How To Rsvp: Digital Invitations
If no RSVP card is provided, or youve received a digital invitation, its likely the couple have left instructions on how to RSVP online. This will usually be via a wedding website or a specified email address.
How to RSVP via a wedding website:
Simply type in the URL from the wedding invitation and follow the prompts. Usually, this will direct you to an RSVP page including the same questions you would typically receive in a traditional RSVP card. Be sure to fill in all of the requested areas before clicking the send or confirm button. While youre on the wedding website, you can also take a look around to learn more about things like venue directions, transportation options and a schedule for the day.
How to RSVP via email:
If the couple has asked you to RSVP via email, simply respond using the same kind of message you would for a blank RSVP card. Dont forget to use the correct email address provided on the invitation, even if you have a different email address on file. Many couples will create a separate email address for their RSVPs to keep all of the responses in one convenient place.
With A Preprinted Response Card
The most traditional is where we have space for guests to write in their names…the second is a more restricted version where the hosts of the event will write in the guest names on the RSVP and how many guests they can bring , says Kentris. Another trend we are starting to see is including ‘attending in person’, ‘attending remotely’, and ‘unable to attend’ on a single card. This gives the guests options to choose how they participate in the event.
On these cards, if there is an M preceding a blank space, your social title goes first followed by your full name. Wiese Alexander advises writing your name exactly as it was written on the envelope. This means if the envelope is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the response line should state, Mr. and Mrs. Smith but if the envelope is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Maggie and Drew, then the response would include: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Maggie and Drew…
Use a number as opposed to a checkmark to confirm your response. For example, ___ accept and ___ regret would be filled out as _2_ accept and _2_ regret if the kids arent coming. Should an entree selection be included, the choices should be initialed by the guest, so the host knows exactly who is getting what.
What Does Rsvp Actually Mean
The word RSVP is derived from the French phrase Répondez sil vous plaît, which simply translates to please respond. When you RSVP to a wedding invitation, youre confirming either your attendance or non-attendance on the day.
Requesting and tracking RSVPs allows a couple to confirm their guest numbers and use this information to finalize everything from catering and furniture hire to place cards and seating charts. An RSVP request may also be used to confirm important details like meal selections, dietary preferences and plus-ones, too.
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How To Rsvp: Physical Invitations
If youve received a traditional invitation in the post, it may come with a seperate RSVP card and pre-addressed envelope. The RSVP card will either include a pre-printed template with specific questions, or be left blank for you to write your own response message.
If the RSVP card has a pre-printed template:
In this situation, all you need to do is fill in the blank areas and/or tick the boxes requested by the couple. Generally, this will include details like:
- Your name
- Your RSVP response: attending or not attending
- Number of guests attending
- Just for fun questions like dance floor requests or marriage advice.
A couple of things to keep in mind as you complete these details are:
- Use both your first and last name to avoid confusion especially if its a large wedding!
- Follow the formatting outlined on the RSVP card. Some more traditional/formal RSVP cards may include a pre-printed M before the name line. This is simply a prompt to include your title before your name for example, Mrs Sally Smith.
- If the RSVP card includes just for fun questions, make the effort to answer them! While they might not be necessary to confirm your attendance, the couple obviously wants to involve you in their celebration.
If the RSVP card is blank:
A blank RSVP card will require you to write your own personal response. This should be a couple of brief sentences to confirm your name, attendance/non-attendance, and any other details requested in the RSVP instructions.
Children Or No Children
People often decide not to invite children to their wedding for reasons that could be a matter of cost or personal choice. It can be a delicate subject to get right on your invitation. A carefully phrased note like Regrettably, children are unable to attend we hope you understand., or Our wedding will be a child-free occasion we hope you can still come and enjoy a night off. makes it clear to your guests, while remaining sensitive to their feelings.
So, as you can see, theres a lot to think about when choosing your wedding invitation wording. Weve printed all sorts of styles over the years. Here are some examples to help get you started with yours:
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What Does M Stand For In Wedding Rsvp Cards
The M stands for the first letter to Ms., Mr., or Mrs. on a wedding response card. You are then able to fill in the rest of the initials for your particular title, along with your full name and the name of your guest . For example, some lines may be filled out as
- Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
- Ms. Jane Pearson and Mr. Jason Brown
- Ms. Angela Branford
Without Any Response Card
Some wedding invitations forego the RSVP card entirely. Kentris says this is another common style he sees, and instead of a response card, they may include a details card with a wedding website.
Wiese Alexander says this is where you follow the leader, and only respond in the manner that is asked. If an email is left as a method of reply, dont shoot your friend a text. Its daunting to host a party, and even more so when guests are sending info from all different directions.
If a formal invitation says kindly reply with nothing more added, its time to break out your own stationery. Use the same approach as the pre-printed response card but add another line and make it more personal. This might seem uncommon or intimidating, but Wiese Alexander notes that it was once considered garish to include a reply card as the proper host would assume their sophisticated guests know how to RSVP, of course. This is hardly ever employed in 2021, she says. But you might come across a nostalgic host or twoand now you know what to do.
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What To Include In A Wedding Rsvp Card
A proper wedding RSVP card requires the following information:
What not to include in a wedding response card? Information about the registry. Its never proper to include registry information in the main wedding invitation or on the wedding response card.
