To break it down, there are 6 essential pieces of information that need to be included: 1. the Host 2. the Request line 3. the name of the Bride & Groom 4. the Time 5. the Date and 6. the Location .
Beyond these 6 essentials, the rest is just preference.
The host line is exactly what it sounds like. Whom ever is "hosting" (i.e. paying for) the wedding is considered the host. If it is your traditional mother and father of the bride paying, the host line may simply read:
if both sets of parents are hosting, it would read:
*Notice how there is no "and" between the sets of parents? This is the "proper" formatting, however, if you are more comfortable with adding an "and" between the two, by all means, go for it.
If the bride and groom are hosting, the line would read:
The Request line is where the host requests a guests attendance to an event.
A traditional request line would read:
You see both spellings of "honour" and "honor" on invitations. The first being the obviously more formal but both are perfectly acceptable. Requesting the "honour (or honor) of someones presence" is a formality usually reserved for a religious ceremony at a place of worship. Weddings outside of places of worship would read:
Bride and Groom Names
This one is pretty standard, if only the parents of the bride are listed as hosts, then you would write the brides name using just her first and middle name (since her last name is presumably the same as her parents). For example:
If both parents names are listed, you would include the first and middle name of both bride and groom:
Feel free to use "to" instead of "and" depending on how the rest of the invite is worded.
TimeThe most formal way to write time is:
Writing out a date can be pretty confusing, so here it is:
The day of the week, in this case Saturday, leads and is capitalized. The day of the month is lower case since it's not a proper noun. The month is capitalized, again a proper noun. Only the first letter in the year is capitalized. Again, if you're more comfortable with capitalizing Two Thousand Eleven, go for it, I can guarantee the etiquette police will NOT come knocking on your door :)
Now, I'm sure you've also seen the year written both ways, "Two thousand eleven" and "Two thousand and eleven". The former is the most "proper" but the latter isn't "wrong" per se. It just depends on your taste.
This is simple the place, city and state where the ceremony will take place.
Or, if you're only including the invite and RSVP in the invitation mailing (without a reception card or any additional info), you could write:
When you combine all of the components, you have a complete and properly worded wedding invitation: