When you receive a wedding invitation in the mail, one of the last things you normally notice is the response card. The little post card appears easy enough to fill out. All you have to do is write your name or check a box and stick it back in the mail, right? But have you stopped to think of your response as if you were planning the wedding? There is proper etiquette for filling these cards out. Let's take a look at some of the most common RSVP cards and the proper way to fill them out. You don't want to be that guest that just checked the "Accepts with pleasure" box and does not write their name, do you? I promise that someone on the receiving end will be rolling their eyes.
This is probably the most common form of an RSVP card. The line with the "M" out in front is where you write your name. I always thought that was not quit clear. Regardless, you are supposed to write your name in a formal manner. Start it with Mr, Mrs, Miss, etc. Make sure that you include all of the names of the guests in your party that are atteding. There is not a spot of this response card for number of guests. So you want the name line to clearly indicate who of your party is attending.
The next example makes the number of guests in your party a little more clear. The name line is the same as the above example. Even though there is a spot for number of guests attending, it is still important to include all the guests from your party on the name line. The wedding planner will appreciate knowing all the names attending from your party. Be sure to inlcude an accurate number of adults and children attending.
A wedding often includes a sit down meal. If the reception location needs an acurate number of meals, your RSVP card may include a section to fill out your dinner selection. The RSVP card does may not always tell you to put your initials by the dish you want. But it is proper etiquette to make your response clear as to which guest is requesting which meal. Adding your initials will make it easier for the bride to fill out a place cards and coordinate with the reception location to get appropriate meal to the correct guest.
The above example is a little different in that you are bringing a plus one guest. You can either add the "and guest" notation after your name or you could add your date's name if it is someone you have been seeing for a while. If you are adding their name, you would fill out the "Name(s)" line something like this: "Mr. John Smith and Miss Mary Bryant". The count is really what is important to the bride. But at some receptions there are place cards with a sit down meal. Your guest will feel more welcome if there name is printed on the place card instead of "And Guest". Be care that you do not add a plus one if you are not sure that one is invited.
Also note that in the above example, the bride is asking that you fill out the number of guests attending the ceremony and the reception. I think most people go to both if they are invited to the wedding. But the reception cost is based on head count, so the bride may want to be exactly sure how many people are coming the the reception. Be sure to give her an accurate count.
I wanted to put this last example in here to show you the importance of respecting the bride's wishes on who is invitated. Sometimes a wedding budget will not allow guests to bring dates or children to be invited. If you want to go to the wedding, respect the wishes of those throwing the wedding and do not invite extra guests. If you are not sure if children are invited, then verify by contacting the bride. In the above example, the number of guests invited is very clear. Do not cross out the number of guests invited to add more. I assure you that if you do, there may be a bridezilla moment. Simply mark if you will be attending or not. You would be suprised how many times extra guests are adding to an RSVP card.
At first glance, these cards seem really simple. But it is important to fill them out correctly. Just remember to fill it out like you would want it done if you were planning the wedding. The bride will appreciate your etiquette.