Reply Card Etiquette

RSVP – r.s.v.p. – Please reply – repondez s’il vous plait.  However you say it, however you write it, replies are one of the most important parts of an invitation ensemble.  If you don’t know how many guests are attending your event, you’ll have no idea how large, (or small), your party may be.

It sometimes seems lately that guests do no want to bother to RSVP anymore, as if it’s almost an inconvenience to reply.  As the invitee, be aware of this and set your RSVP date on your response card about one week prior to when you need to know how many people are attending.  This will give you time to have any last-minute replies trickle in, as well as time to contact any guests who may have forgotten to reply.  Do not set your reply-by date for the date your caterer needs a head count.

Along with your requested reply-by date, include a line for your guests to write their name upon, so that you know the name of all guests attending.  Give them a few options to select whether or not they are attending.  The most popular choices are “will attend / will not attend” or “accepts with pleasure / declines with regret”.  Some customers may want to put “number attending”, however note that this opens the door for guests to bring as many guests as they desire along with them.  You could invite Mr. and Mrs. Smith and assume two would attend, but they fill in “4” for their “number attending”.  If you can have a large head count, feel free to use this option.

Remember that your reply card envelopes should be pre-stamped so that all guests need to do is fill out your reply card and place it back into the mail.  This way they do not need to worry about postage.  Always include a name above your address on the front of the reply card envelopes so that your guests know who they are replying to.  Many guests may want to jot down a note of congratulations to you, or a note of regret if they cannot attend.  Remember that it is okay to have more than one name on your reply card, however if you and your fiance are asking for replies, are living together, and are not yet married, you should not be placed on the same line, or joined with an ampersand, as these two things signify marriage in the wedding etiquette world.  You would thus list it as:

Katie Smith
Richard Mallis
145 Main Street
Cary, NC 27513

Mailed replies just not your thing?  If your event is formal, we would suggest a physical reply card.  However, if you are having a more casual event it is certainly acceptable to ask for a phone call or email RSVP.  You may even want to create an RSVP website for your guests to go to.  Whatever way you choose, make it most convenient for you to clearly organize your RSVP’s!

Tags: reply card etiquette, response card etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Invitation Etiquette

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