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Wedding Invitation Etiquette 101

You’ve found the perfect invitation. Now, what should it say?

By the Editors of Real Simple
Wedding invitationDebra McClinton

You or one of your parents is a doctor.

Solution: It is perfectly acceptable for medical doctors to use their titles on wedding invitations; academic doctors should not use theirs. If your mother is a doctor but your father is not, place her name, preceded by "Doctor," on the invitation above your father's. If your father is a doctor, it should read "Doctor (or "Dr.") and Mrs. John Smith" on the same line. Using the word "and" in between the names indicates that they are still married.

Your mother uses her maiden name.

Solution: List your parents on separate lines, mom first, separated by the word "and" to indicate that they are still married.

The groom's parents are issuing the invitation.

Solution: List your fiancé's parents on the invitation as you would your parents, and include your last name.
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Charles McMillan
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of
Miss Anna Grace Smith
to their son
James Robert McMillan

You're paying for your own wedding.

Solution: If you have a good relationship with your parents, honor them by placing their names at the top of the invitation, especially if this is a first marriage and you are holding a traditional ceremony. If you prefer, or if the wedding is informal, most people will assume you're hosting the event if you issue your own invitation.

You don't want guests to bring children.

Solution: Not everyone knows that the only people invited to an event are the ones to which the invitation is addressed. If you have friends who feel their little ones are always included, a quick phone call to tell them that your reception isn't set up for children will get your point across―and it's nicer than printing "No children, please" on the invitation or the response card.

You would like guests to contribute to a charity rather than give gifts.

Solution: As altruistic as this request is, it still isn't considered appropriate to place a reference to gifts on a wedding invitation. Instead, let your wedding party help get the word out.

Read More About:Holidays & Entertaining

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