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Wedding etiquette: writing the invitations

09 APRIL 2010

When it comes to sending out wedding invitations, it is advisable to do so six weeks before the big day to allow guests to make arrangements. 'Save the date' cards are a great way of letting invitees know basic details of the nuptials – the date and location – and can be sent out well in advance.

In this modern age, it is difficult to ensure invitations are worded correctly – traditional invites, that is when the bride's parents are hosting the wedding, do not always apply.

Check below for a selection of invitation styles to find the one that best suits you.

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Traditional wedding invitation (bride's parents hosting)
Mr & Mrs J Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter, Katherine, to Mr James Williams at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, on Saturday 18 September 2010 at 1.30pm and afterwards at the Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair.

Bride's parents separated or divorced (sharing same surname)
Mr John Smith and Mrs Sarah Smith… (as above)

Bride's parents divorced and mother has remarried
Mr John Smith and Mrs Sarah Waters… (as above)

Brides' mother has remarried and hosting with bride's stepfather
Mr and Mrs David Waters… (as above)

Bride's father has remarried and hosting with bride's stepmother
Mr and Mrs John Smith… (as above)

Bride's parents absent or deceased, groom's parents hosting
Mr & Mrs F Williams request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their son James Charles to Katherine Ann Smith at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, on Saturday 18 September 2010 at 1.30pm and afterwards at the Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair.

Bride and groom hosting own wedding
Miss Katherine Ann Smith and Mr James Charles Green Williams request the pleasure of your company at their marriage at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, on Saturday 18 September 2010 at 1.30pm and afterwards at the Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair.

Note: The bottom left corner of the invitation should have an RSVP address printed.
The names of guests should appear in the top left corner of the invitation, either as Mr and Mrs Robert Davies, or if a family, Mr and Mrs Robert Davies, Joshua and Emily.

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