Anatomy of your Wedding Invitations

Like so many aspects of planning your wedding, writing the text that will appear on your wedding invitation is all about figuring out the proper rules. There is also an etiquette and certain ideas built on traditions that can make things even more confusing. If you are planning a same-sex wedding, the wedding invitation format will be different. I suggest to wedding couples I work with, “stick with your gut and the reality of your relationship”. The truth is the “etiquette and rules” are almost exactly the same for every couple, gay or straight and you can really make them your own. In most cases invitations fit into 3 categories: formal, classic and playful. My personal favorites are the playful ones!

Whether you are a traditionalist or of a creative mind, and you are spending the time and money to personalize your invitations, you should take that time to do exactly what you want, perhaps by setting all the rules aside. Most importantly, remember that your wedding invite will have some basic information that you must include so don’t let it become overly complicated. Use the four W’s: Who, What, Where and When are all “must haves” on your wedding invitations.

Below are ways to break down the anatomy of your wedding invitations.  This will help you decide what to use for text in more manageable segments.

HOST LINE: Who’s hosting? Traditionally it is the bride’s parents who host the wedding, however this isn’t always the case. In many situations, couples are splitting the bill or in the case of a gay couple a “bride’s side” wouldn’t make sense. It is good to recognize which parents are contributing and to give all credit as hosts of the wedding. Take a little time to figure out who is involved and what makes the most sense.


NAMES: This is one of the easiest parts of an invite. There are only a few options and some are just a bit more formal than others.  Make your choice based on the overall vibe of the wedding for the best fit that matches your relationship or how you are best known by your friends and family.


ACTION LINE: This is where you invite people to share in your event. It should be supportive to your host line and in the same style (formal, classic, playful) so the overall vibe is consistent.


INFORMATION: This is the one place on your invitation where you have to stick to the basics and not use alternative options. You do not want to create any confusion about time, date or location as you may risk your guests not getting to the right place at the right time. There are ways however to dress it up or down.


PARTY LINE/CLOSURE: This is the last line on the invite and the last place you can hint at the fun you’re planning or refer to something special you might be doing at your celebration.  It wraps everything up in a nice little bow and leaves your guests rushing to return their RSVP to celebrate with you on your special day.

Looking for more etiquette and wording advice? I'm happy to help, please contact me for more information or to set up a time to meet and discuss your custom wedding invitation design!