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This is a great site - I would happily pay for this advice. I must fess up and say I am a native English speaker (albeit an Irish one) but I'm running into trouble wording a party invitation.

Is it correct to ask the pleasure of your company? - My husband doesn't seem to like 'requesting' this.

Cathie Godwin and Vincent Clancy
were married on May 21 2013.

We ask the pleasure of your company
at ____ on Saturday, ____ 2014 to celebrate
cocktails 6.30pm, dinner and dancing.

r.s.v.p. to _____ by St. Patricks Day

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When you seek a direct object, you typically ask for something. However, I would use neither of those words. The best words are found in Maulik's post, though for some reason he did not state it. When sending out invitations, use request. It's very common, polite, and not seen as begging, while asking/seeking for something does.

Saying "I ask for the pleasure of your company" almost sounds as if you're begging them to come, and not in a good way.

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We ask the pleasure of your company - is fine and okay!

Asking for the company in this way is quite common in an invitation card. That's asking for gratifying the hosts.

Pleasure (n) - The state or feeling of being pleased or gratified.

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Nevertheless, if it's wedding invitation, the honor of your presence is preferred instead of the pleasure of your company.

  • i was just wondering if i needed to ask 'for' the pleasure (or honour) - ie is the 'for' necessary...? interestingly enough i saw a thing on an american website - maybe lucie post?? saying the honour of your presence is only used if it's a religious building or courthouse ie some official sort of venue..? so i'm sterring clear of THAT particular minefield - and to be honest, most of my friends will think having printed invitations is having delusions of grandeur in anycase!! ;-) architects are not often big on ceremony! thank you SO much for your interest... – cathie curran Jan 30 '14 at 11:24
  • and you don't think the 'for' is necessary? – cathie curran Jan 30 '14 at 11:49
  • 1
    ah - it's not a wedding invitation, just a party in a house... the ceremony was last year... sorry for confusion – cathie curran Jan 30 '14 at 11:51
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+100

Well, the short answer is

It's you party and you can cry if you want to

as it is your party, you may do anything you want.

If we start with what might be considered to be the most formal and proper invitation

Request the pleasure of the company of

has been used by the White House for formal occasions and the diplomatic corps

since using the third person (not using I or you) is the most formal way to phrase an invitation.

Except for possibly Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who actually uses a third person to extend invitations


(source: rozsavage.com)
http://www.melbournekitchensandbaths.com/images/layout/invitation-from-the-queen.png


Less formal occasions and lower level diplomats (Ambassadors, Secretaries of State) might use

Request the pleasure of your company
The pleasure of your company is requested


(source: muslimjournal.net)


When one is seeking "the pleasure of someone's company" one usually "requests" it.

If one is a mere mortal and it is a party with your friends, one may use

Please join us
You are invited
Hope you can come

In asking for a response to an invitation,

R.S.V.P. (all caps)
RSVP
répondez, s'il vous plaît

is often used and is a formally phrased request by the inviter for a confirmation of attendance. The request is formal since it is using the formal "vous", though people have taken to using "RSVP" as a shorthand without the formal distinction.

The modern non-French non-formal equivalents might be

the favor of a response is requested
the favor of a reply is appreciated
please let us know if you can make it

It's your party, since you're probably not inviting foreign dignitaries or heads of state and it's probably not a once-in-a-lifetime event (wedding), don't get hung up on the wording.

Your invitation is the one year anniversary of your marriage, so you will probably have many chances to word several invitations over the coming years. If your wedding was formal/orthodox, you may want your celebration to be less so.

A fun invitation is a great way to set the mood before the party has even started, just be sure to have a great time!

  • 1
    Well done, sir. A tip-top answer – Mari-Lou A Dec 19 '16 at 7:41

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