Traditional versus non-traditional wording for destination wedding invitations

Traditional vs. non-traditional wording for destination wedding invitations

california-coast-monterey-destination-weddingThe team at Invitations by R Squared is always thrilled to hear of any newly engaged couple. And we’re always excited to talk to new brides- and grooms-to-be about the choices they have in destination wedding stationery suites. With a huge diversity in couples also comes diversity in wedding paper, and a movement toward the non-traditional.

The first formal notice your family and friends is going to receive is your Save the Date card. Many couples get confused and frustrated with the process of seemingly infinite choices in wedding papers. They look at hundreds of Save the Date cards and destination wedding invitations, and many of them don’t fit with who the couples are. And who these couples are becoming more and more non-traditional all the time.

Traditionally, the iconic wedding invitations of all kinds are engraved in black ink onpuget-sound-washington-destination-wedding ivory or white stock, but more and more, modern couples are opting to take their destination wedding invitation in a contemporary direction. Couples are exploring the many ways to communicate their special event to the world, and that is a style statement. These days, it’s more about what the couples want, rather than what they “ought” to do.

While digitally mailed invitations and Save the Date cards are becoming more common, a huge consideration is the numbers of people, especially older family members, who are still not connected through the internet. Keepsake destination wedding stationery suites are still en vogue, with not just paper products. The team ferreted out invitations produced on wood or even fancy handkerchiefs. Quality papers, standout fonts and printing, and quirky-and-whimsical-miami-destination-weddinggold or metallic stamping are still a lot of couples’ first choices. Whimsical designs carrying quirky communication are pretty much the order of the day. Forward-thinking wedding paper designers, such as our fabulous Fran, will work with couples to help find exactly the right words and designs to make their destination wedding stationery suites memorable.

There hasn’t been much variation in the wording of wedding invitations for decades. Since the bride’s parents have traditionally paid for everything, the invites said that they requested the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter. These days, with divorce, blended families, nontraditional families, same-sex families and any and all of the above helping to pay for it, wedding invitation wording has gotten complicated!red-rocks-utah-destination-wedding

The wedding invitation sets the tone and indicates the level of formality of the event. If you’re hosting a classic and traditional event, the wording of the wedding invitations – whether it is a hometown wedding or a destination wedding – should follow these traditional guidelines.

Who is Hosting? The first names your guests will see on your wedding invitation are those of the people who are paying for the event.

The Request. The next line in a wedding invitation is the one that requests that your guests attend.

The Happy Couple. Etiquette says that the bride should be listed first, using first and middle names only. Then the groom should be listed, using both title and middle name.

wrigley-field-destination-weddingDate and Time. Traditionally, the Date and Time are spelled out.

The Location. If the ceremony is at a well-known location, you needn’t include the address. But for smaller locations, or your home, you’d want to write out the address.

Time for the Reception. Let your guests know there is going to be a party afterward. This can either be included on the wedding invitation or on a separate reply card. If you’re not serving a full meal, it is nice to let guests know.

A separate reception card is often good to use if the ceremony and reception are in different places, or the reception doesn’t immediately follow the ceremony.

Get Them to RSVP. Traditionally, R.S.V.P. was written on the invitation, and guests knew to reply on their own stationery. Now, most couples find that they get responses more promptly if they include a separate reply card and envelope. This can be mostly blank, allowing guests to write a note or it can be more detailedboho-chic-burning-man-destination-wedding.

Optional details. Optional details include telling your guests what to wear. Strictest etiquette tells you not to include information about attire on your invitation, but we find this is an outdated opinion. Guests appreciate clues about how to dress, especially if the event is a destination wedding, an outdoor wedding, or just about any event that is outside of a church, and are not as instinctively knowledgeable as they used to be. Some couples who wish not to have children at the reception may write “Adult reception”, which is more polite than writing “No Children”.

Below are some common situations, and the appropriate wedding invitation wording for each. Keep in mind that you can adapt this language to suit your event. Modern couples may choose to add opening statements such as “With Joy in Their Hearts,” or may choose to change the traditional “request the honor of your presence at the marriage” to something like “invite you to be a special part of the wedding of” or even “Come laugh, dance, dine, and celebrate our wedding”.

