Response cards (RSVPs) play a critical roll in planning your wedding because they give you an accurate count on how many people will attend. Not every guest you invite will be able to come to your wedding, but you have to make plans to accommodate the number you invite. It used to be customary for someone to receive your invitation and then RSVP on their own stationery. In recent years, the number of people who carry out this tradition has become fewer with the rise of the telephone and Internet. So now, the customary practice is to include a response card with the wedding invitation for guests to mail back to you.
The response card gets slipped into the invitation’s envelope with any other enclosure cards like directions or where the couple is registered. Also, a growing trend is to have the guest RSVP on the couple’s wedding website. This method does save on printing and postage costs, but I personally love printed materials, and feel like the web can be less personal. It really just depends on your budget, time restraints, and personal preference.
So now that I’ve clarified what response cards are, I want to tell you some do’s and dont’s about sending them.
Do: Discretely number the back of your response cards because some guests will forget to write their name on them. (I learned that the hard way!)
Do Add postage and self-address the response card envelopes so that it makes it even easier for your guest to respond.
Do Give your guest a specific date by which they should respond.
Do Allow for stragglers. You may get some response cards back the day after your wedding so take your actual number based on RSVPs and add some additional just in case.
Don’t Give your guest months to respond or else it will get forgotten. A good 3-4 weeks to respond is enough time.
Don’t Print your guest’s name(s) on the response card for them. This can add an additional cost for variable printing and can add up costs with a calligrapher. It is perfectly fine to have a line where the guest can write their own name.
Do or Don’t Add meal choices for the guest to pick if you are having a full meal at your reception. It seems like people are really torn on this idea because it is not proper etiquette. Personally, I think it helps your caterers plan more so you aren’t purchasing a ton of additional food.
Do or Don’t Allow your guests to write in the number attending. It can be nice to help with an accurate count but if you address it to the parents of the household, they may see this as saying they can invite all their kids. So you may have additional guests you didn’t plan for.
Are there other do’s and dont’s you can think of, or did you learn something the hard way?