Invitation Etiquette

Invitations are almost always issued in the name of the bride’s parents, even if she lives away from home or has been married before. If her parents are deceased, her guardian, a close relative or family friend may sponsor the wedding. When only one parent is living, the invitations are issued in his or her name alone. If the bride’s parents are divorced, the name of only one parent – usually the one who raised her – appears on the invitation. If the parent has remarried, the step-parents name also goes on the first line followed by his/her daughter’s to indicate relationship.


Invitations should be addressed by hand, using a neat, legible script. Use black ink if possible to match the printing. Some people prefer to have their envelopes done by a Calligrapher.

The guests full name(s) go outside the envelope, followed by the address. The inside envelope carries the last name only (Mr. and Mrs. John Doe) and nothing else.

For a church or temple ceremony “the honour of your presence is requested”. For a non-church wedding or reception it is “the pleasure of your company”.

You may request a reply to the reception with “R.S.V.P.” or “Please respond” in the lower left corner of the invitation. This is known as “Corner Copy” and there is usually an extra charge for this. (However, it is usually better to order a matching RESPOND card when you order your invitations. Respond cards include an envelope for the return. It is polite to put a stamp on the envelope so your guests to not have to pay to reply.)

 Each adult member of the family receives an invitation, as well as dates of single guests.

The phrase “and family” is never used. Instead, invited children’s names go on a line under their parents names on the inside envelope.