Do You Include Step-Parents on Wedding Invitations? Answer

At its core, weddings are a celebration of unity, joy, and love, melting two families into one big community. Since a wedding often involves many people, pieces of etiquette sometimes become complicated—for instance, if there are blended families.

A common concern for modern families is, “Do you include step-parents on wedding invitations?” While you are not obligated to do so, including their names on wedding invitations is a great touch to honor them.

However, as mentioned above, etiquette can get complicated. Below is more information about whether or not your step-parents should be included in your wedding invitations.

Should You Include Step-Parents on Wedding Invitations?

wedding invitations with rings

Including names on your wedding invitations is an acknowledgment of your respect for them, your relationship with them, and the role they play in your wedding—and life in general. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you make your decision.

1. How is your relationship with your step-parents?

If your step-parents have been a positive figure in your life, feel free to add their names to your wedding invitation. This inclusion shows your respect and gratitude for them.

However, if you have a strained or nonexistent relationship with your step-parent, do not feel obliged to write their names on the wedding invitation.

2. How do your biological parents feel?

If a biological parent will be hosting the wedding, ask them how they would feel about potentially including a step-parent’s name on the wedding invitation. If there is unresolved tension, they might feel uncomfortable about the inclusion.

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. However, do your best to find the balance between respecting your own decision and acknowledging your biological parent’s comfort.

Do You Include Step-Parents on Wedding Invitations? Guide

wedding invitation

Encourage Honest Conversations With Both Sides

Step-parents do not always get along with each other. Their relationship with a biological parent might be strained, and including the step-parent’s name may result in some jealousy.

Before designing and ordering your invitations, have an open conversation with everyone first. Let your parents and step-parents express their emotions, settle any unresolved feelings, and find a middle ground.

After this conversation, it may be safer to include your step-parents in your wedding invitations. You can even ask for their insights on the design, layout, and order of names written on the card.

Settle on the Wording and Order of Names

Although seemingly a minor detail, there is a lot of thought that goes into wedding invitation wording, the order of names, and how you write people’s names. Here are some pieces of etiquette to keep in mind:

  • The set of parents paying for the wedding—the hosts—traditionally appear at the top of the invitation.

“Mr. and Mrs. Tylor Brown request the honor of your presence…”

  • If both sets of parents are the hosts, their names can appear together at the top of the invitation. In this case, the bride’s parents’ names typically go first.

“Mr. and Mrs. Alex Smith,
along with Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hansen request the honor of your presence…”

  • The word “and” connotes that the two people joined by the conjunction are married. Use a line break to indicate different sets of parents.

“Mrs. Susan Drews
along with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rose request the honor of your presence…”

  • A simple compromise would be to use a different wording, such as “along with their spouses…” instead of naming the step-parents.

“Mrs. Kaylee Skinner and her spouse,
along with Mr. Bryce Lim and his spouse request the honor of your presence…”

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you should include your step-parents on wedding invitations is a personal decision. How do you—and your biological parents—feel about including your step-parents’ names in the invitations?

Ultimately, the information above is just a traditional guide; let your wedding invitations reflect your love, relationships, and reality. If you want to include your step-parents in your wedding invitations, feel free to do this thoughtful act. 

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