Understanding Wedding Stationery Etiquette

Disclaimer: Not all couples will choose to use traditional wedding etiquette for their stationery and that’s okay!

One of the questionnaires we send to our clients involves a closer look at several items. These include whether the event is religious or non-religious, who is hosting, and if the parents of the groom and bride are married or divorced. This helps us understand how we should structure your invitations, down to the line. 

In the US, it is typical for the bride’s family to host and the bride’s parents names to be listed on the invitations. However, if the groom’s family plans to host the event entirely (without the bride’s family involved), it is proper etiquette to place the groom’s parents’ names in the first line of the invitation or directly underneath the groom’s name. There’s an additional etiquette formula we use to outline this on the invitation, but usually that part isn’t often included. 

It is customary for the bride’s name to be listed first, corresponding with her parents. Her father’s name is included in full and his wife (usually her biological mother) is mentioned only as “Mrs” (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon Reed). If the bride’s last name is different from her parents (sometimes this happens if someone is remarrying), then her name should be fully spelled out on the invitation. 

For reference, here’s an example of what the first part of the invitation traditionally looks like:

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon Reed request the hono(u)r of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Katherine Marie 


Alexander Smith 

It’s important to note that honor spelled with a “u” means that a couple will be married in a church. A reply card with “the favour of your reply” is used to match the “u” in honour on the invitation. “Daughter” is changed to “children” if both groups of parents are listed at the top. 

The date and time are also listed formally on the invitation and are spelled out to their fullest. For example, if a couple is getting married October 16th 2021, the correct day will look like: Saturday, the Sixteenth of October Two Thousand Twenty-One. Likewise, if the couple is getting married at 3:30PM, the time would look as follows: At Half Past Three in the Afternoon. The next section would include where the wedding is taking place, which includes the venue and the city and state, written out in full. 

A formal wedding includes dress code options such as morning dress or black/white tie. This can be listed on the details card or at the bottom of the invitation. 

Of course, there are more details to wedding stationery etiquette, but this is a basic outline of the traditional wording that aligns with industry standards. As always, if you have any additional questions, please reach out! 

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