Wedding Invitation Wording Examples for No Children, Divorced Parents and Other Tricky Scenarios

 
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A top FAQ from my clients? You want etiquette-approved wedding invitation wording examples for no children, divorced parents, and other tricky scenarios. I hear ya–so today’s post is just for you, friend!

Figuring out wedding invitation wording is no easy task, on top of the fact that you might have a delicate situation to navigate through.

And let me just give you a bit of #truth–I do this EVERY day and there are STILL new wording questions that pop up.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to walk all of my clients through it, and, today, I am going to help you do the same.

Why? Because wordsmithing your way to the perfect invitation shouldn’t be complicated.

I was in your shoes six years ago, staring at a blank cursor on the computer screen with an old etiquette book in hand. What are these things supposed to say? I thought, as I designed my own wedding invitations. (This is one reason why it’s best to hire a pro for these things, but hindsight is 20/20, y’all.)

My mom, husband and I all contributed financially, with my husband paying the majority. My parents are divorced. His father has passed. With so many moving parts, I had no idea who the wedding hosts were, how to honor his father, or how to include both of my parents (father remarried) on the invitation. (“Together with their families” anyone?)

Now… I know exactly what I would have done six years ago.

And I’m going to tell you all the things I wish I would have known then. Because the next best thing to hiring a wedding stationery pro is getting free advice from one with six years of industry experience in her back pocket and Crane & Co.’s Wedding Blue Book at her fingertips.

Today, I’ll walk through how to carefully craft wedding invitation wording for delicate situations like:

  • No children

  • Divorced parents

  • Deceased parents

  • Couple hosting

  • Both parents hosting

  • Everyone hosting

Let’s get started, shall we?












    Wedding Invitation Wording: No Children

    This one’s a bit of a doozy because most couples want to make it crystal clear that their wedding is adults-only. However, adding “adults-only” or “no children” on your invitation or response card can come across as rude. There are, of course, a few clever workarounds to this.


    double envelopes

    You can use double envelopes to make it clear who is invited, and who is not. This means, you’ll have an outer envelope address to the parents, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. And you’ll have an inner envelope addressed using the first names of all invited guests, i.e. John and Sarah.

    Outer Envelope Addressed to the parents:

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

    Inner Envelope Addresses to all invited guests in the household:

    John and Sarah

    or

    Mr. and Mrs. Smith

    If you aren’t keen on sending double envelopes–no worries! Simply address the outer envelope to the parents only, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. You can even get a bit more technical by adding in first names, such as Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Sarah Smith.

    Keep in mind, if only using one envelope, names and addresses should be written formally rather than informal.


    rsvp card wording

    Optionally, you can add line on your RSVP card that notates how many seats are reserved for each household. With this option, you write in the appropriate number on each card.

    RSVP Card Wording:

    Kindly reply by the twenty-third of May
    We have reserved _ seat(s) in your honor.


    wedding website card

    A wedding website is a great place to notate that your wedding is an adults-only affair. Include a website card with your invitation suite so you can direct guests to the finer details of your event.

    Wedding Invitation Wording: Divorced Parents

    This delicate situation actually has a pretty simple fix. If your parents or the groom’s parents are divorced, the mother and father’s names are written on separate lines with no conjoining “and”. The mother is always listed first. Either Ms. or Mrs. can be used, but personally I think using “Ms.” will eliminate any confusion.

    If you plan to add the groom’s parents’ names on your invitation, the same rules used below apply.

    Divorced parents who are not remarried, woman kept her married name:

    Ms. Sarah Smith
    Mr. John Smith

    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their daughter

    Divorced parents who are not remarried, woman uses maiden name:
    Since the mother and father now have different last names, it is appropriate to include the bride’s last name to prevent confusion.

    Ms. Sarah Jones
    Mr. John Smith

    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their daughter

    Avery June Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Divorced parents, woman remarried:
    Since the mother is remarried with a different last name, it is appropriate to include the bride’s last name to prevent confusion.

    Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
    Mr. John Smith

    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their daughter

    Avery June Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Divorced parents, both parents remarried:
    Since both parents are remarried, it is appropriate to include the bride’s last name to prevent confusion.

    Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their daughter

    Avery June Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    No matter the scenario, just remember there is no “and” between the names. The “and” is super important to omit, y’all! “And” signifies marriage and is only used to unite married couples. For example, “and” is used between a husband and wife’s name if they have different last name, like when a married woman chooses to keep her maiden name.

    Wedding Invitation Wording: Deceased Parent

    Including a deceased parent on your invitation is a beautiful and sentimental way to honor them. My husband’s father passed before we were married, and I really wish I would have known how to honor him in our invitations. If you have a similar situation, here are some wording options.

    If you plan to add the groom’s parents’ names on your invitation, the same rules used below apply.

    Father deceased, mother not remarried:

    Mrs. Sarah Smith
    requests the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of her daughter

    Avery June
    daughter of the late Mr. John Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Father deceased, mother is remarried:
    Since the mother is remarried and now has a different last name than her daughter, it is appropriate to include the bride’s last name.

    Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
    requests the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of her daughter

    Avery June Smith
    daughter of the late Mr. John Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Mother deceased, father not remarried:

    Mr. John Smith
    requests the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of his daughter

    Avery June
    daughter of the late Mrs. Sarah Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Mother deceased, father is remarried:

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
    requests the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of his daughter

    Avery June
    daughter of the late Mrs. Sarah Smith

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Wedding Invitation Wording: Couple Hosting

    Are you and your fiancé hosting the big day? No worries! Wedding invitation wording for a couple hosting is pretty simple–you just need to make a few adjustments to the layout of your invitation.

    Instead of beginning with your parents’ names, the invitation starts with the bride and groom’s names. The bride is always listed first. Use full names (or at the very least, first and last names) of the bride and groom.

    Couple hosting both ceremony and reception, formal:

    Avery June Smith

    and

    Michael Alan Timmons

    request the pleasure of your company
    at their wedding

    Parents host ceremony, couple hosts reception:
    Include a separate reception card that indicates the couple is hosting the reception.

    Invitation Wording:

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the marriage of their daughter

    Avery June

    to

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Reception Card Wording:

    Avery

    and

    Michael

    request the pleasure of your company
    at their reception

    Wedding Invitation Wording: Both Parents Hosting

    If the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents are contributing financially to the event, be sure to include both parents’ names on the host lines. The bride’s parents’ names come first.

    If either couple has divorced parents or deceased parents, the same rules from above apply. Include the last names of both bride and groom to prevent confusion.

    Both parents’ hosting, both parents married:

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
    together with
    Mr. and Mrs. Alan Timmons
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their children

    Avery June Smith

    and

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Both parents’ hosting, bride’s parents divorced:

    Ms. Sarah Smith
    Mr. John Smith
    together with
    Mr. and Mrs. Alan Timmons
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their children

    Avery June Smith

    and

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Both parents’ hosting, bride’s parents divorced and mother remarried:

    Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
    Mr. John Smith
    together with
    Mr. and Mrs. Alan Timmons
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their children

    Avery June Smith

    and

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Both parents’ hosting, bride’s father deceased and mother is not remarried:

    Mrs. Sarah Smith
    together with
    Mr. and Mrs. Alan Timmons
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding of their children

    Avery June Smith
    daughter of the late Mr. John Smith

    and

    Michael Alan Timmons

    Wedding Invitation Wording: Everyone Hosting

    Are the bride’s parents, groom’s parents and you and your fiancé hosting the big day? Here’s one of my all time favorite invitation wording samples. Plus, this option also works as an alternative to some of those tricky wording scenarios above.

    Everyone hosting:

    Together with their families

    Avery June Smith

    and

    Michael Alan Timmons


    Hopefully, this gets you a little closer to crafting the perfect invitation! Needless to say, wedding invitation wording can be overwhelming. Need a fuss-free way to keep it all together? My Formal Invitation Wording Guide is filled with plug-and-play wording samples, etiquette tips, and so much more.

    Rest assured, you’ll be well on your way to flawless invitations–without feeling overwhelmed.

    Sign up to get all the need-to-know details, and I’ll see ya on the other side!