How to Include Parents on Wedding Invitations: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the intricate details of etiquette. From choosing the right attire to deciding who gets invited to certain events, the considerations can seem endless. One...

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the intricate details of etiquette. From choosing the right attire to deciding who gets invited to certain events, the considerations can seem endless. One aspect that often raises questions is how to include parents on the wedding invitation. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed guide on how to navigate this tradition while also offering additional tips and insights to make your wedding invitations truly special.

Understanding the Traditional Wedding Invitation Structure

Traditionally, the names of the bride's parents appear first on the wedding invitation. This custom stems from the historical practice of the bride's family shouldering the wedding expenses. For example, a traditional wording would be:

"Mr. and Mrs. Anderson request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Miley Rose, to Eric Liu, son of Mr. and Mrs. Liu...."

Although times have changed, this structure of wedding invitation wording remains popular.

Knowing Who Will "Host" Your Wedding

Determining who will "host" your wedding is crucial in deciding how to include parents' names on the invitation. Typically, the host is the individual or family financially contributing to the event. In the past, this responsibility often fell on the bride's family. However, modern weddings often see both families contributing equally.

If one family is taking on the majority of the expenses, their names should be placed at the top of the invitation. For example:

"Mr. and Mrs. Jerry White, along with Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Callows, request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Andrea Marie and Lucas Edward Callows...."

Alternatively, if both families are contributing equally, you can include them together on the upper portion of the invitation. For instance:

"Together with their parents Lisa and Matthew Weber Casey and Frederick Brahms...."

Reflecting Your Family's Structure

Every family is unique, and it's essential to reflect your family's structure when including parents' names on wedding invitations. If your parents are divorced, it's best to acknowledge this in the invitation wording. You can do so by separating their names with a line break. For example:

"Mrs. Riley Larson along with Mr. Jonathan Larson, request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Emily Elizabeth, to Mark Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Brown...."

In cases where you have step-parents, you can choose to include them individually or refer to them as the spouses of your biological parents. Here's an example:

"Mr. and Mrs. Nolan Andrews-Butler along with Mr. Bruno Walters and his spouse, request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Simone Louise, to Paul Lima, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jose Lima...."

If you would like to honor a deceased parent, you can include a phrase such as "the late" before their name. For instance:

"Margaret Jane, daughter of Mr. Gianelli and the late Mrs. Gianelli, and Xavier Francis Stephens, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, request the honor of your presence...."

Wedding Invitation Etiquette and Tips

To ensure a smooth process in including parents' names on wedding invitations, here are some additional etiquette and tips to consider:

Have an Open Conversation With Your Parents

Before finalizing the wording for your wedding invitations, it's essential to have an open conversation with your parents. Discuss potential ways to include their names and ask for their honest opinions. This is particularly crucial if you plan on including step-parents, as it's important to consider the feelings and perspectives of all parties involved.

"And" Means Married

When including your parents' names on the invitation, keep in mind that the conjunction "and" between two names implies marriage. If your parents are divorced, do not use "and" between their names. Instead, separate their names with a line break to accurately represent their relationship.

Use Full Names and Omit Titles

Using your parents' full names in the invitation maintains a formal and sophisticated tone. However, it is also common to only use the father's full name, such as "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee," to reference both parents. Avoid unnecessary titles, like occupational ones (e.g., Dr. or Atty.), and include suffixes that distinguish your parents from other relatives, such as Sr., Jr., III, and so on.

Always Double-Check Every Detail

To ensure flawless wedding invitations, thoroughly proofread every detail, including your parents' names. It's helpful to ask a member of your bridal party, such as your maid of honor, to double-check as well. While small mistakes can happen, taking the time to proofread minimizes the chances of errors going unnoticed.

Final Thoughts

Wedding etiquette can be complex, and including parents' names on wedding invitations often raises questions. Remember, your wedding invitations should reflect your celebration of love and unity. Whether you decide to follow traditional practices or create a unique approach, trust your instincts and do what feels right for you and your partner. By considering these guidelines and incorporating your own personal touch, your wedding invitations are sure to be perfect for your special day.

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