What you must include on your wedding invites

What you must include on your wedding invites

Planning your invitations and stationery can feel like a daunting task.

 

There are so many things to remember.

First of all, I have a helpful, handy and COMPLETELY FREE checklist available that can help you with your planning – click below to find out more…

Free wedding stationery checklist
But while you’re getting that sorted, here is a list of essential must have information for your wedding invitations (and things you may not have considered).

 

 

Your names

These don’t have to be on the front of your invite, but (I can’t believe I’m owning up to this) when designing our Save the dates recently, for a silly second I genuinely expected everyone to know who they were from just by the information on them.

I almost forgot our own names!

How you choose to add your names is entirely up to you – you can just have your first names, you could use your full ‘Sunday’ names, or nicknames if that is what you prefer, but do make a decision you are both happy with (and decide which way round you want to use them, is it Jacqueline & Bruce or Bruce & Jacqueline?).

If you are sending more traditional styles, from your parents, check how they would like to be addressed too. This is less common these days but does still happen.

 

 

Your wedding date

Again the format of how you display this is personal choice but I do think it looks better if you have the number, then the month, then the year, as an example ours would be 21st November 2020.

It can be super useful to include which day of the week it is too, not essential but its surprising how often people assume it’s a Saturday when in fact it might not be.

Time of the wedding

Be clear between yourselves and the venue (or church/registry office) if your guests need to be seated on time.

Some ceremonies, particularly in registry offices, often have a timescale they need to keep to and whatever time you put can affect this – if you want your guests to arrive a little earlier (and indeed if this is possible) then put something like “1.45pm for the ceremony to begin promptly at 2pm”.

And don’t forget to check what time you can announce for evening festivities to begin as well.

 

 

Venue Name/s and details

It can look a little cluttered if you put too much info in one place, so you can always include this on an insert but do make sure to put the postcode of your venue/s and remember to include the reception venue if different.

 

 

Wedding Breakfast and Evening Reception

Are you having a separate Wedding Breakfast and Evening Reception or blending the whole day into one?

Be clear to advise the guests if there is anything they might need to be aware of, it isn’t always obvious and if children are invited they may need to make arrangements for this.

 

 

Guest names

Now, this is important to get right. Especially if you aren’t inviting a whole household.

Too many assumptions can be made if there is no way to add the names of your guests individually, and if children are not included, be clear to add this as an extra detail too.

 

RSVP date and address

You WILL need to confirm details with your venue by a certain date, to get everything in place.
Allow extra time before this date, for those who may be delayed in getting back to you for some reason, or perhaps don’t remember to RSVP at all. I usually aim for 8 weeks with my couples, this being for those places with a 4 week window confirming numbers before the wedding.
Often they opt for longer than that, which is absolutely fine and can mean less stress in the long run.
If requesting cards or slips to be posted back make sure they have your address to hand, an email address as well can be handy for anything that might need checking too. Better they have too much information than not enough.

 

Gift Info

This can be a little controversial – and it probably isn’t essential but it will make your life easier if you have something included with your invites that gives your guests some idea what they can treat you to – they will usually want to, so don’t worry that it looks a little bit rude. There are lots of ways you can advise them of this so take your time finding something that feels like ‘you’. Check out my online wording brochure for some ideas here.

 

 

Any other must have details

Perhaps your DJ takes requests beforehand, you can add info like this too, songs that will make them get up and dance. Maybe you are only inviting children if named on the invite. Perhaps you have an arrangement with the venue for reserved rooms and need to send a special code. Remember to include all of this here.

 

Whatever you do, don’t stress about any of this lovely, it’s easy when you know how. We are here to help and can easily help you figure all of this out, so just drop us a line if you need any help.

Much love,
Jacqui (and Bruce) xx

Your invitation wording

Your invitation wording

When you first start planning your wedding invites, you probably don’t think straight away about the wording that will go inside it.

But with years of experience I do know that it is so important to get this right.

So I wanted to spend some time today talking you through the ins and outs of wording your wedding invites. There is a lot to think about, so grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and take notes if necessary.

There are a few things to consider here.

First of all, who goes first?

This is a 2 parter.

The first thing I want you to think about is how do people know you as a couple? Are your names shortened? Are you Bruce & Jacqui (using mine and my boyfriend’s name as an example here), Jacqueline & Bruce? Or something else?

Much of the time, couples are talked about in a certain way, it’s a funny little thing and can depend on which family or friends group it comes from but when you send your invites, the names on the front of your exquisitely crafted pocketfold will be the first thing they see. So you want them to recognise it instantly, the excitement for your big day often begins right here. You may have initials, so remember to put them the right way round.

The second part of this is what happens inside the invitation.

The same rules may not necessarily apply here. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding, so their names would go at the beginning, with the bride’s full name minus her family or surname going first, followed by her fiance’s full name. Both would include any middle names that may not ordinarily be used (this usually raises an eyebrow or two).

