Let’s be honest – RSVP cards seem like an unnecessity. The truth of the matter is is that you won’t get 100 percent of the RSVP responses back. This means you have to track down some potential guests via phone or e-mail to verify if they are attending.
But this doesn’t mean including the RSVP card in your invitation suite is pointless. In fact, the RSVP card answers a lot of questions for guests and sets the tone of the wedding – Are my children invited? When is the latest I can accept the invitation? Would they accommodate my meal preferences?
Below is a break down of what you absolutely need on your RSVP card and some optional details you may want to include. In Part 2, we will explore different RSVP wording styles.
- RSVP deadline – Make sure the deadline date to RSVP is placed prominently on the RSVP card. Your deadline should be no less than two weeks before the big day.
- Line for names – The “M line” or the “Name line” are for your guests names. The “M” designates salutation (Mr., Mrs., Ms.). You could leave this line blank and have your guests fill it out if restricting guests is not a concern for you. The guest names on the our outer envelope for the entire invitation indicates who is invited to the wedding. However, if you do have a limited capacity for your event or you want to reiterate who is invited to the wedding, you may want to fill this line prior to mailing your invitations. (Guest name etiquette will be explored in Part 2.)
- Attendance – RSVP cards should include options for guests to either confirm their attendance or to decline.
- Envelope with address – Provide your guests with a stamped, return envelope.
- Number of guests attending – Why include this line if you have already listed the names of guests on the outer envelope or the response card? The entire party may not attend and this detail will help you have a more accurate head count for your wedding. For example, if you invite a family of five, the family may be planning to be only a party of two. By indicating this detail on the RSVP card, you’ve now saved 3 seats!
- Menu choices – Whether you have a buffet or plated dinner, meal choices can help your catering vendor know how much of what foods to make. For plated dinners, you can list out meal choices like this:
Menu Selection: Chicken__ Fish__ Beef__.
For buffets, you would need to know the proportion of vegetarians to non-vegetarians and can list out your meal choices like this:
Menu Selection: Vegetarian__ Non-Vegetarian__.
- Multiple events – If your celebration includes multiple ceremonies and events over two or more days, you may want to list the events in the attendance section (as in the photo above).
- RSVP contact details – In this digital age, many brides and grooms are utilizing their wedding websites and/or e-mails to collect RSVP information. If you have alternative ways your guests can RSVP digitally, include them on the card.
- Other details – Don’t be afraid to make your RSVP cards personal and fun too! For example, you can ask for song requests for your reception.