Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Please help me with understanding proper wedding invitation etiquette. My parents are divorced, and of course both of them say their names should go first on the invitations. If you can, please tell me proper etiquette on how the wedding invitation should read. They are both driving me crazy. Also, my mom has remarried. According to wedding invitation etiquette, do I put my stepfather’s name on the invitation also, e.g. Mr. & Mrs., or just Mrs.? I appreciate any help you can offer, because I am stumped.

I think I’ve found your answer in Crane’s Blue Book of Stationery, long considered the last word on classic stationery etiquette. It reads:

“The bride’s parents may issue the wedding invitations jointly when they are divorced. The name of the bride’s mother appears on the first line followed by the name of the bride’s father.”

Wedding invitation etiquette dictates that the names do not have the word “and” between them, because that would indicate that they are still married. Most formally, it would be:

Mrs. [Your stepfather's name]
Mr. [Your father's name]
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
[yadda yadda yadda]

So that would seem to clear it up your question about wedding invitation etiquette . (Less formally, you can leave the titles off and your mother can be listed by her own first name.) However, the rules are different if your father has been out of your life for a long time and you were essentially raised by your stepfather. In that case, the invitations would read:

Mr. and Mrs. [Your stepfather's name]
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
[yadda yadda yadda]

Unfortunately, there isn’t a proper way for all three of them to be listed as the wedding hosts, according to proper wedding invitation etiquette. This periodically becomes a big bone of contention if all three of them are taking financial responsibility for the affair ­ the gentleman not listed on the invitation gets grouchy because he’s shelling out money without being credited. Dad or step-dad wants to make sure the guests know that, although he’s not officially acting as the host, it’s his money they’re partying with, at least in part. The consolation prize is that he gets to host the reception. In such a delicate case, your reception card can read:

Mr. [Father's name or stepfather's name; whomever got left over]
requests the pleasure of your company
at the marriage reception
["Immediately following the ceremony", or list a time]
[yadda yadda yadda]

This way everyone is represented by name, and your wedding invitation etiquette is still impeccable.

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