Wedding Invitation Wording

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Wedding Invitation Wording

Correct (or appropriate) wedding invitation wording is a bit of a stumbling block for most people. While at Cartamodello we're not sticklers for rules or traditions--and instead may encourage you to break the mould!--we've provided a quick breakdown of some of the bigger wording hurdles people face.

Dates and times

This really depends on whether you'd like to be more formal or relaxed in your delivery. Traditional etiquette guides (such as those composed by Emily Post) explain that the date, year and time must be written out in full.

Emily Post also makes the following notes regarding dates and times: 

  • The date is also spelled out, as is the year. 
  • Note that there is no "and": two thousand twenty-three. 
  • The day of the week and the month are capitalized; the year is not. 
  • Use the phrase "half after" when indicating time, rather than "half past" or "four-thirty." 
  • The phrases "in the afternoon" and "in the evening" are not necessary. 

Traditional

Saturday, the Twentieth of September
two thousand thirteen
at four o'clock

vs.

Modern

[Saturday,*] 20 September, 2013 [*optional]
4:00p.m.

or a less rules-y version of Ms. Post's suggestion

Saturday, twentieth of September
two thousand and thirteen
at four o'clock in the afternoon

We don't always follow Ms. Post's recommendations when designing our invitations. As lovely as tradition is, it can sometimes be a little stifling. However, we do strongly encourage you to avoid using a mix of digits and spelt-out numbers. It's nice to keep things ordered; typically if a date is written out in full, we believe the time should be also. Of course, we think the reverse is true, also: a date should be shortened to "24 September, 2013" if the time is going to be supplied as "4:00 p.m." This same consistency, we believe, should also be followed through any matching stationery.


Location details

Location details and addresses can also present a challenge, surprisingly! Here are a few key points to keep in mind when composing your copy:

  • Address details should be written out in full. Street suffixes shouldn't be abbreviated (i.e. St. becomes Street; Ave. becomes Avenue)
  • Postcodes and zip codes are not required on an invitation. These are only needed for delivering letters or items, not for people arriving at an address. They should be included if you're providing a delivery address for items to be sent to (e.g. response cards)
  • A street address should be provided for all venues unless it is extremely well known and unmissable! (Consider out-of-towners who might be using a GPS device)
  • The city and state should be included, and written out in full (i.e. LA becomes Los Angeles; NSW becomes New South Wales)
  • The state can be left out completely if ALL guests are from that state

Of course, there is still flexibility here! However a big one we really try to push (for lack of a better word!) is removing postcodes/zip codes. They're really not needed on invitations.