Like this:

Mr & Mrs Tom & Sarah Chamberlain
Request the honour of the presence of

……………………………………………………………………………………..

At the marriage of their daughter

Helen Marie
to
Phillip Peter Carrington

Or you might choose to begin with something a little more inclusive for both families, such as:

‘Together with their parents
Helen Marie Chamberlain & Phillip Peter Carrington
Would like to invite……’

When I sit down with my couples at a consultation we talk about everything to do with their invites and they are given various wording choices from the more traditional (see above) to something like this more modern one:

Helen Marie Chamberlain & Phillip Peter Carrington
would be delighted if
……………………………………………………………………….
would join them to celebrate their marriage at…

There are some lovely verses that can be used, more light-hearted fun ones and I do need to say it is really important that what you choose reflects your personalities. You want both of ‘you’ to shine through, so your recipients know absolutely that your special day will totally have your stamp on it.


If you are getting married for the first time, you want it to be the biggest statement you can ever make. Or perhaps it is your second time around, and this time you are doing your day, your way, rather than following the more traditional rules you did when you got married before. It isn’t something you are going to want to rush, so take your time to get this right. For more inspiration, check out my brochure with wording ideas here.

Details, darling.

Hopefully it goes without saying that there are several important details that must be included on your wedding invite wording.


A/ Names – both of your names, and your parents if you are going for the more traditional option.
B/ Wedding Date – remember to put what day of the week it is.
C/ Wedding Time – can be formatted however you wish – 13.00 or 1pm? The choice is yours. If you are being a little more formal the 24 hour clock works well.
D/ Wedding Venue (and reception, especially if they are different).
E/ Wedding Breakfast– try and remember to include if a wedding breakfast follows – there’s nothing worse as a guest than not knowing what to expect. I had one couple who had to make a last minute alteration to their invites because it said the wedding was at 1pm and was followed by an Evening reception. That’s all very lovely but what happens in between? Where are they supposed to go, will they get a drink? Try not to have too much text but remember the vitally important information.

My couples often choose something like:


‘Drinks and Wedding Breakfast to follow’
Or
Followed by a Wedding Breakfast and Evening Reception at….

Guest names.


You may have spent some time drafting your guest list, this is usually the case, it might have been painful and you are relieved you now have your short list.

So when it comes to wording your invites, be clear on who – specifically – is invited, if sending to a household.

You don’t have to have guest names printed (although with my invites, guest names are printed as standard, with no additional charge) but if you opted for the sort of wording that’s a bit more relaxed, for example something like this:

Helen Marie Chamberlain
&
Philip Peter Carrington
Request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their marriage

Stop for a minute and think, who is ‘your company’ referring to?

***real life story-time***

I always use the example of an invite I received a couple of years ago for a family wedding. Now you would think working in this industry and especially in the job I do, that it would have been automatically understood but on this occasion I was a little embarrassed.

An invitation, with the envelope addressed to me arrived. It was for a wedding celebration after an overseas ceremony. Excitedly I began making plans for myself and my boys (I was a single mum at the time) to travel down south and find somewhere to stay so we could party the night away with the family.

My boys don’t actually enjoy parties that much as it happens, but I chatted to my mum and then it was mentioned in passing that ‘oh, there are no kids invited, their names weren’t on it were they?’. Well, no, but because there wasn’t anything to tell me that it was adults only I (again, how did I manage this in my job!) assumed it was for ‘us’.

Not a problem, a weekend letting my hair down was actually just what I needed so my plans changed a little and we all had a great time, no children required. (as you can see from the following pic!)

So you can see that it’s actually vitally important you either specify names, or make allowances for the fact that some may bring their children, some may not.
In either case, it’s important to be clear, especially if you are sending to a household that maybe has older children living there, there are all kinds of scenarios for that these days.

If you are specifically stating there will be no children, here are a couple of simple one-liners you can use:

‘Due to restrictions in numbers, children are not included on the invite
unless named’

‘Children are not invited to the whole day’

‘I am afraid it is a no kiddies event so please let your hair down, relax and celebrate by having a drink or 2, or 3…’

Evening reception.

It can be helpful to your guests to mention on your wedding invitation is what time the evening ‘do’ is likely to start.
This will help your guests but can also take up valuable space if you are struggling, in which case include it on the gift information or elsewhere within the invitation. And remember, when calculating how many invites you need, you only need evening invites for those not already invited to the day – see my 10 top tips here for more advice on that subject.

I realise there is a lot to consider here, and this is a much longer article than I had originally intended because there is so much to say – I haven’t even got started on other information to be included so I will do additional posts on those, to give you time to think about how you can make your wording work best for your special day.


I am always happy to help if you are trying to include something and don’t know how. Drop me a line if you have a quick query, or to find out more about my tea-room consultations where we can get all of this sorted for your big day.

I have also written some of the gift poems in my brochure so have a look for ideas there too – I am sure we can find something that will work perfectly for you. For now, I have LOTS of sparkles to be working on so I will scoot. Much love,