This should be as simple as possible. Generally, the invitation is sent from the bride's family and indicates from whom it is coming, who is marrying and their relationship to the person(s) sending the invitation. In addition to this, information should include the physical address of the ceremony and reception venues, date and time of ceremony, dress code, whether children are allowed, how replies are to be directed and the cut-off date. A card and envelope may be enclosed for guests to indicate whether or not they will be attending and, if accepting, the number in their party. Alternatively, a telephone number may be included for the reply. The invitation may also contain separate inserts indicating the store where the wedding gifts are registered, details regarding accommodation at the reception venue (if applicable), as well as a map if the venue is out of town.
While wording may differ according to circumstances or personal taste, the following is an example of a traditional wedding invitation:
Mr & Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
son of Mr & Mrs Alan Castle
at St Luke's Church,
on Saturday, 15 April 2000
at three o'clock
A note concerning the reception should be included:
Reception immediately following, at
Seaview Manor, Morningside
On a slightly less formal note, the invitation could read: John & Barbara Smith, would like to invite you to the marriage of, etc; or even: Louise Smith & Lawrence Castle, take great pleasure in inviting you to their wedding, etc.
Invitations issued by divorced parents, both of whom have not remarried, could read: Mrs Barbara Smith & Mr John Smith, etc. If the bride's parents have remarried but are hosting the wedding together, the invitation could read: Mr John Smith & Mrs Barbara Gordon, etc. If the mother of the bride is remarried and is inviting the guests in conjunction with the stepfather, the wording would be: Mr & Mrs Alistair Gordon ... at the marriage of their daughter, Louise Smith, etc. If the hosts are not immediate family, the invitation could read: Mr & Mrs Peter Parker ... at the marriage of their niece/god-daughter/cousin, Louise Smith, etc.
To facilitate a prompt response, enclose an addressed envelope with a reply card, such as:
I/We .......... will be able/unable to attend
Number of persons .............
As a courtesy, invitations should also be sent to the groom's parents and the person officiating at the ceremony