Welcome to wedding season! There are plenty of invitations in the mail and, hopefully, you are one of the lucky recipients. Brides, grooms and in-laws-to-be are busy tasting cakes, compiling playlists and picking flowers. But they aren’t the only ones with a job to do!
Inside that envelope packed carefully with dates and times is a card requesting that you R.S.V.P. If you have never been on the planning end of a wedding process, you may not realize how important this little card is to your host. So be a gracious guest, and reply quickly and correctly!
Why is it important?
You may be one of several hundred people invited to the wedding, meaning the host needs to prepare accordingly. From the menu, to seating assignments, to the budget—every person counts!
- The host needs to not only make sure there is enough food for everyone, but also that each guest gets a meal he or she will enjoy. This may include a choice of entrée or a tweak to accommodate a dietary restriction.
- With enough time for preparation, hosts can arrange guests to sit with friends, family, or people they think will make great conversation. If you respond late, your chances of being carefully placed in the mix might be slim.
- Every attendee adds cost to the wedding budget, and as a courtesy to your host, help them prepare accordingly! Surprises aren’t always fun.
How do I respond?
There’s more to accepting a wedding invitation than one might think. Your full name, legible handwriting and quick response are just a few things to make the process go smoothly for your host!
- On most response cards, there is an “M” with a line, indicating you write your full, formal name. The “M” references the beginning of formal social titles such as “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” Ms.,” “Miss” or “Mssr.” Remember to include the names of all attending guests so the host can create place cards!
- Write legibly! Your formal name won’t matter if your host can’t read your handwriting.
- Be prompt. Send your response well before the date indicated on the RSVP card. If there is not date referenced, return your card within a day or two.
- Sometimes there is more to include aside from “accept” or “decline.” Make sure you’ve answered all the questions about menu options, travel plans, dietary restrictions, etc.
Can I change my mind?
Of course, things come up—illness, family commitments, etc. Just be sure to contact your host as soon as possible if you need to change your plans. Do not wait until the last minute! No-shows and unannounced attendees are frowned-upon.
In need of a little etiquette advice or interested in other rules of social graces? Visit “Penny Pragmatic”—a new series focusing on wedding and social etiquette on Poeme’s blog. But one thing you can never go wrong with? A hand-written thank you.