Hosted By Divorced Parents
To include divorced parents on the invitationeither for the bride or the groominclude the mothers name first followed by the fathers name on a separate line without an and separating them.
- For divorced mothers who are not remarried, use the courtesy title Ms. followed by whichever last name she prefers .
- To include stepparents on the invitationfor either the bride or the groom list the mother and stepfathers names first, followed by the father and stepmothers names.
- List the mother first regardless if the father is remarried and the mother is not.
- The bride should consider including her last name if multiple sets of parents, with different last names, come before her on the invitation.
Formal Invitation Example
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Try To Do It In A Day
It might initially seem like an insurmountable task, but trust us: Getting the invites stuffed, sealed, and stamped in one day is the way to go. Here are some tips to ensure that nothing goes wrong while envelope stuffing:
Dont have food or drinks near the invites: The last thing you want is for something to spill on a pile of invitations. Work in a space that is clean and clear of anything that could tip over and stain.
Put each piece in its own separate stack: Have one stack for the invitations, another stack for the rsvp card, etc. That way, you can move seamlessly across the table you are working at, building each invitation one piece at a time. This strategy will make it much easier for you to stuff the entire invitation packet into an envelope as a group. If you try to put each individual piece of the invitation packet into the envelope instead of the aforementioned stacking method, it could lead to a much longer process, with more room for error.
Do the stamps last: This only applies if you arent using an assembly line method with friends. If you have an assembly line, you can put someone on stamp duty, but if you and your SO are stuffing envelopes by yourself, doing the stamps last is a big time-saver. Also, do yourself a favor and use self-adhesive stampsno one wants to lick that much postage. If you want to learn how to send wedding invitations, Zola can help you.
Address Your Guests Properly
Addressing your guests properly is a key part of wedding invitation etiquette and likely the first part of the wedding invitation that your guests will see upon opening. That said, this is the only section of the invitation that should include abbreviations . Here is a list of guidelines on how to properly address your guests with proper titles:
To a single woman:
Miss. Hailey Rose Johnson
Ms. Hailey Rose Johnson
To a married woman:
To a single or married man:
Mr. Benjamin Jeremy Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Nick Franklyn Walters
To a married couple with children:
Mr. and Mrs. Doug Michael Williams
Sarah Bailey Williams
To a married couple when one is a doctor
Doctor Jennifer Lynn Thomas and Mr. Daniel Robert Smith
Doctor Jennifer Lynn Smith and Mr. Daniel Robert Smith
Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Thomas and Doctor Daniel Robert Smith
To an unmarried couple living together:
Ms. Emily Elizabeth Brown and Mr. James Christopher Jacobson
While addressing your guests may seem like a fairly straightforward and simple task, you will want to be sure that you are addressing them properly. Its one of the most important and commonly mistaken factors when it comes to wedding invitation etiquette. If possible, use your guestâs full name, however, if you are unsure of a middle name, avoid using it altogether as opposed to abbreviating it with just the initial.
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Create An Assembly Line
Many hands make less work, and an assembly line is a tried-and-true method of churning out a flawless finished product. Once youve gathered a good-sized crew, divide them up and give them individual tasks.
If you have more people than you need, try breaking people up into teams to work in shifts. You can even turn the process into a party game where the fastest team gets a prize at the end. Dont be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with how you encourage people to get the job done.
Just dont be bossythese people are giving their time to help you send mail. Try to give direction rather than orders nobody wants to help someone who seems ungrateful. Direction comes in the form of encouragement and gratitude, with plenty of compliments sprinkled on top. This subtle difference will determine whether your friends and family walk away from the day thinking that was fun versus that was a nightmare. Even if something goes wrong, try and remain calmtheres almost always a solution.
Whoops You Missed The Rsvp Date
While the goal is always to send the RSVP card in ASAP, mistakes do happen and sending back the wedding RSVP card can slip your mind. If this happens and you do plan on attending, don’t just send the card back in and hope for the best. Send it back in, yes, but also pick up the phone to call the couple personally. Couples are often working with tight guest lists and, if they assumed you couldn’t be there, they may have moved on to inviting other wedding guests. They will likely understand and will be thrilled you’re joining them on their wedding day, but the proper etiquette is to connect with them and confirm.
In the same vein, one last tip. If you’re close with a couple and must send your regrets for their wedding, reach out personally to let them know, in addition to sending in the card. Even if it’s technically correct RSVP card etiquette to simply send regrets through snail mail, it may not be the most considerate move. Remember, if you’ve been invited as a wedding guest, it’s because the couple wants to celebrate with you!
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Wedding Invitation Wording If The Couple Is Hosting
If you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, the invite wording will look slightly different. Essentially, the greeting will skip the host line and begin with the request linehere’s an example.
Formal Wedding Invitation Wording Sample:
The honor of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Jack Alexander Smith
Saturday, the seventeenth of May
two thousand and twenty
at half past four in the afternoon
Casual Wedding Invitation Wording Sample:
Jack Alexander Smith &
invite you to share in their joy at their wedding
Saturday, May 17, 2020
at 4:30 in the afternoon