Ask the Etiquette Masters: Listing Stepparents

One of the perks of working with an invitation specialist at Persnickety is the guidance they offer when it comes to invitation wording etiquette.

We understand that wording information properly on your wedding invitation is of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to listing the parents and stepparents of the bride and groom.

There are many unique family situations we encounter on a daily basis, and we offer options of how to best guide our brides into choosing the best wording for their particular invitation.

If your parents have divorced and remarried, you might want to specifically name your stepparents on your wedding invitation, especially if all parties have a hand in paying for the wedding.

But how do you list them properly on the invitation? There are a few ways.

divorced parents wedding invitation wording

1. Mom Always Comes First

Whether or not your mom has remarried after the divorce, she is the first parent listed, and her name appears on her own line. The keyword to remember is “and.” If an “and” appears between two names, it indicates to the wedding guests that the parties are married.

For example, if your mom and dad are divorced and not yet married, they will appear on separate lines with mom first.

Ms. Linda Davis (mom’s name)
Mr. John Davis (dad’s name)

request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Elizabeth

You can check out more rules and regulations for listing divorced parents in one of our previous blog posts by clicking here.

If your mom has remarried, she and her new husband’s name will appear on the first line, followed by your dad and his new wife (if it applies).

Mr. and Mrs. Sean Hamilton (mom + stepdad)
Mr. John Davis (dad)

request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Elizabeth

divorced stepparents wedding invitation wording

Photo by Cambria Creative Photography

2. Use your last name when listing both sets of parents.

If both your parents have remarried and there are multiple names above your and your fiance’s names, the bride should list her last name on the invitation.

Traditionally, if the mother and father’s names appear above using the same surname, brides do not list their last names. However, just for clarification purposes, if you are listing all parents’ names, you should list your last name as well. For example…

Mr. and Mrs. Sean Hamilton (mom + stepdad)
Mr. and Mrs. John Davis (dad + stepmom)
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Stephanie Elizabeth Davis…

divorced parents wedding invitation wording

3. It’s Okay Not to List Everyone

If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of names on your invitation, it’s acceptable to list “Together with their families” or “Together with their parents” at the top of the invitation. This is particularly helpful if the groom’s parents are also divorced and remarried.

Some brides worry this wording is too informal. But in certain situations and with certain invitation designs, it is perfectly acceptable. It is worth having a conversation with your parents beforehand and hearing what their thoughts are on having or not having their names listed on your invitation.

Need more assistance with determining the best wording for your invitation? Let Persnickety help guide you. Schedule your appointment with an invitation specialist here!



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2 Comment

  1. Bill Birnbaum
    March 15, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Good Afternoon;

    I was invited to my nieces bat mitzvah, I am divorced my daughter was also invited she is 16 and I have shared custody with her mother. She lives predominantly with her mother and also with me.

    Question- How does the invitation get addressed to me and my daughter at my address or is it a different way?

  2. Melissa
    April 4, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Bill – yes, the invitation should be addressed to you and your daughter at your address. SInce she is under 18, it should list your full name on the first line, and your daughter’s first name on the second line, followed by your address!

Comments are closed.