I'm just getting into the invitation process and learning what letterpress, embossed, card stock, thermography and the M. Line all mean.
In other words, I am learning a new language. So I turned to Smudge Ink, who won Best of Boston's Wedding Stationary last year for intel.
When wording your invitations, they suggest you follow traditional etiquette to the extent that you find it helpful. Wording depends on who is hosting the event as well as the type of ceremony you are having, but in the end, you should choose what feels right to you. Here is a thorough glossary:
Host Line Usually indicates who is hosting (and paying for) the wedding. While this was traditionally the bride’s parents, nowadays a range of hosts might be included. In the examples below you’ll find specific wording options based on different hosting scenarios.
Request Line Varies according to where the wedding ceremony is being held. The phrase ‘request the honor/honour of your presence’ is used for religious ceremonies held in a church, temple, or other place of worship. Either the American or British (with a ‘u’) version is acceptable. For non-religious venues, it is appropriate to say ‘request the pleasure of your company.’ For less formal or non-traditional weddings, choose wording that best fits your event.
Bride & Groom Lines The names of the bride and groom are presented on separate lines. If the bride’s parents are in the host line above and the bride shares the last name, it is not repeated. Formal invitations refer to the groom by his full name, preceded by his title.
Date and Time Lines Spell out numbers for the time and date on formal invitations. It is proper to say “o’clock” and “half after” (not “half past”) to indicate time. Designating the time of day with “in the morning/evening” is helpful if the wedding is held at 8, 9, or 10 o’clock otherwise it is optional. Any time from 6 pm or later is considered evening.
Location Lines The venue, city, and state are written out in full with no abbreviations. The street address is unnecessary unless the wedding is taking place at a site that is not well known (e.g., private residence). The ZIP code should not be listed.
Reception Line If your reception will be held in the same location as your ceremony, you can simply state ‘reception to follow’ or ‘dinner and dancing to follow’ on the last line of the invitation. When the reception is held elsewhere, formal invitations include the reception information on a separate card.
Attire If the style of dress is important to note for your guests (e.g. black tie) you can add a line regarding attire to the lower right corner of the invitation or reception card.