When it comes to weddings, there are a lot of things you’ve got to handle before the special day arrives. A wedding RSVP card is only one small step in what is a more enormous undertaking, but that doesn’t mean it’s less important!
A wedding RSVP card, while crucial to your planning process, is only one part of a wedding stationery suite. You’ve got several types of invitations, notes, and cards that can potentially go out to your guests:
We’re not here to discuss all of these right now; we’re focusing specifically on wedding RSVP cards and how you should be wording them. So let’s dive into all the do’s and don’ts associated with wedding RSVP card wording.
What Is a Wedding RSVP Card?
The invitation lays out the details of your wedding in full. A wedding RSVP card acts as the response to this invitation from the invited guest. They receive this card with the invitation and have to acknowledge the invite and respond if they’ll be attending or not.
The point of an RSVP card is to gather insight into who will and won’t be at the wedding. This is critical for seating chart planning, budgets, food requests, and more – so you want to get it right!
Wording Your Wedding RSVP Card: The Dos
We’re going to break down these pivotal print players in your wedding and explain how each line should be tackled when crafting your perfect wedding RSVP card.
#1 – Include an RSVP Reply Date
It’s so important to provide a reply-by date on which the invited guest needs to respond. It’s important to have reasonable deadlines so that your guests don’t have so long to send in their reply that they forget. On the other hand, you don’t want to give them so little time that they can’t think about it before getting back to you. 4 to 5 weeks is usually the sweet spot here.
You’ve got a few wording options for how you’d like to relay the RSVP reply date:
- Kindly reply by [Month, Date]
- Please respond by [Month, Date]
- RSVP by the [Date] of [Month]
- Your reply is requested by [Month, Date]
#2 – Leave Space for Guest To Write Their Name
Most likely, you’re not going to individually print out personalized RSVP cards with individual guests’ names. While you’re more than welcome to, it’s a time-consuming process that eats away otherwise valuable time and money. Instead of personalized wedding RSVP cards, you’ll instead leave space for guests to write in their own name(s).
The M represents the first letter of your title, be it Mr/Mrs/Ms.
This space is one of the most important aspects of the wedding RSVP card because it doesn’t help knowing someone’s coming to the wedding if you don’t know who they are!
Don’t forget to add in space asking how many guests will be in attendance. For example, suppose you’re inviting the Smiths. In that case, John Smith might respond on behalf of his family and say he’ll be attending with his family of four. This is crucial information!
The alternative is telling the guests how many seats have been reserved for them. This might be because you’re looking to be strict about your guest count or if you’re already aware of how many people they might be bringing. You’d simply write this as ‘We’ve saved ___ seats for you!’ You write in the number as you’re assigning the seats.
#3 – Provide Check Boxes
To get an answer, you can either leave space for them to write ‘accept’ or ‘decline,’ or you can go the traditional route of leaving a check box for each option.
The wording of ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ can be played around with to suit the style of your wedding. For example, it can be ‘can’t attend’ and ‘can attend,’ or ‘Can Make It’ and ‘Can’t Make It’ – or something more unique and fun. The options are endless.
#4 – Give Food Options
If you’re serving a selection of foods that requires the guest to pre-determine ahead of time, especially at a sit-down dinner, leave space for this and once again use the checkboxes to relay the options. The guests will initial their entree choices, which will help the caterers know how to prep. This also means that if you’re using place cards, you can include a meal indicator on them so that the servers know where to place the food.
If you’re serving a buffet, don’t worry about this step.
You can also include checkboxes with options or space for guests to write in any dietary restrictions or food allergies. While this is optional, it’s always good to know to avoid some calamity at the reception.
#5 – Use the Right Language
Determine what type of language you’re using for your invitation before crafting your wedding RSVP card.
If you’re going formal, you’ll be choosing phrasing options like ‘Graciously Accepts’ and ‘Respectfully Declines.’ If you’re going funny, you’ll be putting your own spin on it like ‘Yes, Let’s Party Till The Sun Comes Up’ and ‘No, And I Can’t Believe I’m Going To Miss It! #MajorFOMO.’
You don’t have the same limitations with wedding RSVP cards as you do with the invitations. You can be a little bit more playful with your RSVP cards. If it’s a destination wedding, say ‘Yes, my Bags Are Packed!’ and ‘Unable To Fly Away With You.’
While wedding invitations are generally a little more formal, even in their more fun examples, wedding RSVP cards are where you can add a little of your personality into the mix.
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There are some things that you don’t need on your wedding RSVP card:
- Don’t mention major details already detailed in the invitation. This is redundant and a waste of space.
- Don’t put the venue address on the mailed out RSVP cards, as it will end up getting sent back to the wrong address.
- Don’t forget to add a postage return with your address into the invitation packet! Make sure that the guest has a way to get their RSVP back to you.
For more guidance on ‘detail cards’ that are part of your invitation suite, check out our post What to Include in your Wedding Invitation Suite.
Tips & Tricks For Your Wedding RSVP Card Success
Here are some tips and tricks that are always good to incorporate into your wedding:
- Be sure to send the invitations out in time to give the guest the appropriate opportunity to respond. The usual timeframe for invitations sending and receiving is allowing for 3 – 4 weeks for them to respond. There’s a sweet spot for you and them. Too much time for your guests, and they forget, and you end up chasing down RSVPs. Not enough time means they can’t plan properly. Additionally, give yourself enough time, so you’re not scrambling to craft a seating chart on the fly. Check out our definitive timeline for ordering wedding invitations for further guidance.
- You’d be surprised how often this happens, so it’s worth mentioning, but don’t forget to put postage on your reply envelope! This should be the first step just so it’s done, and you can review it as the last step for assurance.
PS – ordering custom invitations? Please inquire about adding our assembly services!
- If you need a headcount for other events such as welcome dinners, a farewell brunch, or other weekend events, you can add a selection on the card. Just be sure that your invitation suite also includes a Details card or Weekend Events card with the relevant corresponding information for the event, such as date, time, address, and dress code.
Many happy couples are opting to take their wedding invitations into the digital age. However, there are some things you should know before embarking on this route!
- Make sure it’s secure through the use of professionally hosted wedding websites.
- Think about the URL for your wedding and make it something easy yet identifiably centered around your wedding.
- If the URL is too long, consider a QR code or shortening the URL in creative ways for your cards.
- Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you need to forgo printed wedding RSVP cards. These cards should state the reply-by date and the URL where they can fill in the information regarding their attendance, guest count, food choice, and allergies.
- If you’re going digital, your reply card won’t need an envelope or return postage. These are one-way cards directing guests to the online RSVP portal.
This all probably sounds like so many rules and regulations surrounding what seems so simple. It’s really not that difficult, we promise! We here at Fine Day Press know how stressful planning a whole ceremony can be. We’ve seen the countless months it takes to get everything in place. That’s why we’ve become so invested in making amazing invitations readily available or customizable for our clients.
If you’re interested, take a look at what’s on offer; if you want to have a more in-depth chat about what you’re looking for, then get in touch! We’re more than happy to make your wedding a touch more special with invitations, save the dates, and all your other print needs done with elegant and beautiful print designs.
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