wedding 
  • Send Invitations 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding




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