Problem Solved: Whom to Include on Your Invitation

proper invitation wording

A Facebook follower posed the following question to me:

My mother really wants her name on the invitations and insists that my fiance’s parents’ names don’t need to be on them. But that seems rude to me because his parents are also helping monetarily. But putting his parents’ names on the invites is complicated because they’re divorced and both sets are helping out. Is there a way to word the invites so that my mom gets her name on them, and we don’t insult anyone/leave them out?

The most traditional invitation wording includes just the bride’s parents’ names, but this is traditional because in the past, the bride’s parents typically paid for the entire wedding.

These days, it’s not uncommon for both sets of parents’ names to be on the invitation, especially if they’re both contributing monetarily to the wedding. In fact, if they’re both contributing, then listing them both is only fair.

Although it may seem like wording the invitation could get complicated when one set of parents is divorced, it may not be as bad as you think. Here’s an example that I’ve adapted from Wedding Etiquette by Peggy Post (daughter of etiquette expert Emily Post):

Mrs. Mary Hannigan
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Anvik
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Jacobs
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of
[your name]
[your fiance’s name]

Hope that helps!

Photo by Maida Vale


  1. On our daughter’s wedding invitation we are doing a “son of” below the groom’s name. His parents are divorced. His mother has never remarried – his father has. What is the proper wording?

  2. If you could give the mother her own line, that would be helpful. Example:
    Son of Mary Hannigan
    Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Anvik

    You can include or leave out that first “and” — your choice.

    If the stepmother didn’t raise the son and isn’t a part of the wedding planning, it may make sense to leave her off and say “Son of Mary Hannigan and Lawrence Anvik”. However, if you think the stepmother would feel slighted, it’s best to include her.

  3. This one has me in a pickle – divorced parents of the groom, with the mother (not remarried) contributing monetarily – a much smaller amount than what the bride’s parents are contributing (they’re really paying for the wedding) – and the father and stepmother NOT contributing at all…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *