Response to Wedding Invitation: An Ultimate Guideline for Guests

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Does the sight of the unattended wedding invite on your coffee table give you jitters? While you’re looking forward to the invitation, you haven’t replied with whether you’ll be attending the event. The reason for this intentional delay is simple: you’re not sure how to fill out a wedding RSVP. 

For what it’s worth, it is better that you are prompt in your replies – so that your host can make the arrangements accordingly. Thank your stars that you have landed on this page! In this article, we’ll list down the As and Bs of filling out a wedding RSVP.

Related post: The Complete Wedding RSVP Card Wording Guide and Samples

What Does RSVP Mean on an Invitation Card? 

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You may have found this abbreviation on wedding cards that you received. Wedding RSVP cards have been around since forever, but only a fraction of the people know what the word means. 

The word RSVP is the short form of the French word “répondez, s’il vous plaît”, which means ‘please reply’ in English. In the USA, the word is used in wedding invitation cards for a response from the guests. 

Once the guest replies to the host, the latter can plan for the event accordingly. Since there is a lot of work required for the Wedding Day celebrations, it is usually advised that guests are quick in responding, so that the host has an idea of the actual number of guests they will be entertaining. In case you have other plans or if you wouldn’t attend the wedding, it is better that you tell the host promptly. In our ‘how to fill out a wedding RSVP’ guide, we’ll provide you the detailed explanation of every section of the card. 

Related post: 21+ Unique Wedding Invitation Ideas To Inspire Your Big Day

How to Reply to RSVP Confirmation

What to say on the wedding RSVP card is a confusing question for a lot of people. How should you tell the bride or the groom that you’ll be coming or if you have any food preferences, etc. Let’s have a look at how you can fill out the wedding RSVP. 

What is the M for? 

In many wedding RSVP cards, you may have seen the lone letter ‘M’ with a single line next to it. Before that, there is a statement that goes, “The favor of a reply is requested by [date here].” It is self-explanatory that the statement suggests that you reply to your guest by the date given. It will help the bride and the groom to plan for the wedding in a timely and more efficient manner.   

So, what does this letter represent? This letter is simply the title of the person who is yet to give their reply. You can make it Mr., Miss., Mrs., or Ms., and reply to the host. The names of the people who are attending the wedding should be written on the line so that the couple know how many people are coming. Below this line, you will find some space where you can write the number in digits. 

rsvp M meaning

If you’re married, you can lead with your husband’s title – for example, Mr. and Mrs. Mathew Smith. And while we agree that this seems like an antiquated method to send a reply, it is just tradition and has been this way for many years. However, it doesn’t imply that you are bound to follow the pattern. You can fill in the RSVP card in whatever way you and your partner are comfortable with. In case you haven’t taken your husband’s last name, you can fill out the line with your separate names with the title each. If you are a single person, you can write your name with your preferred title. 

Above, we have mentioned that you can Ms. or Miss. Many people often ask about the difference between the two titles. The former refers to an unmarried or married woman. On the other hand, the latter refers to an unmarried woman.  

Deciphering Who is Invited

Once that’s done, you will have to write the number of guests who will be attending the event. Now, this is a tricky part. Before you fill out this important information, you should know who was invited to the wedding. Usually, you can find the names of the guests on the inner envelope of the invitation. 

What will happen if there is no envelope? Then, you will have to see to whom the invitation was addressed. If you are a family of four and your two children are not mentioned – if children are invited the host will write ‘and family’ after the couple’s name – it is only the parents who are invited. 

The same rule applies when it comes to ‘plus one’. If the host adds the word ‘and guest’ you will have to take your guest with you. However, if the invitation is only addressed to the single person, only the latter is invited. So, a big step of how to fill out wedding RSVP is to deciphering and realizing the number of guests invited. 

Indicating the Number of Attendees 

If the response card doesn’t come with the food options, your job is almost done. All you have to do is to notify you that the persons invited will be coming to the wedding. You can write persons will attend or you can add the names of only those people who are attending. So, if a couple is invited, but only one can go, you can write the name and the title of the person who will be attending. You can also write accept or decline in front of the name of the persons invited to let the host knows the people who will be coming to the event. Also, instead of writing an ‘x’, you should write the exact number of persons invited. 

Indicating Food Choices 

If the response card uses food choices, you should add the initials of the person next to it to let your house know about your food preferences. Once you have indicated your food choices, your host will be in a better position to order the amount of food and make arrangements for the wedding. Also, it is better if you specify if you have any food allergies so that the host will be careful about your food choice and arrange for your meal accordingly. 

A Formal Affair

If the response card has ample space beneath the blank lines, it means that you’re expected to write a few lines of well wishes for the couple who are about to get married. Don’t skip this part and write your wishes whole heartedly. You can write a sentimental and emotional quote to tell your host that you wish them well for the new journey that they’re about to begin. In cases where there is not enough space to write a personalized note, you can still write a few sentences to wish the couple and let them know that they’re in your thoughts. 

When to Reply 

A timely response is essential to ensure that your host makes the arrangement efficiently. For the wedding event, your host will have to order food and work on seating arrangement, so it is better that they know the exact number of guests. In case you have responded a yes, but recently find out that you won’t be able to attend the ceremony, you should call your host and let them know about the change in your plan as soon as possible. Also, you should stay true to your response. If you say that you’re not bringing a plus one, don’t take one to the wedding unless you have already informed the host in a timely manner.

Wedding RSVP Etiquette for How to Fill Out a Response Card 

Now that you have learned how to fill out wedding RSVP card, let’s have a quick look at some wedding RSVP etiquettes that you should follow. 

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Save the date wedding invitation card mockup

1. Send the Respond Card 

Even if you are not going to attend the wedding, you should send the respond card to the couple. Many hosts will be neck-deep in wedding preparations and will not have the time to get back to you. So, if you tell them in a timely manner about your attendance, they have the idea about the number of seats that they need and the amount of food that they should order. Another reason for responding to the host is that it allows them to send an invitation to a secondary list of guests. 

2. Mail the RSVP Before the Deadline

Many RSVP cards mention the deadline by which the host is expecting your reply. Make sure that you send the response card a week or two earlier than the deadline so that the host can alter the plans accordingly. The last-minute changes will be pretty hard on the host. 

3. Write Legibly

You should write your response in coherent writing so that your host can easily understand your response. To make it clearer, you should use print instead of cursive. 

4. Don’t Respond by Phone or an Email if the Card was Sent

It’s rude if you give your response via phone or an email, especially if you have received a card in the mail. Your host has spent a good amount of money on getting the cards printed and mailed to you, so the least that you can do is to send it back using the same channel. Also, when your host is busy planning the event, it is highly likely that they won’t have time to reply to your email or attend the phone call. 

5. Don’t Forget to Fill out the Entrée Option

The reason for such clauses in the RSVP card is that the host wants to know if their guests have any allergies or not. On the entrée option, you can write about your preference and about any food allergies that you have. 

How to Respond Via Email

confirm RSVP card via email

In some cases, your host may ask you to send the response via email. You should write a formal and courteous email and send it to your house. Instead of sending a straight yes or no, you should add some wishes for the couple on their marriage. You can also include your food preference and other details that the host requested. Sometimes, the host may ask about wedding songs request, so make sure that you have filled that out as well. 

The Final Word

Are you a bit relaxed now knowing that you can easily fill out the wedding RSVP? One of the wedding rules that guests should follow diligently is replying to the invitation and telling if they will be attending the event or not. 

For the bride and the groom, arranging for the wedding is a tedious job. And they want to make sure that all their guests’ preferences are met so that everyone present at the party has a good time.

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