In 2021 and 2022, we saw a record-breaking flurry of weddings across the UK. In 2023, we're anticipating that over 130,000 couples will tie the knot.
Pandemic restrictions and concerns have, in many ways, changed the way that couples are approaching their weddings and receptions. For many, interest has shifted away from expensive glamour and closer to casual, personal fun.
Because casual weddings aren't quite as common, you might not know how to approach wedding invitation wording for casual weddings. As bespoke wedding invitation designers, we have some writing tips and wording ideas to help.
Read on to discover the best ways to word your casual wedding invitation.
The Appeal of a Casual Wedding
In 2022, the average cost of a UK wedding grew by a full 15%, coming in at over £19,000 (not including the rings and honeymoon expenses). Perhaps you've decided that rather than spending all that money on the five-star venue and four-course meal, you'd like to put more money toward the honeymoon or your future nest egg. A casual wedding can cost substantially less than a traditional wedding without sacrificing any of the joy and celebration.
Current wedding trends also point to an increased desire for personalization and tradition-breaking. Having a casual wedding takes some of the pressure off of the couple while allowing guests to focus on what matters most: the love they have for the bride and groom. Thankfully, if the classic white gown and ornate decor don't appeal to you, you have the option to do things differently.
The only thing you can't do without? An invitation letting guests know when and where you're wedding will occur. Even if you don't expect your guests to don their finest for your special day, you should still send them an invitation to show them that they are significant to you and that you look forward to their attendance.
Why Wedding Invitation Wording Matters
Beginning with your save-the-date cards, the language you use to let your guests know about your impending nuptials will make a difference. The last thing you want to do is get in contact with each invited guest individually to let them know that you aren't hosting a formal affair. By making the right language choices, you can convey to your guests that you're having a casual or informal wedding.
Preparing your guests appropriately for what to expect will increase their comfort and enjoyment of your wedding. For example, it will give them a sense of what to wear so that they don't stick out from the crowd. The information you provide in advance can even let your guests know if they should eat beforehand or come expecting a full meal.
As we mentioned earlier, casual weddings are growing in popularity, but they're still quite new, especially for older guests. If you don't set the proper tone, most invited guests are likely to assume that you're wedding will be, at the very least, semi-formal.
Wedding Invitation Wording for Casual Weddings
Just because you're creating a casual wedding invitation doesn't mean that you should skip any of the key information your guests will need. This includes:
- your names
- the date and time of the ceremony and reception
- the location(s)
- reference to reception activities
- reference to COVID-19 restrictions, if applicable
- RSVP details
You can also begin your casual wedding invitation with a fun opening statement. In fact, there are many traditional formatting choices that you can tweak or do away with, which we'll discuss below.
Ditch Traditional Language
On a traditional wedding invitation, you'd begin with a formal hosting line including the bride and groom's first and last names. For a casual wedding, you can begin with a light-hearted opening statement and refer to the bride and groom by first names, only. There is no need to say that the bride's parents are presenting her or that they're the ones inviting guests, especially if they aren't the ones covering costs.
Traditional wedding invitation wording also tends to include numbers that are spelt out (e.g., "Two thousand and twenty-three.") For a casual wedding invitation, you can use numerical symbols for all numbers, including the date and time.
Hint at Fun Activities
The traditional wedding includes a ceremony with an ordained officiant followed by a cocktail hour, a sit-down dinner, and dancing punctuated by planned events, such as toasts. If you're having a casual wedding, you may not be following this typical trajectory, though many of these elements are present.
In your casual wedding invitation, feel free to hint at these fun activities in a way that suggests that they won't be so regimented. For example, you might use the language, "Reception to follow with drinks, dancing, and games," or, "Get ready to dance and play the night away." If you're only providing snacks and finger foods, make sure to indicate this somewhere on the invitation or in the information card by saying something like, "Light fare to follow."
A Word on Wedding Information Cards
Your guests will want to know additional information about your wedding beyond what you include on the invitation, itself. When it comes to casual weddings, they'll need to know the dress code. You can also use the information card to let them know about any food you'll be serving, particularly if you aren't providing served options for guests to choose from in advance.
Note that if you say "casual dress code," guests will assume that you mean button-downs, pants, blouses, and sundresses. Other casual dress code options include beach or garden party attire, which includes summer suits and summer dresses. If you don't have any preference about what guests wear, you can simply say, "Come as you are."
A Word on RSVP Cards
When planning a traditional wedding, the bride and groom will include an RSVP card with the formal invitation. Guests fill out the card saying whether or not they will attend the wedding and select their meal choice before mailing it back to the bride and groom (or the bride's parents).
RSVP cards are optional when sending out informal wedding invitations. Today, many couples provide digital RSVP options that are linked to wedding websites. If you do not send out an RSVP card, make sure to include the URL to your wedding website on your invitation with an RSVP deadline.
Casual Wedding Invitation Templates
To give you a better sense of how to put all these wording ideas to use, we've created a few templates that you can customize or use as inspiration.
If you want to keep things as simple as possible, try something like, "Megan and Dan invite you to join them on their wedding day on Saturday, 15th July 2023 at 4 PM at Hyde Park. Reception to follow."
If you want to include more information to set the tone, try something like, "Megan and Dan invite you to celebrate their wedding on Saturday, 15th July 2023 at 4 PM at Hyde Park. Food, fun, and festivities will follow, so bring your dancing shoes!"
You can go even further with your language choices to evoke a sense of whimsy. For example, you could write, "Megan and Dan are tying the knot and it's time to eat, drink, and be married! Join us at Hyde Park at 4 PM on Saturday, 15th July 2023 for the ceremony followed by an evening of fun."
In each of these templates, both formatting and language convey that you are not throwing a formal event. Additional materials, such as your wedding information card, will provide the remaining context your guests will need to know what to expect.
Choosing Your Informal Invitation Designs
You can use just about any invitation for a casual wedding, even if the script or design is on the elegant side. The language you use is the biggest indicator of what guests can expect.
However, some wedding invitation styles are more casual than others, which may align more closely with the theme or aesthetic you've chosen for the wedding, itself. If you're looking for a casual wedding stationery set, we recommend the Farringdon design. The Tate wedding invitation, Willow wedding invitation, and Tivoli wedding invitation are just a few more of the simple yet stunning designs we have to offer.
Customize Your Informal Wedding Invitations with Pemberly Fox
We're seeing a rise in the number of casual, informal, or semi-formal weddings. Your invitation is the perfect opportunity to let guests know what kind of event they should expect on your special day. Use this guide to wedding invitation wording for casual weddings to set the tone and prepare your guests for a memorable experience.
Would you like to know more about the Pemberly Fox process? Contact us and let us know about any questions you may have. Otherwise, get started on your custom order today.