Invitation wording for convalidation and baptism?


It’s such a blessing that my friend will be having her marriage convalidated in the Church at the same time her 8 month old son will be baptized next month. What would be the appropriate wording for the invitation? Any suggestions for resources would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile: Thanks and God bless!


With joy and thanksgiving our family will celebrate the Sacramental Baptism of baby jane doe and the Sacramental Marriage of Susy and John Doe at St. X Parish, address, date, time. We ask that you join our family at this occasion.


The best bet is hand-written notes by your friend:

Dear Johnny and June,

Bubba and I will celebrate our sacramental marriage on Friday evening, April 4, starting at seven o’clock, at St. Rocco’s on 512 Westwood in Springbranch. We will have little Estelle baptized in the same evening. There will be a small reception after the ceremonies in the parish social hall.

We hope you can be there. Please let me know by March 31st.



“Hand-written” does not mean she has to sit down and write them all, but should sign them all herself.

Generally, the proper way to invite people to a baptism is via one’s informal notes or social card, with the event(s), time and date on it.

If the above doesn’t work, use the standard third-person invitation for a formal wedding:

The honour of your presence is requested

at the sacramental marriage of

Mabel Marie Kumquat-DePew
Bubba George DePew

and the baptism of their daughter

Estelle Shirley

Friday, April fourth, two thousand and eight

at seven o’clock in the evening

Saint Rocco Church
512 Westwood Avenue
Springbranch, Illinois

[RIGHT]Reception following
Saint Rocco Parish Center[/RIGHT]

March thirty-first


in general a convalidation is usually a much simpler affair than a wedding with nuptial Mass and consequently does not require formal engraved invitations. the hand-written note is the best idea, since the invitations are probably going to only family and close friends who already know the situation.


Thanks! I think the responses are great and will definitely have my friend consider them. Would any of the following work and what are your thoughts? Is it not proper to mention “convalidation” or is it considered OK?

(1) Mary and John Smith invite you to join them as their marriage is blessed and their son NAME is baptized at St. Catholic Church at 2:00 pm on June 4, 2006.

(2) The honour of your presence is requested

at the blessing of our marriage

and the reaffirmation of the wedding vows of

Mr. and Mrs. Happy Couple




Reception to follow

(3) Mr. and Mrs. Happy Couple
request the honour of your presence
at their Convalidation Ceremony
and baptism of their son
at Catholic Church

(4) Together with their families
Groom and Bride Couple
invite you to share in the joy and
celebration of their marriage convalidation
and the baptism of their son
on Saturday, DATE

Thanks again for all your feedback! :slight_smile:


Oops forgot to include the baptism:

(2) The honour of your presence is requested

at the baptism of BABY’S NAME

and the reaffirmation of the wedding vows OR convalidation ceremony of

Mr. and Mrs. Happy Couple




Reception to follow


1.) This is NOT a reaffirmation of wedding vows. According to Catholic teaching, this is real deal. So, please skip that. Many people would not know what a convalidation was. They might know “having the marriage blessed” but again an improper term. If one is using a formal invitation, the correct term is Sacramental Marriage, or just Marriage.
2.) Convalidation usually is not a big white dress and tux or white tie and tails event, with separate chocolate and champagne fountains after. It is **not **usually held within the context of a Mass. It is usually the Liturgy of the Word and the Sacrament of Marriage; fifteen, maybe twenty minutes tops. It is a nice dress one would wear to a special Mass- maybe a little better- and a suit and tie for the groom. It is cake-and-punch-and-coffee, not sit-down-banquet-with-four-courses followed by dancing to a dj and an open bar. It is informal in the social sense. “Informal” does NOT mean less meaningful, less fun, or less blessed than those who are doing things with a Nuptial Mass and big reception the first time. Informal is partially indicated by the dress of the main participants. Informal events call for informal invitations. Informal invitations are generally hand-written or generated letters with a hand-written signature that get to the meat of the matter without formal wording.
3.) The baby and the baptism should come second on the invitation. The baby is junior to the parents in age. The baptism may ramp up the party (social) aspect just a tad in certain cultures, but without Mom and Dad, there’s no baby, so guess who gets second billing on the invitation, be it informal or formal?
4.) If a formal invitation is required, then it needs to stick to the proper wording. Miss Manners Guide to Painfully Proper Weddings is the best. I would recommend finding it in the library. There are many examples of what happens when one strays too far from basic wording of a formal invitation, and they are all scary. But what I would truly, truly, truly recommend is that your friend save her money, and have an informal convaldiation and baptism, with an informal invitation. Too many people are going to feel they are being invited to “Wedding: The Sequel” and they might not attend.


