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Finding The Right Words For Your Wedding Invite

Planning a wedding can be pretty stressful, especially during these challenging times where guest lists have been given an unwelcome chop, and everyone is forced to give each other a little space when all we want to do is get together and celebrate! Choosing the right mix of words for your invites needn’t add to the pressure soon-to-weds often feel.

Even under ‘normal’ circumstances (whatever that is anyway), there are certain scenarios or choices made which may require a well-crafted turn of phrase, or sensitive sentence or two, to get your message across with tact, and perhaps a little humour.

Here we look at the top three times when you might need a little word wizardry to ensure the magic isn’t lost on your special day.

1. Celebrating during Coronavirus

You Are Cordially Disinvited

This blog couldn’t exist without broaching our new COVID-impacted reality. Intimate ceremonies are a forced fashion and with that brings not just amending your original invites – but disinviting most of your party.

Like most things in life, honesty is the best policy, and while things are outside of our control apologies shouldn’t be necessary. Perhaps include something along the lines of the following:

‘We would be very happy for everyone to join our wedding via Zoom (details enclosed). Due to the pandemic, only immediate family can participate directly. We hope you’ll understand’.

Make It Personal

While apologies aren’t needed couples might feel like they want to explain the situation on a more personal level. A personalised note might be a nice addition to your invite - use it to address how you are choosing to celebrate while acknowledging what is happening in the world and the level of anxiety people might be feeling.

Perhaps include something like the below as a basis: ‘Regretfully, we have decided to cancel the invitation to our wedding. This was not an easy decision for us to make, however, the health and wellbeing of all of our guests is a top priority. We hope you understand that this drastic measure is never one we expected to make. As we're sure you can imagine, this is heart-breaking for us and not how we imagined our wedding celebration.
Please hold us in your hearts on [WEDDING DATE] as we make our vows to each other. We invite you to view our wedding ceremony livestream on [DATE & TIME] and celebrate with us virtually. The link to view the ceremony is: [URL]’.

For those you do invite, you might want to say that you want them there, but of course understand if they can’t come.

Safety First

In terms of balancing the amount of information you share regarding safety protocols, while maintaining the elegance of the invite, you want to share just enough to make your invitees feel comfortable. Include elements such as telling your guests that your celebration will be practicing social distancing, and if you will be supplying masks and asking them to wear them throughout the wedding – it’s important that guests know exactly what to expect and what’s expected of them.

Now plus ones can ‘do one’!

A welcome impact of the current climate might be that you can be strict with not inviting those plus ones who you’d rather stay at home! Including the following wording can help you achieve this:

"We would like to respectfully inform you that since we are following social guidelines please refrain from bringing a guest that has not been explicitly invited’.


It might also be a good idea to include RSVP cards with the option to check off one of three boxes:

‘I will be there in person’, ‘by Zoom’, or ‘unable to attend’.

A Momento

A nice touch might be to send a postcard featuring a photo of you as a couple on your wedding day to those who were unable to attend – it will help to make them feel included. Mirror your wedding stationery and include a message such as

‘Our love isn’t cancelled!’


‘We tied the knot!’

along with the date/time, to create a lovely keepsake.

2. No children please

When numbers are climbing way beyond your budget, or your wedding theme just isn’t fit for little ones running around, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do – but it can be a divisive subject.

Child-free zone

If you are planning for a complete child-free zone, while it can appear a rigid approach, it can make it easier to communicate. Something short and sweet such as:

Although we love your little ones, this is an adult only affair’


'Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children – thank you for your understanding’

should cover it.

You know you want to…

If you think a little more persuasion might be in order, you can frame it to your guests that leaving the little darlings at home is in everyone’s best interest..! Perhaps something like:

‘To allow all wedding guests, including parents, a night of relaxation and uninhibited revelry, we respectfully ask that no children attend the reception’

will do the trick. Or even a simple:

‘We love your kids but thought you might like a night off. Adults only please!’.

If Your Name’s Not Down…

It gets a little trickier when you are looking to invite only the children of close family and selected guests, but there are ways round it. You could state:

‘Children of immediate family only please’


‘Unfortunately we are only able to accommodate children in the wedding party at our reception’

to get your wishes across. Or something like:

‘Due to limited numbers, we hope you appreciate that children are only invited if named’

will leave no room for ambiguity!

3. Asking for gifts

Gift vs Donation

While some couples still choose to use the traditional list for steering their guests towards gifts they actually need, it is becoming increasingly popular to ask for donations as a wedding present. Asking for cold hard cash directly could come across as too bold for some, but if worded as a request for a ‘contribution’ or a ‘donation’ it can soften the appeal.

Rhyme Time

If you’re looking for funds to help get you a step closer to the sun-soaked sand of your honeymoon, or simply want a cash injection to help build your life together, a neat rhyme can take the sting out of what could be seen as a cheeky ask for the traditionalists.

'We know it’s not traditional it’s not the way it’s done but instead of a wedding list we’d like a bit of sun'.


As we’ve lived together for a year or two, We really don’t need anything new. Yet if a gift is your intention, we thought that we would mention, we’d love some pennies to put together, to save for something that we will treasure. And just remember, what means the most, is that you’re with us to raise a toast!

Short & Sweet

Alternatively, a simple couple of lines should do the trick:

‘Your presence at our wedding is enough of a gift, but should you wish to buy us something, we’d greatly appreciate a contribution towards our dream honeymoon/new home/renovation.’

Hopefully this blog has given you a helping hand when it comes to broaching some difficult subjects and situations in your wedding invitations, and eased the pressure of putting pen to paper!

This blog was contributed by freelance content writer and copywriter Rachel Pritchard from Rachel Writes http://rachelwrites.media/.