Proper Wording for Invitations

by Nicole Schmoll

Holding a social event calls for invitations. The wording for invitations to events such as birthday parties, baby showers, retirement celebrations and weddings should provide guests with all the information they will need to know and set the tone for the occasion. You can adapt the wording to suit the theme of the event.

Birthday Party Wording

The who-what-when-where-why-how details are the most important part of any invitation. Include relevant details such as who is hosting the party, where it is being held, whose birthday it is, the date and time of the party, R.S.V.P. instructions and any additional notes to the guests, such as to wear a costume. You can phrase those details according to your party theme. For example, if you are hosting a pirate birthday party for a child, you could use such wording as, "Johnny Smith is celebrating 9 years of roving the high seas. He'll be coming to shore at [address] on [date] at [time]. No land lubbers allowed. Only those dressed as pirates will be admitted. Leave a message at [email or phone number]. Yo ho ho!"

Baby Shower Wording

For a baby shower invitation, start with a short phrase or a verse from a poem about motherhood. Include the full name(s) of the host(ess) and mother or couple-to-be. State the date, time and location of the shower. Include an email address or phone number for guests to R.S.V.P. and list at the bottom where the mom/couple is registered for shower gifts. Match the wording with the theme of the shower; for example, if you chose a bird theme, you could write "Mama bird is nesting at the following stores:" and then list where the mom/couple is registered.

Retirement Party Wording

Retirement parties can range from casual to formal events. On the invitation for a more formal event, include the person's full name, title upon retirement, number of years if the person worked for one company for more than 15 years and the name of the company where he worked. Consider wording such as, "Come celebrate Joe Bob Smith's retirement after [35 years of dedicated service] to [company name] as a [official title]." List the R.S.V.P. information. Note what type of dress is appropriate and whether or not guests may bring a companion. Include the time, date and address of the celebration. For a more casual event, adjust the style of wording. For example, you can be more facetious in your wording for a casual party, such as, "After 40 years in captivity, Joe Bob Smith is celebrating his freedom! Come join his retirement party at [location] on [date] at [time]. He's looking forward to more time to [list hobbies]."

Wedding Invitation Wording

While wedding invitations have a long history of etiquette and standards, make sure your invitations reflect your personality and the tone of your wedding. The following are the traditional guidelines to keep in mind when wording your wedding invitations. Use official titles such as "Mr." "Mrs." and "Dr." Spell out the numbers in the date on the wedding invitation and place them after the day. You can include the year but it isn't necessary. Spell out the times and write the invitation in the third-person. List the parents' names followed by a phrase such as "invite you to celebrate the marriage of [bride and groom names]."