What Chicago said :thumbsup:


The first & second would not be accurate. An convalidation is not a renewal of vows nor is it in truth a ceremony of having your marriage “blessed”. In all honesty in the eyes of the Church a marriage has not yet taken place. Please don’t be offended by this. I was married 14 years outside the church before had it convalidated.

The third and fourth are acceptable and accurate. Is your convalidation going to have a Mass? If it is I would ask your priest if ceremony is the right term to use.

We had our marriage convalidated in 2004, with our daughter as our flower girl. We also had a matron of honor, best man and ring bearer -and about 30 guests.
This was our invite:
An answered prayer he is to me;
My greatest blessing she’ll always be.
And so this day we’ll pledge our love
in front of friends and God above
First Name
First Name
invite you to celebrate their union in Christ
on Saturday, the 24th of MONTH
Two thousand and four
at two o’clock in the afternoon
Ss. XXXXXX & XXXXX Catholic Church
Church Address


Ours was not a Mass but that was the recommended first option.

The reason why we chose not to have Mass is the only practicing Catholics at our convalidation were me, my husband, our matron of honor, best man, ring bearer and my “kind of practicing” mom. The line for communion would have been painfully short, our priest in making sure that the Eucharist would not be recieved unworthily would have made an announcement that only Catholics in the state of grace could receive making this a rather awkward moment for our mostly protestant friends and family.
Our convalidation proceeded just as a Nuptial Mass would have, except for when the consecration would normally have taken place just my me and my husband received communion that was reserved in the tabernacle.

I do realize this is not always the case but I don’t feel there is reason to discourage a Mass if most attendees are practicing Catholics.

I wore a nice ivory colored “Sunday” dress but I did have a simple bouquet -with a rosary woven into it. My matron of honor carried roses tied with ribbon which we placed at the feet of the statue of the Blessed Mother during our convalidation. Our daughter was very excited to be our flower girl so she did get the fancy flower girl dress with a mantilla style veil to wear and a small bouquet to carry. My dad did not “give me away” this time. My hubby and I proceeded in together.

We all changed after the convalidation and had pic-nic style reception at the park my hubby and I met at in high school. We even had a pretty white frosted sheet cake with a wedding topper that we cut and we fed cake to each other just like we did 14 years earlier. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it still can be special and memorable for all involved.


The OP asked about [size=7]INVITATION WORDING. She did not ask about Mass. I am certianly not trying to discourage people from having a Mass!!!:eek: I am trying to discourage people from sending out formal invitations to what is NORMALLY an informal social event. [/size]

An invtiation sets the tone for the event. It lets people know to what they are invited, and partially what attire or equipment is necessary. A lot of people (as in many but not all certainly) could misconstrue a formal invitation between two people they already knew as husband and wife. They could scratch their heads and say to themselves, “They’ve presented themselves as married as long as I’ve known them! This is odd!” People who are not Catholic could say, “Gee, I was at the courthouse with them” or “I went to their reception. Iknow they are married!” A formal invitation could (as in maybe but not necessarily) also give the impression that the couple is saying, “Hey! Once wasn’t enough! We need another present!” They could accept the invitation, and show up in formal attire, while the birde is wearing her Sunday best and the groom has on a suit and tie.

So, yes, the OP’s friend should send out notes, not formal invitations.


