Invitation Wording for Tricky Circumstances

invitation wording for tricky circumstances


I've been designing invites for about 6 years+ and I still get some enquiries that have me thinking a little more than others. Everyone has so many different situations when it comes to families and friends.

Want to know the correct etiquette for wording your invites and make sure all guests are on the same page? Think no children, divorced parents, ceremony/reception only etc! Read on...

No Children
Simply saying "no children please" or "adults only event", can offend some but getting a little clever and subtle in your approach with wording correctly.

Getting Straight to the Point

Adults only
No Children
Adult wedding and reception
Strictly no children please
Adult only affair
Please respect our wishes for a child free reception
This invitation is extended to adults only

Sugar Coating it

-Please join us for an adult reception at six o’clock
-Although we love your little ones, this is an adult only affair
-Due to limited venue space, adults only please
-To give all our guests the opportunity to celebrate without having to worry about little eyes and ears, we politely request no children

Another tip is how you address your envelopes and word your rsvp cards...
invitation: address the invites to the adult names only.
rsvp: indicate the names or that you have reserved X number of seats for the guests replying

When guests are only invited to one part of your wedding
Generally and traditionally speaking guests who are invited to the ceremony should be invited also to the reception. But it doesn't have to apply the other way around, you can have a smaller ceremony and big reception.
Consider two separate invites for this situation. 
Sometimes people would rather invite more people to their reception, while keeping their actual wedding ceremony smaller.
This could be due to a small venue or just to keep the cost down by downsizing the venue.

Getting Straight to the Point

-We’re married! Please join (BRIDE) and (GROOM) for cocktails, dinner and dancing. And help us celebrate the happy occasion! On (Date) At (Location).”

Sugar Coating it
-“We are overjoyed to include you in our marriage ceremony and are thrilled that you can share in our joy. Due to budget and limited venue accommodations, we are unable to host all guests at the small reception that is planned. Thank you for be a part of our special day.”
-“(Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) will be married in a small ceremony on (Date of wedding). Please join us in celebration at their wedding reception (Date of Wedding) At (Time) in the (Time of Day) at (Location).”
-” Together with their parents (Bride) and (Groom) invite you to celebrate their union at a wedding reception following the ceremony. Join us for hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dessert and dancing at (Location) at (Time) on (Date).”

Be sure to print both a ceremony only invite, and a reception only invite. Another way to save money would be to make the reception invitation the main invite, and print an additional insert with the ceremony details to include in the envelopes of guests attending both the ceremony and the reception.

Only some members from one Family is Invited
If it is only the parents from a family with adult children, stating each name should be enough to get the message through. But here a few other ideas.

-Have all guests names printed on the invite
-Make sure your envelopes also have the names of the invitee's on it. 
- Indicate the names or that you have reserved X number of seats for the guests replying

Bride's Parents Divorced and Remarried

If the both parents are divorced and remarried, use the below example as a guide. List your mum and stepfather first, followed by your father and stepmother. In this situation, you will include your full name on the invitation, this way guests will know your last name.

In any case, only use the conjoining “and” for married couples–such as in “Mr. and Mrs.” Do not add an extra “and” to the second line.

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Black
Mr. and Mrs. Paula Walker
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter

Mia Isabel Walker
Peter John Smith

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Judd Smith

I hope this helps you get closer to wording your invites to suit you!
I'm sure there are many more situations not listed here, but I am always happy to guide you with the best wording for your invites.


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Up next...Most asked questions about Wedding Invites and Stationery


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