Credit: Iris Films

by Linda DiProperzio

While we’re used to seeing it on pretty much every invitation we receive, most people don’t know what RSVP means—and how important it is to anyone throwing a special event--especially a wedding. After all, when a couple is paying per person for the biggest day of their lives, they need an accurate head count, whether they're holding their wedding in their own home or at a separate location.

What does RSVP mean?

Let's start with the basics: RSVP is taken from the French phrase "Repondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "Please respond." If you see RSVP on a wedding invitation, it means that the couple is requesting for you to confirm your attendance at their event. This is important because their venue needs an accurate head count so they can order enough food, set up the right number of table and chairs, etc. The couple will also need to know who is coming to their wedding so they can create a memorable guest experience for all.

Types of RSVPs

Most couples will include an RSVP (or response) card in their wedding invitation suite. The card is preprinted but has blank spaces so that the guest can write in their name, and then allow them to indicate whether or not they’re going to be able to make it. The wording used for the response depends entirely on you. Some couples simply go with “Will” or “Will Not” attend, while others choose to get a bit more playful with something like “We can’t wait to celebrate!” and “So sorry we can’t make it!” Of course, if you really want to cut to the chase, you can just offer family and friends a “Yes” or “No” box to check off.

Couples will need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the RSVP card to make it as easy as possible for guests to get it back to you. In an effort to be more eco-friendly—and save money on postage--some couples are opting to go with a postcard that guests can fill out.

And with the rise of technology, you can also skip paper responses altogether and direct guests to your wedding website, which can be setup to accept RSVPs. Going this route really depends on how comfortable you think your family and friends will be doing everything online.

Bride and Groom walking down aisle with guests around them
Credit: Naxid Weddings

What else should you include on the RSVP card?

If you’re allowing single guests to bring a date, they should include their plus-one’s name on the response card so you can add them to the place cards. And if you have decided to include children in your wedding day, you’ll need a final count of how many family members are coming. People with very young children might still decide to keep the kids home, so you don’t want to just assume the whole brood is coming.

In addition to asking guests if they can attend, you can also request for them to make a choice for their main course on the response card. This can ensure that your caterer orders the right amount of food and nothing goes to waste. You can even add an extra line where family and friends can write in any dietary restrictions.

Of course, the most important detail to put on the RSVP card is the deadline for guests to return it to you! The deadline should typically be about 2-4 weeks before the wedding date. Another option is to make your RSVP “Regrets Only,” which means that guests will only respond if they cannot attend. This can be a risky endeavor though when it comes to planning a wedding.

How to respond to the RSVP

The best—and most considerate—thing for guests to do is to send in their RSVP as soon as possible (or at the very least make the deadline given on the card). If for some reason you realize you have missed the deadline, send the RSVP in immediately and reach out to the couple to let them know it is on the way.

Be sure that you only RSVP for yourself and anyone else included on the invite. For example, if the wedding invitation is addressed to "Mrs. & Mrs. Jones," then you shouldn't assume that your children are also invited--and it's never okay to add people onto the response card without checking with the couple first.

If you cannot attend the wedding, it's always nice to send in a personal note with the RSVP to let the couple know how sorry you are that you won't be there for their special day. A bonus would be also sending along a gift with your regrets.

Now that you know so much about RSVPs, browse through our list of stationery vendors to find someone in your area that can create the perfect invitation for your big day. And be sure to check out all of our wedding videos for more ideas.

Credit: Iris Films

by Linda DiProperzio

While we’re used to seeing it on pretty much every invitation we receive, most people don’t know what RSVP means—and how important it is to anyone throwing a special event--especially a wedding. After all, when a couple is paying per person for the biggest day of their lives, they need an accurate head count, whether they're holding their wedding in their own home or at a separate location.

What does RSVP mean?

Let's start with the basics: RSVP is taken from the French phrase "Repondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "Please respond." If you see RSVP on a wedding invitation, it means that the couple is requesting for you to confirm your attendance at their event. This is important because their venue needs an accurate head count so they can order enough food, set up the right number of table and chairs, etc. The couple will also need to know who is coming to their wedding so they can create a memorable guest experience for all.

Types of RSVPs

Most couples will include an RSVP (or response) card in their wedding invitation suite. The card is preprinted but has blank spaces so that the guest can write in their name, and then allow them to indicate whether or not they’re going to be able to make it. The wording used for the response depends entirely on you. Some couples simply go with “Will” or “Will Not” attend, while others choose to get a bit more playful with something like “We can’t wait to celebrate!” and “So sorry we can’t make it!” Of course, if you really want to cut to the chase, you can just offer family and friends a “Yes” or “No” box to check off.

Couples will need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the RSVP card to make it as easy as possible for guests to get it back to you. In an effort to be more eco-friendly—and save money on postage--some couples are opting to go with a postcard that guests can fill out.

And with the rise of technology, you can also skip paper responses altogether and direct guests to your wedding website, which can be setup to accept RSVPs. Going this route really depends on how comfortable you think your family and friends will be doing everything online.

Bride and Groom walking down aisle with guests around them
Credit: Naxid Weddings

What else should you include on the RSVP card?

If you’re allowing single guests to bring a date, they should include their plus-one’s name on the response card so you can add them to the place cards. And if you have decided to include children in your wedding day, you’ll need a final count of how many family members are coming. People with very young children might still decide to keep the kids home, so you don’t want to just assume the whole brood is coming.

In addition to asking guests if they can attend, you can also request for them to make a choice for their main course on the response card. This can ensure that your caterer orders the right amount of food and nothing goes to waste. You can even add an extra line where family and friends can write in any dietary restrictions.

Of course, the most important detail to put on the RSVP card is the deadline for guests to return it to you! The deadline should typically be about 2-4 weeks before the wedding date. Another option is to make your RSVP “Regrets Only,” which means that guests will only respond if they cannot attend. This can be a risky endeavor though when it comes to planning a wedding.

How to respond to the RSVP

The best—and most considerate—thing for guests to do is to send in their RSVP as soon as possible (or at the very least make the deadline given on the card). If for some reason you realize you have missed the deadline, send the RSVP in immediately and reach out to the couple to let them know it is on the way.

Be sure that you only RSVP for yourself and anyone else included on the invite. For example, if the wedding invitation is addressed to "Mrs. & Mrs. Jones," then you shouldn't assume that your children are also invited--and it's never okay to add people onto the response card without checking with the couple first.

If you cannot attend the wedding, it's always nice to send in a personal note with the RSVP to let the couple know how sorry you are that you won't be there for their special day. A bonus would be also sending along a gift with your regrets.

Now that you know so much about RSVPs, browse through our list of stationery vendors to find someone in your area that can create the perfect invitation for your big day. And be sure to check out all of our wedding videos for more ideas.