Good grief, why are you so upset? I was just giving my opinion, it certainly was not a personal attack. All the people we invited were close friends and family, people we regularly talked to so we spoke them in person about the reasons why we were doing this and our priest gave an excellant homily about sacramental marriage. I really don’t understand all the giant bold print and exclamation marks -I’m sorry if I said something that you felt was attacking you. I’m just confused about the tone of your reply.:confused:


Because of all things I would do, I would NOT discourage people from having a Mass. That is what you said I did. I did not do that at all. I was discouraging “Wedding: The Sequel” and formal invitations. So yeh, I am a tad upset. Thank you. I accept your apology.


OK, I understand. Apparently I misinterpreted the wording of your post. The feel I got from it was that it should be brief and informal -hense the reason to discourage a Mass, I see now that is not what you meant. The internet is so hard because you can’t insert feeling or tone into a post very well. I didn’t think badly of your original post at all, in fact I know that’s how things are usually done in most parishes. I was just trying to suggest another option that wasn’t a full blown out wedding but still gave the couple the beauty and sacredness of a Catholic wedding that missed out on the first time.
I’m really am sorry.:blush:


I think with regard to the invitation, it’s very important to not use the words “blessing” or “reaffirmation of their wedding vows”… basically, you are setting yourself up for the ground of “invalid convalidation” were this union to ever fall apart.

Also, avoid the words “Sacrament of Matrimony” unless you are absolutely sure that the two parties are baptized. If one of the parties is not baptized, then there will be no sacrament.

I think it’s far better to word it as

You are formally invited to the Baptism of and the wedding (or marriage) of .

The bottom line is that you cannot bless what doesn’t exist, and before the Catholic wedding, the parties are not married. They just have a civil contract. This is supposed to be an exchange of vows where the parties are fully aware of the fact that they are in an invalid union and that they are exchanging NEW consent to marry. This is neither a blessing nor a renewal of their vows (i.e. consent).


Rayne, I might have over-reacted. I do apologize. My nerves are shot triny got be normal in this abnormal situation of hubby in the hospital.


taking notes … I’m thinking of doing this same thing in the fall …


About the invitation…do what you feel in your heart the Catholic Church does not have the monoplym on invites…tasteful and respectful…

I like what the Canon Lawyer said. For me, I hope to have the full blown wedding. My first marriage was anulled, and my betrothed was married before civilly, now divorced. I have to get somethings done but I do believe w/ my Pastor I will have whatever it is I need w/ no problem. He has never had a Christian ceremony of any sort. So we will oblige each other w/ something really big. I have been advised that it will be a convalidation, but I will ask permission to use the wedding nuptials because we are civilly married…I feel that it is important. My dress will be white, but modern and he will wear a suit and there will be a wedding party. You see too no one knows we are married and neither do we want to tell anyone…so w/ the help of my Pastor we will get this done however “appropriate” it may or may not seem. I believe that w/ the help of your priest you can have any type of ceremony…all churches do not run the same … some are just so much more understanding than others. And its nice, because the sterness in some churches are what drive some people away and then thats when we as people do other things that we would not otherwise do.


Am I to understand that you are going to essentially lie to your friends and family with the help of your Pastor? That doesn't seem like a great way to begin your sacramental marriage.

Even though the church doesn't view you as married, you've been living together as man and wife. You're not really fooling anyone, especially God.


Wow. I am going through RCIA and the Deacon offered to have my marriage convalidated?

I too am sending/handing invitations to the very select few I would like to a) have present or b) just have a part of what I consider to be a BIG event in my life.

As my husband put it...I can either say Yes again or this is my opportunity to say No, lol.

Life is about enjoying and celebrating. And if the couple want to turn their Convalidation Ceremony into a BIG event, I believe they should. So much negativity and drama and what is the proper etiquette.

I am a down home Southern girl. Flip flops and jeans. But convalidating my marriage and receiving the Sacrament of Marriage, Provisional Baptism and Confirmation. These are a BIG deal for me. I intend to celebrate them BIG as well.

Making memories and celebrating life at any opportunity should be seized.

It doesn't matter if the invitations are formal or informal. If she is happy that's all that truly matters.

The ones that matter, don't mind; and the ones that mind, don't matter.


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