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How To Properly RSVP To A Wedding + Tips To Save Your Sanity As A Bride Tracking Her RSVP’s

Mar 20, 2017

How To Properly RSVP To A Wedding + Tips To Save Your Sanity As A Bride Tracking Her RSVP’s

Ever After Planning Weddings + Events | How To Properly RSVP to a wedding

Photo Credit | Rachael Osborn Photography Invitation Suite | Prairie Letter Shop

Wait, you’re telling me that there is a right and wrong way to RSVP to a wedding?!
Yes. Yes, I am.
In fact, incorrectly RSVPing to a wedding is a very common thing.

Ever After Planning Weddings + Events | How To Properly RSVP to a wedding

Photo Credit | The Verdant Photographer Invitation Suite | Dash/Wood Shop

First things first, I don’t know who you are.

There are upwards of 150-300 people on most wedding guest lists. Your response card won’t be recognized by your handwriting. I need your name. There is usually a line on an RSVP that looks a bit like this..
That is for you to write M{r. Joe Smith} or M{rs. Jane Smith} or M{r & Mrs. Joe Smith} etc.
Please, please, please write your name on that line.

Even if you can not make it, please put your name on the RSVP.

Even if you are checking the little box that says you are sorry you can not attend, I still need to know who is telling me they can’t make it. So, make sure you jot your name down on the line so that we can correctly mark the guest list.

Return address label, please.

You wouldn’t send a bill or a letter without a return address label. Same goes for a wedding response card.
That is not the only reason that I am asking you place a return address label on your RSVP.
It is surprising how many guests don’t follow the first two steps here, and this helps us to narrow down who sent the card inside the envelope.
Last week, I had a bride who’s envelopes weren’t sealing and we got 5 envelopes back empty. If they had had return address labels on them we could have called the guests and informed them of the situation.

Bringing a guest? Please list their name 🙂

Aside from tracking responses and giving accurate guest counts to the caterer and event staff, the guest list count also assists us in ordering place cards and other personalized items for the wedding day. So if you are bringing a guest, please write down their first and last name so that they can be included. Writing things such as “unknown and undetermined” can make it harder on the couple to personalize items.
Also, if you write unknown because you are unsure if you are going to bring a guest or not, bare in mind that odds are the couple is paying per person for food. 

How is the invitation is addressed?

This is big. This is how you know who is invited to the wedding.
For example,
Mr. & Mrs. Sean Williams
means that out of our household only my husband and I are invited.
Odds are, the couple did not mean any harm, or that they hate your kids. Maybe the couple is having an adult only reception, or only wanted children in the wedding party to attend.

Mr. Sean Williams and Guest
indicates that a Plus 1 has been extended to family member or friend!
{Bride Tip | If you know that the person is in a long-term relationship, consider actually including their name instead of ‘and guest’}

The Williams Family
indicates that the hubby and I and our two kiddos are all welcome at the wedding.

Mr. Sean Williams
this indicates that only the addressed guest is invited. A Plus 1 is typically not extended in this instance.

One meal selection per guest.

I receive about 5-10 RSVP’s a year from guests who choose multiple meal selections. I usually call them and have to say “I am so sorry but you must choose between the steak and the chicken” and their response is usually “I am sorry I couldn’t decide” or “I was hoping I could get two meals”.
Typically if there is an option for a meal choice, the reception is a seated-plated dinner service. Meaning the catering team will know ahead of time how many of each dish are at each table and who gets which dish.
This also means that you can not change your mind at the event, sorry folks.

Ever After Planning Weddings + Events | How To Properly RSVP to a wedding

Photography | Rachael Osborn Photography Stationery | Emily Rose Ink

RSVP Tips For The Bride…

  • Make sure you are clearly including a space for guests to list their name on the card. This can be a common oversight for couples who want to DIY their invitations.
  • Consider taking the extra step of putting return addresses  {in the form of hand lettering or a label} on the RSVP envelope. That way should anything happen, you know who sent the response card.
  • Consider numbering the RSVP’s to each guest party. It could be a small little number on the back corner of the card that corresponds with their line on the guest list. That way if they do not fill out names you know who sent it in.
  • Make sure you are addressing your invitations clearly. One small slip of “Williams Family” vs “Mr. & Mrs. Sean Williams” could mean that a couple responds that their 2 or 3 kiddos will be in tow with them. This could lead to an awkward conversation if you did not intend to allow children at the reception or ceremony.
  • Make sure that the invitations are sealed tight when they get sent out so that nothing falls out or goes missing. Sometimes RSVP’s aren’t sent back because they fell out of an invitation that came open in transit.
  • Don’t send all of your invitations out at once. Send them in batches over a few days. This makes sure that you aren’t taking any chances, and should a batch go missing in the mail, you will be able to recongize it.
Ever After Planning Weddings + Events | How To Properly RSVP to a wedding

Photography | Rachael Osborn Photography Stationery | Prairie Letter Shop


  1. Erinn

    March 22nd, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Such great tips!

  2. Emily

    March 23rd, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Super helpful tips!! Thanks for sharing!

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