A wedding invitation is typically sent out about six weeks before the big event. The invitations include the date, time and location of the ceremony and reception. In addition to listing the names of the bride and groom, wedding invitations typically include those of the parents as well. If a bride's mother is deceased, the couple has a few options for honouring her through the invitations. It is not traditional or expected to list the name of a deceased parent on an invitation, but if you do, you must be clear in the wording that the parent is dead.
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Include the names of all the parents on the invitation, including the deceased mother. Write "the late" before the mother's name and before the names of any other parents who are deceased.
Write the names of the bride and groom. Beneath these names, you may write, "Together with their parents, request the honour of your presence at their wedding." Wording an invitation this way honours all the parents without specifying whether parents are alive or deceased.
Exclude mention of the bride's deceased mother in the invitations. List only the surviving parents on the invitation. Instead, the bride and groom can choose to dedicate a section of the program to honouring the mother's memory, or they may light a candle at the ceremony or reception to honour her memory.
Check the invitations for wording and proper etiquette before you send them out. List the father's name first and then the deceased mother's name. Listing the mother first could cause confusion that may make guests believe that the bride's father is also deceased. You can choose to leave off courtesy titles such as "Mr." and "Mrs."
Tips and warnings
- An example invitation might read: "The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of (bride's full name), daughter of (bride's father) and the late (bride's mother)."
- If all the parents of a bride and groom are deceased, wedding etiquette suggests leaving off any reference to parents on the wedding invitation.
- Including the name of a deceased parent on an invitation without mention that the person is deceased can be confusing or awkward to guests.
- If both parents of either a bride or a groom are deceased, the bride and groom can decide whether or not to include reference to the other partner's living parents on the invitation.
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