Last week we looked at the various ways to RSVP. If you have decided to go with a mailed response — a card or a postcard, your next step is figuring out what to say. There are a couple different options and you can certainly be more or less formal depending on the style of your wedding.
There are three basic parts to the RSVP: the reply by date, the guest’s name(s), attending/decline. If meal options are needed, then this is the perfect place to add them as well.
To start, you need to let your guests know when to respond by. A simple phrase is perfect:
- “Please respond by <date>”
- “Kindly reply by <date>”
- “The favor of reply is requested by <date>”
Next is the guest’s name. A standard blank line for them to write in is typical:
- M ______________________________
- Name(s) __________________________
- Travelers Name(s) ___________________ (great for a destination wedding)
Last is whether they will accept or decline. Until this point, the RSVP has been pretty mundane, but here is where you can have a little fun (if you wan too, of course):
- _____ Accepts with pleasure; _____ Declines with regrets
- Will _____ attend
- Yes, save us _____ beach chairs!; _____ Will be toasting from afar.
- Yes, save us _____ first class seats!; _____ Will toast you from afar.
- _____ Will be there in our dancing shoes!; _____ Will be at home in our comfy shoes.
- _____ Yeah, I want to rock and roll all nite!; _____ Sorry, I can’t get no satisfaction.
- _____ Viva la Mexico, we are in!; _____ Oy vey, we can’t make it.
To get a better idea of the number of guests in attendance, include a line for number of guests. Your family and friends should write in the number that will be attending from their household.
If you have different dinner options and need an exact head-count for each, then you’ll certainly need to include this on the reply card. A simple initial on the line will work — “Initial next to your meal selection”. For the options you can use a graphic — cow for steak, chicken, carrot for vegetarian, fish, lamb, etc. or provide the title of the main course (your caterer can provide this information).
Don’t forget to pre-address your response cards. Your guests may not know if they should send it back to you, your fiance, your parents or your wedding planner. So, make it easy for them and have your return address pre-printed on the RSVP. Likewise, don’t expect your guests to pay for this postage, put the stamp on there too! Our suggestion for the return address, if you and your fiance live together, simply address it to you both, first names only — Ginger & Kasey. Your guests already know your last names and you’re going to be together forever soon enough, plus if you add your last names, when pre-printed, it will bump someone to the second line and could look goofy.
As we mentioned last week, your respond by date is usually 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding day. This allows your vendors enough time to prepare and you a little extra time to call the last-minute stragglers for their response.
Hopefully by now you have all the information you need for your RSVP. And, I’ll leave you with a little bit of trivia: the initials, RSVP, are abbreviated from a French phrase Repondez S’il Vous Plait, meaning ‘please respond’.