How to Word Your RSVP Cards

March 25, 2019

Photography: Brittany Renee

 

 

 

Fun fact time! Do you know what RSVP really stands for? Well it's originally a French term, Répondez s'il vous plaît, that means please respond. 

 

Probably the most important piece of your invitation suite, after the invitation itself, is that cute little RSVP card.  It’s your guests’ call-to-action (“Please Respond”), and it drives final planning and BUDGET decisions like food count, place cards, and the beloved seating chart. This card is small but, provides a lot of information for you and your guests.  You'll want to make sure that you use this space wisely.  I've combined some of the important details to include on your RSVP card along with some tips for wording to help guide you in the design process.

 

 

RSVP Date

 

Your guests need to know when they must RSVP.  Remember that your planner, and all other vendors involved in planning your wedding are operating on a timeline. Create a sense of urgency for your guests and reduce last minute scrambling by considering the following:
 

  • The date that the caterer needs to know the final food count

  • The date your stationer needs to have the final count for day of stationery or final names for the seating arrangements (seating chart or escort cards)

  • Add on at least a week of cushion because you or someone helping you will inevitably need to reach out to people that don’t respond with anything.
     

With these deadlines in mind, you'll have a better idea of when you need your guests to return their RSVP cards.

 

 

Offer Multiple Ways to RSVP

 

Worried about your guests responding in a timely fashion? Well you could offer guests multiple ways to RSVP, especially if the timeline is relatively short. Some millennials may be more prone to responding online via your wedding website or email than dropping the rsvp card in the mail merely because of convenience.

 

 

Establish Boundaries/Limitations

 

It is not far fetched that you will have a guest or two who’d like to add a last minute plus one. Maintain control of your guest list (and budget) by setting boundaries on your RSVP card and respectfully including these strategies:

 

 

Photography by Lock and Co

 

Sometimes, children are not invited. A clear way to indicate this is to include this information {politely} on the RSVP.

 

  • “We have reserved ____ seats in your honor.”

 

 

If you need an exact guest count, you may wish to include a line for them to be very clear.

  • Party of ____

  • ____ number attending

  • ____ guests will attend

 

 

 

Limit the space guests have to write in additional names. 

  • Name(s)____

  • Use the traditional "M", which stands for Mr. and Mrs.

 

Entree Choices

 

Are you having a plated meal? Well you will definitely want to request that your guests' initials next to their meal preferences. This will help your caterer adequately prepare all the dishes. The meal selection can also be noted on escort cards next to your guests' names and seating assignment.

 

The most commonly used wording include the standard chicken, beef, fish, or vegetarian, but certainly can be altered based on your menu. Descriptive meal choice names can really get your guests excited, but you should really consider how much space you’ll have on the card. Perhaps keep it simple on the RSVP cards, and save your creativity for your menu cards. 

 

Consider the following:

  • Dietary restrictions/allergies

  • Religious beliefs, etc.

  • Children meals

 

Show Your Personalities

 

I just love when couples really have fun and show their personalities throughout their wedding. It's what really makes it your own. You can start with having fun on your rsvp card (if space allows) or on your accompanying details card.

 

 

Think about how you want your guests to reply. Do you want something other than the traditional accept or decline?

 

  • "Wouldn't miss it for the world" vs. "Celebrating from afar"

  • "Yes, lets turn up" vs. "No turn up for me"

  • "Can’t wait" vs. "Can't come"

 

 

Photography: Brittany Renee

 

 

Get even more into it by encouraging your guests to get on the dance floor. Ask them what gets them moving.

  • "I promise to dance if you play____"

 

 
Following these tips will ensure that you are able to collect the information needed to finalize your wedding plans.  Strongly encourage your guests to RSVP by the date you've set. 

 

Now, I can't just leave you with these amazing tips for your RSVP card wording. 

Click the button below to download my quick tips for properly addressing your wedding RSVP cards.

 

 

 

 

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