Standard Traditional Wedding Invitation Wording:
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Myers
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Anne Catherine
Megan Marie Johnson
at the Newport Beach Club
Saturday, the Seventeenth of June
Eight o’clock in the evening

When the couple are paying for the wedding themselves, an example might be:

You are cordially invited to celebrate
the wedding of
Anne Catherine Myers
Julia Elizabeth Johnson


Together with their parents,
Anne Catherine Myers
Julia Elizabeth Johnson
request the honor of your presence

carribbean-destination-weddingIf you are having a non-traditional wedding, there’s no reason to use traditional wedding invitation wording. While you should still make sure to include all the details of who, when (time and date), what, and where, you can then use your creativity to make sure your wedding invitation wording reflects you and your fiancé’s personality as well as accurately depicts the wedding itself. Use these wedding invitation wording samples as a guide.


Sample Wedding Invitation Wording for a Romantic Wedding

Please join us
For a celebration of love, friendship, laughter, and family
Michael Andrew Ramos
Thomas Antoine Johnson
Join their hands in matrimony
Saturday, June 6, 2015
8 o’clock in the evening
St. Luke’s Church
Martinsberg, Virginia
Champagne and dessert reception to follow

Sample Wedding Invitation Wording for a Theme Wedding

Come Fly With Us!
Please Join
Louisa Kelly Brankowich
Marcos Andreas Polinopolis
As we take the trip of a lifetime
In getting married
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Lyndon Airport, Hangar B
Reception to follow

Trying to figure out how to word an invitation to a second wedding can be tricky. Chinatown-in-new-york-destination-weddingShould use the bride’s full name, including the last name of her previous husband? The answer is to use her legal name and/or the name she is known by. However, she may want to include her family surname so as to clarify relationships.

Second Wedding Wording Options:

Please join us
As we celebrate new beginnings, new dreams, and most importantly, new love
at the marriage of
Jonathan Alex Becker
Morton Peter Darby
Saturday, April 11, 2015
5 o’clock in the afternoon
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Rose Garden
Dinner and dancing to follow


With joy in our hearts, we,
Ramona Lee
Steven Ang
Request the honor of your presence
As we exchange marriage vows
and celebrate our new life together
Saturday, September 5, 2015

Or even something like this:

While not necessary, you may want to include your children particularly if you will have a part of the ceremony devoted to them.

Please join
Janet Ana Pamilla
Matthew Aiden Day
as they exchange marriage vows
and together with their son, Quinn, celebrate their family

Please join us
At a celebration
Of the marriage of
Linda Rodriguez Winters
Gunther Ryder Marquez
The family of
Linda, Gunther, Jacob and Elise
Saturday, June 13, 2015

celtic-influenced-destination-wedding-in-the-scottish-highlandsIt is becoming more common for a couple who eloped or had a destination wedding to have a reception later in their hometown. Be careful in the phrasing – don’t make it look like there was a local wedding to which they weren’t invited, or that you only want more gifts.




Sample Wedding Invitation Wording to Reception Only
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Fielding
Invite you to join us
In celebrating the recent marriage of our daughter
Alice Pearson Fielding
Arjun Gangadharan
Which took place March 25, 2015 in Dubai, India

Come toast the happy couple
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Grovers Country Club
Plano, Texas


Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Fielding
Invite you to join them for a dinner honoring
Mr. and Mrs. Arjun and Alice Fielding Gangadharan
Saturday, June 6, 2015

This example makes it clear that their daughter is married, yet doesn’t make it look family-style-wedding-feast-at-a-new-england-destination-weddinglike a second wedding, thus gifts are not expected.

You should also think about your RSVP card wording, and perhaps have a humorous response card to make your guests smile.

Whatever your situation, be it a casual event, an exotic destination wedding, a non-traditional venue, or the inclusion of children, be sure that the invitation reflects both your personality and the level of formality of the wedding. Use these invitation wording samples as a jumping-off point, and tailor them to fit your event. As long as you speak from the heart, it will be beautiful.

We’re here to help! If you’re just starting the decision making process, or if you’ve lovely-lesbian-couple-at-their-50s-inspired-las-vegas-destination-weddinglooked at so many destination wedding suites already that you feel your brain might explode, get in touch with us. We can make this process a lot more seamless, and a lot more painless. The team has assembled some fantastic inspiration boards at Pinterest, and we urge you to check that out right here. Also, head on over to the shop and take a peek at some really awesome destination wedding stationery suites.


In the meantime, allow us to wish you the warmest wishes and congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding!


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