Casual Wedding Invitations: Thoughts and Ideas

Posted by csancho on Jan 30, 2013


Wedding invitations, as we’ve discussed before, can be a little tricky with their wording. Couples sometimes agonize over how they’ll say, “We’re getting married, want to come?” especially when the wedding is formal, and the invitation must reflect the formality of the event. But what if you’re hosting something a bit more casual? What are your invitation options? If you’re hosting a backyard barbeque for fifty people, do you really need RSVP cards? Let’s take the formal wording we’ve all heard before:


Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Doe

Request the honor of your presence
at the ceremony uniting their daughter

Ms. Jenny Doe


Mr. Jonathan Soe

In the bonds of holy matrimony

On Saturday the Fourteenth of September
Two Thousand and Thirteen
At Two O’ Clock in the Afternoon

Reception to Follow

And see what we can do with it for your informal wedding.

Some ideas concerning wording:
The only info you MUST include on your invitation is where and when your guests should show up. Full names are helpful too, even on save-the-dates. I’ve heard of families receiving super trimmed-down informal invites that featured only a city and the first names of the couple – no return address. Even if you’re going informal, think of playing with the style instead of the number of words you’ve got on your cardstock.


Some ideas concerning inserts:

While we’re all familiar with the extra-thick creamy wedding invitation envelope, complete with hired calligraphy and ribbon, arriving in our mailbox, not all weddings are held to this standard. If you’re hosting a casual wedding, your invites should reflect that. Even with the invention and proliferation of wedding websites and other access points for guests, your invitation is their first guess at how to dress and what to expect at your wedding. The numerous inserts and inexplicable sheet of tissue paper is a bundle that is typically reserved for big fancy weddings. If that isn’t your style, skip the inserts and trim the fat on your invite package. Forget the separate reception card and hotel information – you can fit everything your guests need on one postcard if you need to.

Also, registry inserts are generally a waste of space no matter how formal your invitations. If your guests want to know where to buy you stuff, they’ll ask (or they’ll find the right tab on your web site). Just because the store you registered at gives them away doesn’t mean you need to feel pressured into sending them out. Save the postage!

Some ideas concerning the RSVPs:
Even if you’re trimming down the rest of your invite envelope, a casual wedding invitation should probably include an RSVP card. While this is a personal choice (and the money you would save on both printing and postage is seductive), getting rid of RSVP cards in favor of email or website RSVPing is an invitation for late or completely missed RSVPs. Guests are used to filling out the little card and sending it back for wedding invites. It is much too easy to forget if the little reminder isn’t calling out to them from their refrigerator every time they grab a snack.
Trust me on this one. Eat the price of postage and enjoy the rewards of NOT calling your relatives a week before the wedding to see if they’re planning on showing up. It’s worth the saved labor.