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Designing Your Wedding Invitations Around A Crooked Family Tree

Posted By on January 18, 2011

You’ve completed your guest list and it’s time to put together your wedding invitations. As you begin to research invitation designs you notice that the standard wording does not apply to you. Your family tree is a bit crooked. There are several branches in your section of your family tree as a result of divorced/remarried parents and family members. Suddenly you feel as if your family is sub-standard because you don’t fit the default wording on the invitation sample in front of you. Once again you realize that your family is a little different than the “norm” and stress begins to creep in as you try to figure out how to word your invitation without offending anyone. Just HOW do you word your invitations when you have divorced/remarried parents without feeling like your guests need a road map to figure out who you belong to or worse, ending up like the Hatfields vs. McCoys?

You may not feel this way but I sure did when it came time to design my wedding invitations. My family tree has several twists and turns on both sides and it was a little overwhelming wondering how I was going to word everything in our invitations and programs. There are many couples out there that go through a range of emotions when it comes time for this step in the wedding planning and it can bring on stress! My advice to all of you that have “knots” in your family tree is: Accept it. Someone once told me, “Just as clay’s color depends on the minerals present in the ground, so we cannot choose our talents, family backgrounds, physical features, or temperaments.” That was a valuable lesson to me and I pass it on to you. Whatever “minerals” are present in your life – it’s what makes you…YOU! Embrace it instead of resisting it and you may just find yourself laughing when you are arranging your seating chart!

I encourage couples at this planning stage to discuss together how they want to go about wording their invitations. I also encourage the couples to get together with the parents to take into consideration their wishes for how they would like to be listed on the invitations and in the programs. These days, with divorce, blended families, untraditional families, and any and all of the above paying for it, invitations have gotten complicated – but NOT impossible! Below are some common situations and the appropriate wording for each. Keep in mind that this is the formal traditional language. Modern couples may choose to add opening statements such as “With Joy In Their Hearts,” or may choose to change the traditional “request the honor of your presence at the marriage”  to something like “invite you to be a special part of the wedding of” or even my personal favorite “Come laugh, dance, dine, and celebrate the wedding of….”

When Bride and Groom are paying for the wedding themselves, the wording should read:

Together with their parents
Jane Sue Doe
and
John David Mann
request the honor of your presence
etc.

OR

You are cordially invited to celebrate
the wedding of
Jane Sue Doe
and
John David Mann
etc.

When the Bride’s parents are divorced
either
A. Issued by the parent who raised her:
Ms. Martha Doe
requests the honor of your presence
at the wedding of her daughter
Jane Sue
etc.

or

B. Divorced parents hosting wedding together:
Mr. Jack Doe
and
Ms. Martha Doe
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Sue
etc.

When a divorced parent and new stepparent are hosting wedding:
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Smith’s daughter
Jane Sue Doe

etc.

When divorced and remarried parents are both hosting the wedding:
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Doe
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Sue
etc.

OR

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Doe
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of Jane Sue Doe
etc.

OR

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Doe
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of the daughter of Mr. Doe and Mrs. Smith
Jane Sue
to
etc.

Personal side note: In my opinion, the very last option above would make me feel like I was advertising my family’s crooked tree all over a billboard or leave my guests confused as to whose wedding they were going to. Know what I mean? However, it’s formal traditional language and there you have it!

Once you’ve made your decision as to how to word your invitations…don’t look back! Be confident with your decision as a couple and own it! Embrace it!

Best Wishes!



About The Author

Darlene is a homeschool mother to her 3 children, a music/voice teacher, coffee fanatic and owner/founder of TaylorMade Weddings. She has earned the title of Best Wedding Planner for Winchester, VA in 2013 from Virginia Wedding & Event Network. Her passion, commitment to excellence and attention to detail has allowed her to work alongside some of the most talented vendors in the event business all over the state of Virginia. Her clients are one of a kind and her service is tailored to meet their individual needs. Darlene is also on the panel of experts at "Pop the Question" where she mentors couples planning their own celebrations.

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2 Responses to “Designing Your Wedding Invitations Around A Crooked Family Tree”

  1. TaylorWed says:

    [New Blog Post] Designing Your Wedding Invitations Around A Crooked Family Tree – http://taylormade-weddings.com/perfectbe

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