How to Word Wedding Invitations For Non-Traditional Families

Published: 16th April 2009
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It is often difficult trying to decide on the right wording for a traditional wedding invitation, since etiquette rules are constantly evolving to keep up with the times. If you have a non-traditional family, for instance, it can be difficult to choose wording that will please all parties involved. Etiquette has managed to catch up to changing societal norms, however, and below are wording samples for various types of non-traditional families.

Divorced Parent Hosting Solo

If you have a single or divorced parent who will host your wedding alone, then the following example can be used to word your invitations. You only need to use the bride’s last name if it differs from the parent hosting the wedding.

Mr. William F. Smith
requests the honor of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Carol Ann
to Bernard Patrick Michaelson
Saturday, the fourteenth of June
two thousand and eight
at half past two in the afternoon

Divorced Parents Hosting Together

Often, divorced parents will want to host the wedding together, but still maintain their separate identities. In this case, the wording below will work for this situation. If your mother is remarried, use “Mrs.” in front of her name, otherwise refer to her as “Ms.”

Mr. William F. Smith &
Mrs. Helen S. Slidell
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Carol Ann Smith
to Bernard Patrick Michaelson
Saturday, the fourteenth of May
two thousand and eight
at half past two in the afternoon

Divorced Parent Hosting With Step-Parent

If your divorced parent and step-parent will host, the following wording is appropriate. You can mention your other parent, as done below, but this is optional.

Mr. and Mrs. William F. Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Carol Ann Smith
daughter of Ms. Helen S. Slidell
to Bernard Patrick Michaelson
Saturday, the fourteenth of June
two thousand and eight
at half past two in the afternoon

If you want more casual wording, you could use first names like “William and Annette Smith” and then simply write the date and time using numbers instead of spelling them out formally.

Widowed Parent Hosting

If you have only one surviving parent who will host your wedding, the wording below is fitting. You also have the choice of mentioning your deceased parent’s name in the invitation, although this is optional. If your surviving parent has remarried, you should list both names, but can still mention your deceased parent’s name if you wish.

Mrs. William F. Smith
requests the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of her daughter
Carol Ann
daughter of the late Mr. William F. Smith
to Bernard Patrick Michaelson

Or

Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Jacobs
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Carol Ann Smith
daughter of the late Mr. William F. Smith

In any of the above samples, feel free to tweak some of the wording to suit the intended tone of your wedding. They are simply meant as guidelines so that the non-traditional family can be fairly and properly acknowledged on your wedding invitation.

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