23 Comments

  1. polite punk

    I recently attended a wonderful wedding where both the bride and groom’s parents had divorced and remarried. The invitation simply read:

    Together with their families,
    Jane Doe and John Smith (the bride and groom)
    request the honour of your presence….

    I liked it a lot.

  2. Omega Leslie

    Hi, I have read through Emily Post’s Etiquette and Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, and I am confused as to how I should word a formal invitation. Also, newer online posts write the year as two thousand eleven, but in the books I have, it is written two thousand and eleven. Which is the correct way to write the year? Here is my scenario: bride’s parents hosting entire wedding, all guests are invited to both ceremony and reception, and we would like to use “Most Formal” method of wording (name of recipient written by hand), so do we combine the “Most Formal” format with the format of “when guests are invited to ceremony and to reception?” Is this correct:
    Mr. and Mrs. Reid William Coleman
    request the honour of
    ….hand write name of guest here…
    presence at the marriage of their daughter
    Laura Jeanne
    to Mr. Patrick Desmond Whelan
    Saturday, the twenty-eighth of May
    two thousand and ten
    at half after seven o’clock
    St. John’s Church
    Rehoboth, Massachusetts
    and afterward at the reception
    Lake Shore Club

    The favour of a reply is requested
    23 Soundview Avenue
    River Oaks, Massachusetts 60603

    I will greatly appreciate a specific response to this as it is confusing with a combination of scenarios. Thanks so much!

  3. laurie

    i actually have the same question since, as noted above, emily post online advice differs from the emily post advice in the hardback copy of emily post’s wedding etiquette by peggy post, (pg. 113-5). why is there competing advice advice from the same source?

  4. erin

    I also have a wording question for my formal invitation. My parents are divorced and hosting my wedding together. I know the rule is that the mother’s name is first, followed by the father. Does this change if he is a Doctor? Does my mother still get listed first like this:

    Mrs. Sally Taylor Smith and Doctor Steven S. Smith???

    If they are listed this way and I plan to list my fiance’s parents on the invitation under his name, do I still put “Mr. and Mrs. Scott Wallace?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Alicia

      “And” in invite wording means married so your parents would be
      Mrs Sally Smith
      Doctor Steven Smith
      his parents (assuming married still )
      Mr and Mrs Scott Wallace
      or
      Mrs Jane Wallace and Mr Scott Wallace

  5. Dorothy

    On emilypost.com, it indicates for wedding invitation wording that the year be spelled out with no “and” (i.e., two thousand thirteen). However, in the Fifth Edition “Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette” book by Peggy Post, examples of wedding invitation wording include the word “and” (i.e., two thousand and ten) as indicated on page 119. Which is actually correct?

  6. gail murray

    My daughter is getting married and I am hosting her formal wedding. We are looking for the proper way to word the invitation. I have a partner of 5 years so do not know whether to use my name or my deceased husband’s name. Please advise.
    Thank you.

    • Elizabeth

      You should use your partner’s name. The names on the invitations are the hosts of the wedding, and a deceased person cannot host. You can include a remembrance of him in the program.

      Edit: it just occurred to me that some invitation styles read: “Please join us for the marriage of Bride, daughter of Mom and Dad, to Groom, son of Mom and Dad…”

      It would be better if you used a different wording, like: “Mom and Partner cordially invite you to celebrate the marriage of Bride and Groom…”

      Whoever does your invitations should be able to suggest wording that is suitable for your situation. Wedding invitation websites are also bursting with options. You just want to avoid the first version I mentioned, because your daughter is obviously not the daughter of your partner.

  7. Dawn

    If the parents of the bride have divorced and haven’t remarried, but both are hosting the wedding, should the mother’s name be as follows:
    Ms. Pamela Dickson
    and
    Mr. Chuck Dickson
    or should it read:
    Mrs. Pamela Dickson (although she isn’t married)
    and
    Mr. Chuck Dickson
    The second option makes it appear that the parents are still married.
    Thank you.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      The Ms. option is correct. Mrs. means “wife of” so it is only correctly used with a woman’s spouse’s name, e.g. Mrs. John Doe, not Mrs. Jane Doe. It is never correctly used with divorced women who have not remarried.

  8. Lara

    Hi, I understand how you write your parents names on the invitations, but after the bride and grooms names what do you write? We are getting married at st joesphs church at 2pm and reception at 7pm at villa Barone in mahopac ny.

  9. Sarah

    Hi,
    I’m trying to figure out how to word our wedding invitation. My parents and the Groom’s father & step mother are helping to pay for the wedding, so I would like to include them all on the invitation. The situation get’s a little tricky because the groom’s parents were divorced when his mom passed away and his dad is remarried. The groom doesn’t want to leave his late mother off the invitation either. I am considering the wording “Together With Our Parents”, but prefer the more traditional route with our parents names on the actual invitaion since they are funding the big day. Help please!!

    • Elizabeth

      A deceased person cannot issue an invitation. It is understandable that your fiance wants to include his mother in some way, but the invitation is not the place to do it. The living people who are helping to host the wedding should be listed by name. You can include his late mother with some text on the wedding program, and there can also be a part of the ceremony or a part of the toasts where she is mentioned. She should not be listed on the invitation.

  10. Deb

    on a wedding procession card the mother of the bride and her new husband are walking down together. We can’t write mother of the bride as a title. do you have any suggestions? we don’t like escorted by. Also the Father of the Bride is walking with his girlfriend ….any suggestions for that title?

    • Alicia

      How about just doing
      Order of procession
      Mr John Smith, father of bride and Miss Sarah Jones
      Mrs Jane Simpson, mother of bride and Mr Edward Simpson

      Skip titles for the non biological parents.

  11. Jessica

    What is the proper way to list both sides of the families on an invitation, if the Bride’s parents were never married (i.e.: Ms. Susan Smith and Mr. Thomas Jones) and the Bride’s father would like for his longtime partner (a widow) (Mrs. Kathleen Johnson) to be listed on the invitation. The Groom’s parents would also like to be listed, and are married, but his mother has kept her maiden name (Ms. Pamela Blue and Mr. Timothy Green)? The wedding is primarily being hosted by the couple, with some help from their parents. The parents have requested to be listed on the invitation.

  12. Kathy

    My daughter’s fiance’ has his biological mother but father is deceased. He does not particularly want to have his mother or step-father’s name on the Wedding invitation, as neither are hosting the Wedding. Instead, he prefers to have Bride’s parents names on the invitation and then, “the Lachney Family” (Lachney is his last name) would like to invite you to the marriage of…………… Would this be proper, or do you have any other suggestion?

    • Elizabeth

      I think it would look odd to list bride’s parents by name but then refer to groom’s family differently. The mother and step-father do not necessarily have to contribute financially in order to be listed as hosts. It would be most generous (emotionally, or whathaveyou) to simply list brides and groom’s parents in the same manner. But there are certainly other options. The most “traditional” wedding invitations do not actually list the groom’s parents at all. Usually, it was “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe invite you to the wedding of their daughter Jane Doe to Mr. Brad Smith.” (To this, you could add, “son of Sue and Justin Smith.” – this would list their names but without implying hosting duties.)

      The couple could also go the route of issuing the invitation in their own names: John Doe and Jane Smith (optional: with their parents) request the honor or your presence at their wedding…”

  13. Amanda

    My parents are divorced but both remarried, I am having a difficult time finding a solution to make everyone happy.. I know the proper way is to list my mother and her husband followed by my father and his wife but my father does not want my stepfather ahead of his name. I suggested “together with our families” and they do not like that solution either. Would it sound completely improper and rude to stepparents if I said my mother and fathers name and said “along with their spouses”?

    HELP!

    • Elizabeth

      Your parents (especially father) are being unreasonable and putting undue pressure on you. I can imagine that if you propose to put your father and his new wife first, then your mother would protest. I would have a come-to-diety moment with whoever is making things difficult. I think your idea of “together with their spouses” is not ideal, because your stepparents will rightly feel slighted, especially if they are contributing financially.

      Talk it over with your fiance, decide what the two of you really want to do, and present it as fait accompli, a done deal. I think you have a lot of justification in following tradition. You can let your dad know that this is your wedding, it’s about the beginning of a long and happy relationship, and his attitude is very negative and he’s making it all about him. You can say, “We decided to go the traditional route. Please understand that this isn’t about you. I understand that you don’t like it, but do you want me to spend my engagement worrying about this insignificant detail or actually enjoying the process?” or “Since everyone was making such a fuss, we decided to leave your names off altogether.” They are really putting you between a rock and a hard place, and that’s not fair to you.

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