The Art and Anatomy of Wedding RSVP Forms

wedding rsvp

After spending hours picking the perfect design and obsessing over the wording of your wedding invitation, you don’t want to let your RSVP response card be an afterthought. The response cards that go along with your wedding invitations provide another opportunity to let your personality shine and give your guests an idea of the tone of your wedding.

Whether your wedding is a formal affair, more casual, or something in between, the RSVP card can be much more than simply utilitarian.

The Basics

The main purpose of the RSVP card is logistical. Whether your guest list is large or small, you need to know which of your invited guests will be attending, who they will be bringing, and any other essential information.

There are a few things that should be included on every RSVP form:

The Response Request
You can use traditional or contemporary language for the response request. Make sure it matches the tone of your wedding invitations. Common phrases for the response request include: The favor of a reply is requested by, RSVP by, and Reply by.

Respond-By Date
Confirm when your vendors need a final head count and use that to decide on your respond by date. Always build in at least a few extra days so you can track down anyone who might not have responded.

Name Line
What does that M stand for on an RSVP card? This traditional format is used so your guests can fill in their salutation (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) followed by their name. This can seem a little dated, and your younger guests may be confused and even neglect to fill in this line. An alternative is to simply write “Names” followed by a blank space for your guests’ names.

A traditional wording for the Accepts/Regrets line would be a blank line for a check mark, followed by Accepts with Pleasure or Declines with Regrets.

Additional Information
Meal selection is a common addition to the response card.

A Stamped Return Envelope
You should never make your guests address or stamp the return envelope for your response card.

rsvp form

RSVP Form Templates

As long as you include this basic information on your response cards, you have plenty of room to make them as formal, informal, or fun as you’d like. Here are two basic RSVP form templates — a formal version, and a casual version — to get you started.

Formal Response Card

The favor of a reply is requested
by the fifteenth of February.
M ______________________________

____ Accepts with pleasure
____ Declines with regret

Casual Response Card

Please reply on or before February 15, 2019.
Names ______________________________

____ Wouldn’t miss it!
____ Sorry! Can’t Make it!

Fun Extras

Additional information, response options that reflect the tone of your wedding, and personal touches are all different ways to make your response cards a special part of your wedding invitation. It can also be a good way to get across additional information to your guests.
    • If you are not inviting plus ones, or have space limitations for your wedding, you can add a line that states “We have reserved ( ) seats in your honor.” This is a subtle way to clarify whether or not a plus one would be invited.
    • Ask for your guests’ favorite dance song. Whether you have a DJ or you’re putting together your own wedding playlist, this is one way to guarantee that at least someone will be on the dance floor for each song. Your guests will love it when their requested song starts to play.
    • Ask for relationship advice and incorporate the responses into your wedding day.
    • Use fun or meaningful stamps for the return envelope. Stamps can be little pieces of art themselves, and a stamp that is coordinated with your invitations, wedding theme, or personalized with a picture of the bride and groom are a nice touch.

Why Traditional Response Cards?

When there are so many easy alternatives like email or online RSVP options, why go with a response card at all? The tradition of a response card with a formal invitation could seem fussy, but in this day and age when the majority of the mail we get is bills or junk mail, there’s something special about receiving that hand-addressed envelope with a beautifully designed wedding invitation and response card.

If you don’t have the time to address each envelope and write a personalized note to each of your wedding guests, Bond Weddings has you covered. A lot goes in to planning the perfect wedding, so let us take this one off your plate.

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