Once upon a time, people didn’t need response cards. When they received a written invitation, they would RSVP on their own stationery, offering congratulations and whether or not they would be able to attend.
With the invention of the telephone, it became customary to include a response card for formal invitations, and to ask people to RSVP by telephone for casual invitations.
But what should a response card say, what is the etiquette of response cards, and are there other ways for guests to RSVP?
Along with the other aspects of wedding like the cater, invitations, decorations, etc. little RSVP notes or the wedding response cards also need to be prepared by following proper wedding RSVP etiquette. RSVP notes or response cards whose initials are abbreviated from a French phrase Repondez S’il Vous Plait, meaning ‘please respond’, are basically send by the hosts along with the invitations, asking the guests to let them know about their intentions or plans on or before the specified date, which is usually two to four weeks before the wedding.
Today’s Wedding RSVP Etiquette for Guests
When it comes to weddings, the couple is usually hoping that the big day will be stress free, and that everyone will share happily in the ultimate profession of their unending love. In many cases, however, by the time of the big day, the couple is exhausted from all the planning. One way you, as an invited guest, can help is to make sure that you notify the couple of your plans by using the appropriate wedding RSVP etiquette for guests.
If you plan to attend, it’s important to follow the directions included with the invitation and to state the number of persons who will be in your party. If you cannot attend, it is almost doubly important to make sure the couple knows. There are seating charts to devise and caterers to inform, after all. While an empty chair at a table may create some discomfort, the missing person or persons can mean more than just an awkward silence while the other guests decide who gets the extra favors. Missing guests can mean that the bride and groom or their family will have to pay the caterer and reception hall for meals that no one is there to enjoy.
Online Wedding RSVP Etiquette for Guests
Couples today are sometimes opting to use online wedding RSVP options. These options include such interesting perks as printing RSVP instructions right on the invitation, thus saving $2.00 or more per guest. Usually, this means asking guests to call a toll-free number with a dedicated extension at which they can leave their response. Some companies even offer a personalized website for the wedding that can showcase the couple, provide directions and other pertinent information, and even offer links to gift registries.
As an invited guest, if you do not respond by the date specified by the couple, you may even get a call from their online RSVP company asking whether you plan to attend. The website will allow you to print out directions if you need them and will give you information about what the couple wants and needs. Not only does the couple save time and money, but you can respond in less than a minute by calling the number provided.