What is the proper response card etiquette for wedding invitations? Do wedding invitations come with rsvp cards? Do you need to send RSVP cards with your wedding invites, or can you skip it? Let’s discuss the proper etiquette of sending response cards with wedding invitations and the mistakes to avoid.
Yesterday, we talked about the difference between save the dates and wedding invitations. Today we’re focusing on RSVP cards, one of the key parts of the wedding invitation and the etiquette of response cards.
We’ll tackle the most popular questions about RSVPs: their purpose, if you need to include RSVP cards with invitations, whether response cards are really necessary, and how you can use alternative methods to obtain responses from your guests. By following these pointers, you can avoid some RSVP card mistakes for your wedding and have a stress-free experience.
Let’s get started!
What is the purpose of an RSVP card?
An RSVP card, also known as a response card, is necessary to ask guests whether they can attend your wedding. It is usually included as a card enclosure in your wedding invitation, along with an envelope that is pre-stamped with postage and addressed back to you, so guests can easily check “yes” or “no” and indicate a meal preference, then send it back in the mail.
Nice and easy. :)
Why do you need to include RSVP cards with invitations?
A few weeks prior to your wedding, your caterer will need a headcount: the total number of guests who are confirmed to attend. Since you typically pay per plate, they want to ensure they make enough food to feed your guests and also charge you the appropriate amount per guest at your reception.
By including RSVP cards with invites, you won’t be guessing who is going to show up. Instead, you’ll have an accurate number to give to your caterer so you do not overspend — or worse, run out of food.
Are RSVP cards necessary?
When you’re crunching those numbers and budgeting for invitations, it can be surprising to see how many enclosures are actually included in the assembly of an invitation. You may even be asking yourself… do you really need RSVP cards at all?
As a rule of thumb, you should always include a response card, and envelope, and add postage and a return address on the envelope to make it easy for guests to respond.
RSVP cards are essential for two reasons: one, simply for the sake of response card etiquette. As a rule of thumb, you need to send RSVP cards because you are sending a formal invitation. The invitation is not just a card in the mail; it is a formal request to attend your celebration, which requires a response on their behalf.
By including response cards with invitations, you are making it easy for guests to easily say yes or no on a response card, then pop it in the mail.
The other reason why it is essential is for the sake of planning ahead. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want that accurate headcount for the caterer and it’s so much easier to receive response cards by mail than to call each guest and ask them if they can attend.
How are response cards used?
Response cards for a wedding invitation are given for guests to respond with a yes — they can make it, or no — they must decline.
A card makes it easy for guests to decline if needed, without the awkwardness of a phone call to state they will not be in attendance.
Do response cards come with wedding invitations?
They are typically a part of the wedding invitation as a whole, but are commonly sold separately from invitations. The card needn’t be elaborate; it should be simple and to-the-point. If you make it complicated, guests won’t know how to fill it out and they simply won’t.
If you choose a card like this one, guests can easily check the box and mail it back.
Alternatives to RSVP Cards by Mail
Sure, you can call each guest to ask, but that’s not really the proper way to do it etiquette-wise — and who has time for that?! :)
There are some creative alternatives to response cards that we’ve been noticing lately and, while RSVP cards by mail are still your best bet for a quick return of replies, there is no rule that states you must include RSVP cards. Technically speaking, you can still get married without them, of course. ;)
However, you should always include a way for guests to let you know if they can make it.
This can include any of the following:
• a traditional RSVP card and envelope, as mentioned
• a phone number to text or call
• a link to a wedding website with online RSVPs
You can print it on a card like this so guests know exactly how to respond.
• QR code rsvp cards, which make it fun (+ modern!) for guests to submit their responses digitally
One of the popular ideas right now is to include QR code response cards, which is a fun way for guests to send in their responses digitally. Although you still need to include it with your invitations like this, it does eliminate the need for an additional RSVP card, matching envelope, and stamp, which helps the budget tremendously.
• postcard rsvp card
An RSVP card alternative is a postcard. A postcard RSVP like this will save you money on postage, as stamps cost less on postcards vs. regular mail. In addition, since you can address the postcards on the back, you do not require an additional envelope. The only con is the information on your card remains publicly visible, but that’s not usually too much of a concern.
Do you have to include an envelope with response card?
Yes! Proper response card etiquette for weddings dictates that yes, you should always include an envelope. On the envelope, you need to include a return address and a postage stamp.
Do you need to include postage on a rsvp card?
By doing so, you make it super-easy for guests to pop the response in the mail. Instead, they have to look around for a stamp… or run to the post office to buy some. Don’t make it tough on guests or they simply won’t respond.
And there you have it: all the proper response card etiquette you need! If you run into any questions while you’re putting together your invites, just ask: we’ll swoop in to help!
To browse RSVP cards for invitations, click here for a beautiful collection of designs.
I hope it helps!