How to RSVP to a Wedding Correctly

One of the things I’ve learned over the last (almost) 10 years of planning weddings is that there are MANY people who do not know how to properly RSVP.  It’s very frustrating to people who are planning events (i.e. brides, grooms, their families, and their planners) that people do not understand the basic etiquette behind this.  If you do not know how to properly RSVP, this one is for you!  Brides, feel free to share this so your guests will (hopefully) not leave you hanging.

RSVP comes from a French term that means “please respond.”  Response cards are formatted and have different criteria depending on the nature of the event.  But the absolute most important thing about RSVPing is to DO IT!  And do it by the date that is listed on the response card.  The hosts of the event are literally waiting on you to make all the final decisions regarding the wedding – ceremony seating, day of stationery (programs, place cards), reception seating (tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces), food and drink count and more!  No one wants to have to be making those decisions the week of their wedding.  Put frankly – don’t be rude, RSVP on time!

More tips on how to RSVP:

  • The M_______________ shown on your RSVP card is there for you to fill in the names of those invited.  Example: Mr. John Baker and Mrs. Becky Baker.  If you leave it blank, the couple does not know who is responding.  Make sure you put your full names.  There could be multiple Bakers, so a first and last name is best.
  • If the response card requests you to initial beside your meal selections, be sure to actually put each guests’ initials.  DO NOT put an X or a check mark.  If you do that, the host will not know which guest should get which meal selection.
  • The people listed on the envelope are the guests who are invited.  Please do not respond accepting an invitation for any other guest.  This means your children as well.  If they are not listed, or if the envelope doesn’t say “and family,” I am sorry but they are not invited.  If your envelope does not say “and guest” that means you cannot bring a plus one.  Please do not respond for you and a date!
  • Please do not change your response after it has been submitted, unless it’s extenuating circumstances.  Lots of plans have been made based on your response.  To ask to come to an event you have already declined is rude.  To not show up after you said you would be there is also rude.  Keep in mind that hosts of a large event, such as a wedding, pour a lot of time, thought, and money into a wedding.  When a guest doesn’t show up, the hosts still has to pay for you!

The reason you are being invited to a wedding is because someone loves you and wants to be with you as they celebrate their marriage!  Please be respectful and RSVP promptly and accurately.  They will appreciate it more than you know!

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