All of Your Burning Questions About RSVP Cards, Answered

Read this before sending them out.
by The Knot

Getting your RSVPs in is a crucial part of finalizing your head count (and, in turn, wrapping up every other aspect of your wedding, including catering, rental chairs and so on). Here's everything you need to know about those important little cards in your invitation suite

What does RSVP stand for?

In case you didn't know, the term RSVP comes from the French phrase, "Repondez, s'il vous plaît," which translates to, "Please respond." 

What should I include on the RSVP card?

A wedding invitation typically includes an RSVP (or response) card, where guests can let the couple know if they can attend. Although it's optional, you should probably include some other stuff on the card as well, like a line for names and the menu choice for the meal being served.

What else do I need besides the RSVP card?

The RSVP card should come with a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope so it can be sent back ot the host of the celebration directly. Most reply cards have a requested return date—typically three weeks before the wedding date to get an accurate head count for furniture rentals and catering. 

Do I need to include an RSVP card?

You definitely should include an RSVP card—if no response card is included with a wedding invitation, your guests will have to pen their replies on their own personal stationery (which isn't unheard of, but is usually only the case for a very formal or traditional affair). With no RSVP card, your guests will likely opt for a simple note card (with the full name of the hosts and a few lines of well-wishes), but we recommend equipping your guests with everything they'll need to RSVP as soon as possible. 

What other events need RSVP cards?

Less formal events (a bridal shower or a postwedding brunch) may only request a response via the phone or an email. If an invitation says, "Regrets only" instead of RSVP, it simply means gusts should only let you (the host) know if they can't attend. 

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