Invitations

Invitations

The Invitations

Gold-braided edges or an ink drawing of crossed swords adds a military flourish.

Wedding Invitations. Wedding invitations as a type of formal invitation are generally fully engraved, ‘Ihere are a multitude of styles and colors of paper available to the bride for wedding invitations and the standard plain white card is no longer a must. The following examples are suitable formats:

Commander and Mrs. Joseph Brian Comelly
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Margaret Louise
to
Paul Anthony Jones, Junior
Lieutenant, junior grade, United States Navy
Saturday, the seventh of January
at eleven o’clock
Holy Cross Church
Washington, District of Columbia


If the bride is a member of the armed forces, it may be shown as:

Margaret Louise
Lieutenant, United States Navy

If the parents of the bride are deceased, invitations may be issued by a close, older relative:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their granddaughter
Margaret Louise Connelly

If the bride’s father is deceased or divorced and her mother is remarried:

Captain and Mrs. William Green
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Margaret Louise Connelly

Mrs. William Green
requests the honor of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Margaret Louise Connelly

If the bride’s mother is deceased and her father is remarried:

Commander and Mrs. Joseph Brian Comelly
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Margaret Louise

If the bride is a young widow:

Commander and Mrs. Joseph Brian Comelly
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Margaret Connelly Jones

If either the bride or the groom’s rank is that of Commander or Lieutenant Colonel or senior, it is properly shown with the rank preceding the name:

Commander Peter David Jones, Junior
United States Navy

Those of the rank Lieutenant Commander or Major and below use the following format:

Elizabeth Eileen Smith
Lieutenant, United States Navy

‘Their" may be substituted for “his” provided the relationship between daughter and stepmother is a close one.

Invitations to church weddings customarily do not request a reply. “R.S.V.P.” is included on the invitations to receptions which appear as:

Reception
immediately following the ceremony
The Naval Officers’ Club
Bethesda, Maryland

R.S.V.P.
700 Idaho Street, Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20320

or

Commander and Mrs. Joseph Brian Connelly
request the pleasure of your company
at the reception
following the ceremony
700 Idaho Street, Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia
R.S.V.P.

If everyone invited to attend the ceremony is also invited to attend the reception, simply add the following to the basic wedding invitation:

and afterwards at the reception
Army-Navy Country Club
Arlington, Virginia

When double envelopes are used, the outer one should have the full name and address of the invited guests handwritten in ink; and the inner one, the guests’ courtesy titles and surnames only (Mr. and Mrs. Brown; Rear Admiral and Mrs. Symthe; Commander Black). The inside envelop is placed within the outer envelope in such a manner that the writing on the former faces the back of the latter so that it will be on top when the outer envelope is opened.

Here are several examples

Army/Marines-Captain or higher
Navy/Air Force-Lieutenant, senior grade or higher -
Title appears on the same line as the name:

Colonel James Jones
United States Army.

... with wife:

Colonel and Mrs. James Jones
United States Army.

For lower ranks:

John Doe
Seaman, United States Navy

If there's a "Mrs.", the envelope is addressed as "John Doe and Mrs. John Doe". By leaving off the title "Mr.", you're indicating it's John that's the Seaman. If it's the "Mrs." that's the seaman, the envelope is addressed as: "Mr. John Doe and Jane Doe". Same logic applies in leaving off the title.

Officers in Reserve:

Colonel and Mrs. James Jones
United States Naval Reserve for Army: Army of the United States

First and second Lieutenant:

First and second Lts. use "Lieutenant" only. A numerical designation is not used.

Retired officers as indicated above for those ranks:

Retired officers as indicated above for those ranks, should list themselves as "United States Army, Retired"

Additional Insights:

Rules for the Army apply to the Marines, rules for the Navy apply to the Air Force (yes, I know, the Marines are a branch of the Navy but the addressing is not the same).

I also understand the military has slightly different rules for addressing. However, this is a "social" function, not a "military" function. Even if it's a military wedding, it's still a social function because it is not directly sanctioned (but they are approved, there's a difference) by the Commander-in-Chief.