Decoding Invites Part Two: The Name of the Game



Last week I wrote about using the wording of a wedding invitation to determine the right thing to wear, so this week let's talk about what's in a name--specifically, what you can tell about a wedding based on the order, wording, and names included on an invitation.

As a guest, I had absolutely no idea how much thought, history, and tradition goes into the wording. While you typically might just grab the save the date card from the envelope and place the invite on your freezer door, only to be looked at on your way to the ceremony (or to be forgotten there every time, in my case), the next time, take a second look at what the invite might be saying that you're missing.



When looking at what is usually the first line of the invitation, you'll be able to find out who is hosting the wedding--which is usually synonymous with who is paying for the wedding.

1. The Bride's Parents, still married: Usually written as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith request..."

2. The Bride's Parents, divorced or separated: If both parents are listed, but there is no "and"
between them, they're not married anymore, but are both hosting. (The names will typically be stacked).

3. The Bride's Single Parent and Remarried Parent and Step-Parent: Tracking with me? If you have the following: Mrs. Kerry Summers and Mr. and Mrs. Trent Summers, chances are the bride's mom is not re-married and the dad has re-married. If there are two last names in the hosting line and one of them is not the groom's or bride's, the mom has probably re-married. For example "Mr. and Mrs. Tom Jones and Mr. and Mrs. Steven Smith" would indicate both the mom and the dad have remarried and everyone is chipping in for the wedding.

4. The Bride's Widowed Mother: "Mrs. Trent Summers requests..." If the bride's mom is shown alone but with a "Mrs" title, she is likely widowed and hosting the wedding alone.

5. Hispanic Tradition (deceased host): This is one I had never known about--in Hispanic cultures, if there is a cross next to one of the host's names, one of the parents of the bride or groom (depending on who is hosting) is deceased, but is still honored on the invite.

6. The Couple with their Family: "Mary Elizabeth Jones and John Steven Smith with their families" indicates that either the couple getting married is hosting and wants to honor their families, or they are getting some financial assistance from their families.

7. Widowed Bride Remarrying: "Mrs. Kerry Smith and Mr. Jon Jones request the honor of your presence" indicates that a widowed bride is getting re-married (if these are the only names on the invitation, of course).


Have you ever seen a wedding invitation you were confused by? What was your favorite invitation to receive?


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