Questions on Invitations

We're having a very formal wedding and I want to make sure that  I get the etiquette right. What would be the  correct wording for my wedding invitations if my father has passed away and my mother is the only host? Rebecca, Tunbridge Wells
You should check with your mother how she wishes to be styled.  Widows nowadays tend to choose between a traditional style where they retain their late husband's name for formal use - Mrs John Debrett - and a more modern approach where they use their own first name, e.g. Mrs Jane Debrett.
Related Debrett's Links: Wording on Invitations, Addressing Widows

We're inviting quite a few people to the just the evening part of our wedding reception. Do they need to receive a seperate invitation, or can I send them the same ones as everyone else, and just annotate them? Becky
If the guests are coming after the meal, then you should have a set of different invitations printed. Make sure you also include details of accomodation, transport, gift list etc.
Related Debrett's Links: Evening-Only Invitations

I do not want screaming children to ruin my big day, but both myself and my fiancé have loads of nieces and nephews, and my youngest niece (aged 3) is going to be a bridesmaid. How do I tell people that children are not invited?  And will the fact that one of my nieces is going to be bridesmaid be a problem? Sarah, West Kensington
The decision about whether to invite children is always hard. You must, however, stick to your guns. An extra information sheet sent out with the wedding invitations should mention if children are welcome or not. As long as the only child attending is the bridesmaid, guests should understand. After all, hopefully some parents will see it as a welcome day off!
Related Debrett's Links: Children, Baby Bridesmaids, Invitations: Extra Information

I'm having a small family wedding service in the village church, followed by a sit-down meal.  We're inviting a wider circle of friends for an evening reception. On the invitation to the evening party, is it correct to mention that the actual wedding is taking place earlier in the day? I'm worried about making my friends feel left out!  If we do mention the wedding service, what form of words would you recommend? Liz, Harrogate
You need to send out different invitations to the evening guests with wording along the lines of: 'Mr and Mrs John Debrett request the pleasure of your company at the reception following the marriage of their daughter Caroline etc...' If you are having guests arrive after the ceremony at the beginning of the reception, then you should send out your standard invitations with an note enclosed to explain that space in the church is very limited. The wording would be something along the lines of: 'Owing to the small size of St John's Church it is possible to ask only very few guests to the service. We hope you will forgive this invitation being to the reception only.' In both instances, include information on timings, gift list, directions etc.
Related Debrett's Links: Reception-only Invitations

I am trying to correctly word my wedding invitations which will be coming from my mother. My father died and my mother subsequently got remarried, however she is now divorced and intends to go back to using her deceased husband's surname (my father). Do we use her divorced name on the invitations, or can she use my father's name (Christian and surname) as she would have been referred to as when she was a widow? Charlotte
Your mother can choose how she is styled on the invitations. If she will be using your late father's name in everyday life, then perhpas it is most logical for her to use this on the invitations, too. As a widow, you are correct in thinking she is styled Christian name and surname, for example Mrs John Debrett. Nowadays, however, many widows choose to use thier own Christian name. 
Related Debrett's Links: Addressing Widows, Wording Invitations

A traditional, formal wedding given by mother and father of the bride - on the invitation should we put my daughters second and third christian names, or just her given name? Likewise with the bridegroom to be, do we put just his given name or do we add his second christian name too? LH
Nowadays, the inclusion of the bride's middle names is personal choice, but should be consistent for both the bride and groom. If the wedding is very traditional, many couples choose to include them, but it is completely optional.
Related Debrett's Links: Wording on Wedding Invitations


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