I was recently asked a question that I think a lot of people may have had confusion over. Recall, if you will, an invitation that you’ve received for a wedding or other formal event. Chances are it opened with the line “request the honor of your presence” or “request the pleasure of your company” as part of the wording. Believe it or not these phrases actually have etiquette guidelines on when they can each be used and are not entirely interchangeable.
The phrase “…the honor of your presence…” is reserved for wedding ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, be it a church, temple, mosque, synagogue or another religious institution.
Meanwhile the phrase “…the pleasure of your company…” is used to invite guests to a wedding ceremony taking place anywhere else. Examples of this would include a country club, resort garden area, the beach, etc.
This rule does not take into consideration a religious ceremony, but rather the location. So if you have a Jewish ceremony, complete with a Chuppah, at a resort, you would still request the pleasure of your guests company.
If you want to stick with tradition in this area though, then each has an appropriate and specific use.
Is this etiquette rule breakable without being totally faux pas? I say, yes! Only the trained eye will notice that you used “…the honor of your presence…” to invite them to your beach front wedding. After all, God is everywhere and one could argue that the beach front is just as sacred as the Chapel. I personally believe that God is not limited to a building and that many things can be sacred, so I would have no problem using “the honor of your presence” to invite people to an outdoor wedding.
Do you have wedding questions that you need answers to? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.