RSVP Card Guidelines: Response Wording
First things first.
R.S.V.P is short for “Répondez, S'il Vous Plaît”
(French for “please reply”)
The RSVP card (also known as the Response card) is one of the most important parts of the whole invitation process. Obviously you need to know who'll be attending your big event! There are many ways you can word your RSVP cards, and some may be more detailed than others. Here is your guideline to creating your RSVP cards.
Responses can be done a variety of formats and can range from a simple card to an elaborate piece of paper, but the key details you need to gather are:
- Guest name(s)
- Attending / Not Attending
- Food selection (if required in advance by your venue/caterers)
- Dietary restrictions (optional, but important for your caterers to know!)
While most RSVPs have been traditionally done in a simple paper card format, these days there are lots of other ways to gather responses from your guests. Sure they may not be traditional, and your grandmother may chastise you for not going the “proper” route, but in this modern age its not always practical to do what tradition dictates.
One of the most helpful tools you can create for your guests is a wedding website. This will allow your guests to not only find your registry, but also find helpful information regarding your wedding. However, this can also be a way to collect your RSVPs digitally. Sites such as The Knot include a place for you to collect RSVPs right on your website.
A digital RSVP can allow you to ask more in depth questions that may be helpful to both you and your wedding planner such as which hotel your guests are staying at so you can organize transportation, or food allergies. Talk with your wedding designer to find out if a digital option might be better for your needs.
Have each of your guests fill out a form with the required information, which can be linked to on your wedding website or emailed directly to your guests. This is a great option for when you need to gather a lot of additional information, like for destination weddings, or a large multi-day affair that requires RSVPs for each separate event!
RSVP cards and reply envelopes should be sent with your invitations as one single unit with return addresses pre-addressed and stamped for the convenience of your guests. You should also be sure to create a fallback system to figure out who is sending back what card—sometimes your guests will not write in their names, which may seem odd, but it does happen. There are a number of ways to create a good fallback system such as numbering the return envelopes or RSVPs.
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Planning your wedding? Read more from our Wedding 101 series of posts!