Etiquette, Weddings

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Etiquette Series | The Small But Mighty Response Card

Invitation Etiquette | The Small but Mighy Response Card | Heather O'Brien Design

Happy Monday, everyone! Last month I talked about wedding invitation etiquette and what went into each line of the wedding invitation. Today I am continuing my etiquette series with answering some questions about the response card that accompanies the wedding invitation. It may be the smallest card in the suite, but it is pretty mighty with the potential information it can contain when coming back to you as someone RSVPs!

There are many important factors that can go into your RSVP cards. You want to make sure when working with your designer that you take into consideration all of the information that you need your guests to provide back to you in order to help make your life as easy as possible in the final weeks leading up to the big day!

Invitation Etiquette | The Small but Mighy Response Card | Heather O'Brien Design

So let’s dissect this line by line. First, and probably most importantly, the “respond by” date. No matter how you word it, it needs to be clear what day your guests need to send the response card back by. Surprisingly people really rely on that date. They will set the card aside until it gets closer.

You want to be aware of two factors when determining your respond by date. 1. What day are you MAILING your invitations and 2. How much time do you need before your wedding to get the final count together for the caterer or the seating chart? For the first one, you want to make sure that your guests have at least 3-4 weeks to respond from the time they get your invitations. You don’t want them to get them in and then have your respond by date the following week. And then for the second factor, you want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to get everything in order after the respond by date. More than likely you will need to give your caterers a final count within two weeks of the wedding, and it will take you a few weeks to put together the seating chart and/or place cards. So you want to make sure that at minimum, your respond by date is at least 4 weeks before your wedding date.

The next thing on your response card should be a line for them to write in the name or names of those attending. This is how you will know who actually sent in each response card!

Invitation Etiquette | The Small but Mighy Response Card | Heather O'Brien Design

Under the names line, you want to clearly have an option allowing them to mark “yes” or “no” for attending. This can be dressed up in fancy or fun wording, but it needs to be clear which one is yes and which one is no.

These last few items are some optional items that you can include on your response card. Some are just for fun, and some are to help make your process at the end a little easier.

If you want to know specific numbers of those attending, in case they don’t write all the names in the line above, you can have a line that clearly asks how many are attending. This can sometimes save on headache if you are unsure if they are including children or additional guests.

Another option for being sure of the number count, is letting the guest know exactly how many people are invited. You can have a line that say “we have reserved (blank) seat(s) in your honor” and then as you are stuffing them in to the individual envelopes, you will have to fill in the appropriate number for each guest.

Invitation Etiquette | The Small but Mighy Response Card | Heather O'Brien Design

If you are having a seated dinner and the guests need to select which entrée they want, you will want to list their options to choose from. Don’t forget to have a line asking them to initial an entrée for EACH guest, that way you know what each person attending wants!

Another trending and fun item to include on a response card is a dance song line! This is a line that asks your guest to fill in their favorite dance songs that then you can give to the DJ to make sure he or she plays! This is just a fun way to get your guests involved!

I hope that this has helped clear up any questions you may have about what goes into the response card!


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