Ladies First: Names on Invitation

One of the most commonly asked questions Persnickety brides have when it comes to wedding invitation wording is actually a simple one.

Who is listed first on the wedding invitation? The bride or the groom?

The answer is pretty easy! Just remember the old saying “Ladies first.” The bride’s name always comes first on wedding stationery, followed by the groom’s name.

marbled wedding invitation lavender and copper

Lauren and Kyle’s custom marbled and foil wedding invitation designed by Persnickety

Why the Bride?

The explanation has some historical connotations. Throughout history, it has been the tradition of the brides parents “giving away” their daughter in marriage to the groom.

In the traditional invitation format, the bride’s parents are listed at the top as both the hosts of the wedding celebration and the ones who are giving their daughter away in marriage. For example:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Sarah Marie
to
James Andrew
on Saturday, the first of October

Within a historical context, it was not the case of the groom’s parents giving him away to the bride’s family. This is why the groom’s name does not appear first on the invitation. Historically, brides were the ones to be married off into other families.

patterned wedding invitation pocket ivory

Alyssa and Robbie’s gorgeous ivory invitation suite with patterned pocket. Designed by Persnickety

Together with our Families

The same rules apply even if you are not listing any parents on the wedding invitation. Due to divorce and remarriages, couples sometimes opt to use a phrase like “Together with our families” or “Together with our parents” at the beginning of their invitation, rather than list out all parents and spouses.

If you are using this wording, the bride is still typically listed first on the invitation. The same historical reason applies here, even though the wording is a bit more modernized.

black thermography gold foil wedding invitation

Sleek, elegant black thermography with gold foil invitation. Photo by Erin Elaine Photography

Hold Up!

If you are having a traditional, black tie or semi-formal affair, Persnickety strongly suggests sticking to the ladies-first-on-the-invitation rule. This wording will best match the overall feel and look you want for your wedding day, and it will help guests determine how formal or informal your big day is.

However, Persnickety strongly believes that this is your wedding invitation . . . whatever wording you would like to appear on your invitation is your decision. We want you to fall in love with your entire paper suite!

Do you have more wedding stationery etiquette questions or don’t know where to start with your invitations? Schedule your appointment with one of our expert invitation specialists. We will walk you through every step of the journey together!

 

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