additional wording tips & guidelines
date & time
- Traditionally, the date and time should be spelled out in full. For example, if your ceremony is on September 15, 2021, at 4:30 p.m., the wording should read, “Saturday, the fifteenth of September, two thousand twenty-one, at half after four in the afternoon.”
- The day of the week and the month should be capitalized. The year should be lowercase.
- There is no "and" when spelling out the year.
- Time of day should be spelled out as "four o'clock" or "half after four o'clock." Note that "half after" is the most traditional way to indicate time. However, less formal invitations can use “half past four o'clock” or “four-thirty.”
- Evening begins at five o’clock, otherwise it is considered afternoon from noon until four o’clock.
- It's important to note that these formal date and time rules are frequently broken in more modern invitation designs, where the date and time are listed using numerals; using numerals is also preferred for more informal weddings.
- List the ceremony venue as follows: “Venue Name” on one line with “City, State” on the following line; for formal weddings, the state name is usually spelled out (instead of abbreviations).
- The venue’s street address is traditionally not included (although you may decide to list it) unless it is a private residence.
- Zip codes are not usually included.
This line lets your guests know what’s happening after the ceremony so they know what to expect.
- If the reception will be at the same location as the ceremony, you can simply say, “Reception to follow” or “Dinner and dancing to follow.”
- If the reception is at a different location, you can list the venue on the following line, or you may decide to include a separate insert card (called a reception card) inviting guests to the reception, with the venue’s full address.
- If you’re not serving a full meal, this would be a great place to let guests know by saying something like, “Cake, punch, and merriment to follow” or "Join us after the ceremony for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and dancing."
- You can also use this line to get creative and set the tone for the reception with something like, “Join us for an intimate dinner following…” or "Drinks, dancing, and shenanigans to follow."
Including a line about the wedding's dress code is optional but can be helpful for guests; however, if your wedding is black tie, you must include that on the invitation. If you don't include dress code information on the invitation, then guests will infer attire details based on the formality of the wedding invitation itself (i.e., if the invitation is very fancy, guests will likely anticipate a formal affair).
- Black Tie: Formal Gowns for ladies & Tuxedos for men.
- Formal Attire or Black Tie Optional: floor length dress or evening pant suit for ladies & dark suit or tux for men.
- Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual: cocktail dress for ladies & suit and tie or sport coat for men.
- Beach Formal: formal summer dress for ladies & summer suit with linen short for men.
Typically you don't print your wedding website on the wedding invitation; rather, you should list it on one of the accompanying cards (like a reception card or additional information card). It's also a good idea to have already printed your wedding website URL on your save the date card.