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Wedding Wording Tips + Etiquette

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Honour vs. Pleasure
The phrase “request the honour of your presence" is traditionally used for a ceremony taking place in a place of worship (church, synagogue, etc), while the phrase “Request the pleasure of your company" is usually used for a ceremony taking place in a non-religious location.
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Favor vs. Favour
This applies to US customers:
Either spelling can be used, just be sure to be consistent with your usage. If you use the word honour on the invitation (...request the honour of your presence), use favour on the RSVP (The favour of a reply is requested...). If you use honor on the invitation, use favor on the RSVP.

Traditionally the formal, British spelling with the "u" is preferred in proper wedding etiquette but whichever form you choose, use it in both words.
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Catholic Ceremonies
For a Roman Catholic wedding, the phrase “at the marriage of" may be expanded to “at the marriage in Christ of." If the wedding ceremony will include a Mass, the phrase “your presence at the Nuptial (High) Mass" may be added.
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Writing Numbers
Numbers in the date and time should be spelled out on the wedding invitation, for example:

Saturday, the twenty-first of June
two thousand and fourteen
at four o'clock in the afternoon

- NOT -

Saturday, June 21 2014

However, numerals may be used for street addresses. For example:
1345 Piedmont Avenue Northeast
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Punctuation is not used at the ends of lines (commas, periods, colons, etc.) on the wedding invitation. However, there are circumstances when commas should be used.


Commas are used within lines to separate the day from the date. For example:
Saturday, the twenty-first of June

Commas are used within lines to separate the city from the state. For example:
Atlanta, Georgia

Commas are used within lines to separate a man's surname from "Jr./junior/II/III", etc. For example:
Mr. Mark Jones, III
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Writing The Time
Since the abbreviations "a.m." and "p.m." should not be used, the phrases "in the morning" or "in the evening" should be used (if it's likely there would be confusion). For example: at six o'clock in the evening

The proper reference to a half hour is "half after," not "half past." So 7:30 would be written as: half after seven o'clock

Quarter hours are not typically used on a wedding invitation

Traditionally, times between 12 noon and 5:30 pm are considered the afternoon. 6:00 pm or later is considered the evening.
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Writing The Date
When writing the date, all days and numbers should be spelled out. The day is written first, then the date and month. The year is written on the following line on the wedding invitation. For example:

Saturday, the first of September
two thousand and twelve

When writing the year, the tradition is to use the British wording (for example: two thousand and twelve) but it is also acceptable to use the American wording (for example: two thousand twelve).
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Including Addresses on the Invitation
When listing the ceremony address, only the street address, city and state should be listed. The zip code (or postal code) should not be listed on the invitation.

Also be sure to spell out all words, (Street, Drive, etc.) as well as the state (or provence). For example:

Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia

- NOT -

Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

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Abbreviations should not be used on the wedding invitation.

Either spell out the full name or omit the abbreviation completely. For example:
Mark Taylor Richards or Mark Richards would be used instead of Mark T. Richards.

Doctor should be spelled out, rather than using Dr.

Military titles should aslo be spelled out. For example, use Lieutenant instead of Lt.

Reverend would be used instead of Rev.

Many etiquette specialists prefer that junior be spelled out, instead of using Jr. When it is spelled out, the "j" is not capitalized.

The one exception to the abbreviation rule is Mr. and Mrs. Those abbreviations are perfectly acceptable.

Post Office Box should be used instaed of P.O. Box
Northeast instead of N.E.
Road instead of Rd.
Street instead of St.
Avenue instead of Ave.
Court instead of Ct.
...and so on.
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Only those words that would normally be capitalized in a sentence (proper nouns) should be capitalized on the invitation. For example, people's names, the day of the week, month, the name of a place, etc).

Also, every new line on the invitation does not need to be capitalized. Only beginning of a new "sentence" or thought would be capitalized. For example:

Mr. and Mrs. Terrance Mohler
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Faith Annette
Eric Gordon King
Saturday, the fourth of April
two thousand and nine
at five o'clock in the afternoon
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia
Reception immediately following
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No Children
It is considered socially incorrect to write, "no children please" on the invitation or any part of the wedding ensemble.

A more appropriate (although some think still questionable) way to address this is to include a separate reception card in your invitation suite which includes the reception details (location, address, time). The last line of that card can state "Adult Only Reception".

Ideally, if you would prefer no children at the reception it is best to share that information word of mouth before the wedding via family members or members of the bridal party.
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Black Tie
"Black tie" does not traditionally appear on the invitation. If the event takes place after six o'clock, your guests should assume that it is a formal event. However, if you are concerned, you can write "Black tie" as a footnote on your reception card. Please note: the "B" in "Black tie" is capitalized, but not the "t."
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Mentioning Gifts
It is considered extremely socially incorrect (and let's face it, down right tacky) to make any mention of gifts on wedding invitations or in any part of your invitation suite, based on the theory that we should expect nothing from our friends except their presence.

Never list where you are registered, the name of a charity for donations or your desire for money rather than gifts. It is best to share this information word of mouth via family members or members of the bridal party.

The most appropriate place to include registry information is on (or with) the bridal shower invitations. This is more socially acceptable because the primary purpose of a bridal shower is to give gifts so registry information would be necessary. Also, bridal showers are usually held in the bride (or couple's) honour by a third party so it's more acceptable for someone else to request gifts on your behalf.
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Including Reception Information
If you are not using reception cards, you may include the reception information on the last line of the invitation. For example:

Reception immediately following
- or -
Reception to follow
- or -
and afterwards at the reception

These phrases indicate that the reception will be held at the same place as the wedding. If the reception will be held at another location, the reception information would be included on a separate Enclosure Card.
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Using R.s.v.p.
R.s.v.p. is an abbreviation for the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît which means "please respond". Technically, only the "R" in R.s.v.p. is capitalized.

Since the sentence means "please respond", there's no need to say "Please R.s.v.p." as it would be redundant.
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