Invitation Wording Etiquette

Deceased/Divorced Parent or Parents

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Proper invitation wording etiquette has evolved over the years since Emily Post first began writing her column. It's had to expand to include divorced parents, couples living together and other details that "weren't the norm" in the 1950's!

Brides have moved on to becoming much more relaxed, not always stressing over whether each envelope is hand written or printed on a computer.

The wording suggestions below show the correct way to honor a deceased parent in the invitation.

Remember that someone who has passed away doesn't "host" the wedding. Therefore - the invitation to come to a ceremony or reception is not made from them. You simply mention their name as one of the parents of the bride or groom.

Example 1 below shows to invitation is extended by the parents of the bride, whereas the groom's late mother is still honored by including her name on the invitation.

This invitation shows that the mother of the bride alone is extending the invitation. She is the one paying for the event and prefers not to have the divorced spouse listed.

What is the wording etiquette in a case where neither parent is living? The bride can choose to have a close relative be the host (in this case her brother) listed on the invitation. This is particularly true if the brother is paying for the expenses of the event.

Older couples with deceased parents sometimes forego mentioning the parents at all, simply extending the invitation in their own names. This is perfectly proper etiquette when the couple are paying for the wedding themselves.

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