Laura Lavender's Sketchbook

How to follow Tradition when wording your Invitation! (as seen on

Ultimate Etiquette Tips!

(As seen on the wonderful !!!)

While I am not an expert in formal etiquette (Hey! not to say I don't have manners!) as a calligrapher I frequently consult etiquette guides while creating invitations and other wedding calligraphy items.

Although these days absolutely anything goes when it comes to weddings, some couples are interested in taking a more traditional approach.

Here are a few Ultimate Etiquette Tips for the modern bride.

100% Miss Manners approved!

wedding invitation blue calligraphy


  • Traditionally, whoever pays for the wedding is listed on the invite. Many couples choose to honor their parents by listing them on the invite regardless of who pays.
  • Names & Places are written in full on the invite. No abbreviations except for Mr., Mrs. and Dr.
  • If the ceremony is at a place of worship, the wording “...request the honour of your presence” is used. The word “honour” is spelled the Anglican way.
  • Spell out dates and times fully. Do not use a.m. or p.m; Instead, use “in the morning,” "in the afternoon" or “in the evening.”
  • If a certain dress code is requested, use the wording “Black Tie,” “Black Tie encouraged” or “Casual Attire Welcome.”
  • It is optional to include the year of the wedding on the invitation. (My opinion: Include it!)
  • Invitations should be mailed at the very least 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding.
  • To follow ultimate etiquette, no mention should be made of a registry anywhere in the invitation package.

Sample Wording for a Formal Invitation.

(Bride’s parents host the wedding, Grooms Parents are included.) The parents are formally listed under the full name of the man.

Mr. and Mrs. John Michael Regent

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Marie Jeanne


Mr. Matthew James Smith

son of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald James Smith

Friday, the Second of September

two thousand eleven

at half after four o'clock in the afternoon

Grace Church

Vancouver, British Columbia