Wedding invitation wording and when to post them

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The wedding invitation list is traditionally drafted by the bride’s family.

Read some of our tips, and etiquette on writing and sending your wedding invitations here - and see our sample wording for a wedding invitation below.

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More Wedding advice on:

.Wedding Etiquette
.Wedding Invitations
.Wedding Flowers
.Wedding Favors
.Wedding Speeches
It's a domestic staff agency list (part #1)

The rule on the wedding invitation list is that it falls to the family of the bride to draw up the list but then to offer the groom’s family a 50-50 split. But it’s their call.

If one family is much larger than the other or that the friends of the bride far outweigh the friends of the groom a friendly compromise needs to be reached taking into account the space available and/or budget.

The invitations should be sent out up to 3 months before the wedding, but no less than 6 weeks, so the guests can free up their diary for the day (or trip if to get there involves a lot of travel).


If children are not included in the invitation it should be taken as read that they are not invited.

It seems a bit harsh but many bridal couples don’t like the idea of a group of young kids charging around or screaming during the service or reception. It’s their day after all so respect their wishes. If in doubt ask.

If you want to be very traditional an invitation should be sent to the groom’s parents, the presiding clergyman, rabbi or whatever and their wives if applicable.

It is often a good idea to include an itinerary of the day, a map and details of local hotels for those traveling from farther afield.

Also it is quite acceptable to invite family and close friends to both the ceremony and the reception and a larger group to the reception only. One should not take offence at only being invited to the post-wedding reception as this is most often down to the limitations of the venue in which the marriage is to take place.

Personally we here at the Bureau prefer to just be invited to the ‘knees-up’ after the vows have been taken!


For smaller weddings hand written invitations are to be encouraged but for the larger wedding a printed solution makes sense. Depending on budget you can choose from a simple printed card from a template at your local print shop to finding unique custom invitations from the internet. Handmade, gold-leafed you name it.

If you do decide to make your own invitations then don’t forget to delegate some, or all, of the workload to family members or friends that are involved in the organizing of the wedding.

Always remember to include the ‘essential’ information - here’s the layout and wording of a traditional wedding invitation:

Mr and Mrs John Smith and Miss Ellie Smith   [name of invitees, hand written]

Mr and Mrs Jones [Bride’s parents]
request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
Sharon Virginia
Mr Wayne McTrumpet
at St Patrick’s Church, Orlando
on Saturday the first of August
at two o’clock
and afterwards at
Willy’s Bar and Grill
Our House
The Lane
Plan your wedding
Amazing Wedding Planning

More wedding info pages

 Wedding Etiquette
 Wedding Invitations
.Wedding Flowers
.Wedding Favors
.Wedding Speeches