Need help with the wording on your wedding invitations? We are here to help! Below is a guide to help answer any questions that you may have. We will also personally help you with recommendations on where to purchase your invitations, and proper etiquette based on the specifics of your event!

Help – Most Common Mistakes on Wordings / Verses

  • ABBREVIATIONS
  • TIME
  • DATES
  • SYMBOLS
  • CAPITALIZATION
  • ZIP CODES
  • SPELLING
  • GRAMMAR
  • AND VS. TO
  • RESPOND DATE
  • CONSISTENCY
  • ADDITIONAL TIPS…

1. ABBREVIATIONS

To be socially correct, all words should be spelled out on invitations, accessory cards and envelopes.

Example

“Road” instead of “Rd.”

“Boulevard” instead of “Blvd.”

“Indiana” instead of “IN”

Exceptions

Honorifics may be abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Military Ranks, ETC.)

“St.” or Sts.” may be used for “saint” or “saints”

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.

2. TIME

Invitations require time to be spelled out, whereas numerals may be used on accessory 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

“Two-Thirty” instead of “Two Thirty”

“Two Forty-Five” instead of “Two Forty Five”

  • Time should always be followed by “in the morning”, “noon”, “in the afternoon”, “in the evening”, or “midnight”

12:01 AM – 11:59 AM is morning

12:00 PM is noon

12:01 PM – 5:59 PM is afternoon

6:00 PM – 11:59 PM is evening

12:00 AM is midnight

Accessory 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 substitute for time. The use of “immediately” and a time is redundant

Example

“Reception immediately following ceremony” is correct, whereas “Reception immediately following ceremony at six o’clock in the evening” in incorrect

3. DATES

On the accessory 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 preceded by the day of the week, spelled out
  • Day of the week and date should be separated by a comma
  • Year is printed on separate line and may be omitted, if desired
  • Month and year should not be separated by a comma

Example

On Saturday, the Fifth of June

Two thousand and four

Accessory Cards

If time is used on the accessory card, be consistent with the date. In other words, when spelling out the time, spell out the date. If you used numerical time, use a numerical date. If time is not used, any of the following formats are acceptable:

On Saturday, The Fifth of June

On Saturday, June 5, 2004

On Saturday, June 5th

June 5, 2004

4. SYMBOLS

We often see the use of symbols to represent words. This is increasingly popular, yet remains a social faux pas.

Example

“Mr. & Mrs.” instead of “Mr. and Mrs.”

5. CAPITALIZATION

Etiquette dictates the following protocol:

  • Names of people and places are always capitalized
  • “Corner”  as in “corner of Fifth and Main Streets” is not capitalized
  • When spelling out the year, capitalize the “T” in Two: Two thousand and eight
  • Sentences (or each new thought on an invitation) always begins with a capital letter

6. ZIP CODES

The do not belong on invitations or most accessory cards. They are appropriate on outer envelopes, R.S.V.P. envelopes, and at home cards.

7. SPELLING

Ask someone else to proofread your wording, paying close attention to proper nouns. Many common words are often misspelled, or misused.

Example

“night” is better than “nite”

should it be “to” or “too”

8. GRAMMAR

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

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

9. 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. John Jones

and

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith

Request the honor of your presence

At the marriage of the children

Mary Anne

and

Richard Allen

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. John Jones

Request the honor of your presence

At the marriage of their daughter

Mary Anne

to

Mr. Richard Allen Smith

10. RESPOND DATE

  • Respond date should be two to four weeks before the wedding date.
  • Respond date should always be before the wedding date. You would be surprised how many people get these two dates switched.

11. CONSISTENCY

  • Use the same ink color on your invitations and accessory cards.
  • Use the same typestyle on your invitations and accessory cards.
  • Use accessory cards that match your invitations.

12. ADDITIONAL TIPS

Make sure you have filled out all necessary information for every item. Make sure you have ordered enough. It is much cheaper to order a few extra initially than it is to order a few extra later. If your wedding date is more than six months away, it is considerate to send save the date cards six to twelve months before the wedding and invitations four to six weeks before the wedding.