The debate over who should have their name go first on the invite is a very old one that everyone wants to weigh in on when you're getting married. Your Great Aunt Muriel will probably tell you that the bride's name should go first, and, depending on the scenario, she may not be wrong. Traditionally, the bride's name is listed first, but this convention is rooted in the expectation that her parents are hosting the wedding. And how do you know who's hosting? Easy. Whichever set of parents (if either) is footing most of the bill is considered the host, therefore their names get listed at the top of the invite and their child gets listed first.
Let's be real; it's 2016. While many parents still opt to finance their children's big day, today there are couples that pay for their own weddings, either out of necessity or choice. And nowadays, it's also not unusual for both sets of parents to contribute significantly to their children's wedding. Additionally, the rule of listing the bride first doesn't necessarily apply if the wedding is for a same-sex couple. Follow these simple tips to figure out the best wording for your wedding invitation without causing strife with your family (especially the in-laws!).
- As stated above, money plays a big part in deciding who the "official" wedding host is, and, therefore, who gets listed in what order on a wedding invitation. If you and your intended are financing most of your big day yourself, you rightfully get to call the shots on name order. However, if you want to be sensitive to your parents' wishes, ask them if they have an opinion on who gets listed first.
- On the off chance that both sets of parents decide to contribute financially in a significant way, it's best to sit everyone down and decide who should be listed first on the invitation. Usually, whoever is paying for the venue is logically declared the host, but all parents should be listed on the invitation, host parents first followed by the other set of parents.
- If you and your betrothed decide that you don't want to list any specific parents on the invitation, but still want to make it feel inclusive, phrases such as "together with their loved ones," "together with their parents," or "together with their family and friends" are great ways to spread the love equally without naming names. This is also a good solution for children of divorced or remarried parents, or couples who have parents making roughly equal contributions to the wedding.
- Still can't decide if you or your partner should be listed first when you're both hosting? Alphabetical order is an easy fix for the situation, or even writing out both of your names on top of each other helps. Sometimes one order looks better aesthetically than the other! Consider how the descenders and ascenders of your respective names may clash.
Have a specific scenario in mind and still not sure how to word your invitation? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll help you compose the best wording for your wedding invite!