Indulge us for a moment. You’re with your wedding planner, an embossed RSVP card and stationery set are in their hands. Light gently touching the curves and swirls embossed on the front page.
That’s it. It’s the card for you.
But still, why go this extravagant? Why not just send an email to your guests with a checkbox for “yes” and a checkbox for “no?”
The RSVP’s Origin Story
Who has origin stories? Superheroes and RVSP cards!
At the height of French elegance, parties crisscrossed the land as nobles and merchants attempted to win the favor of the king, queen, and other people in power.
So, what did they need to throw their huge gatherings? Well, to throw their parties, they needed an invitation.
So, the term “répondez s’il vous plaît” or “please respond” was coined. When a guest saw “répondez s’il vous plaît” on an invitation, they knew that the host wanted them to be there. What’s more, the more elegant the card was, the more important the gathering was to attend.
That’s why wedding RSVPs have so much prestige baked into their appearance. The gilded edges on your flat white-colored paper are an homage to the days of french courtesy, and a symbol to your guests that you honor and respect them enough to spend money on them.
However, in addition to the gilded face and the money spent, what do you need to include in an RSVP to make sure that it does its job well?
Three Essential Parts for an RSVP
If you’ve gone to a wedding or event planner, then there’s not a lot that you’ll have to worry about when you’re choosing your RSVPs. However, you should check three central characteristics to make sure that your RSVPs are ready to go.
Refer to Your Guests by Their Names
Sending an RSVP with a blanket greeting like “hello honored guest,” or “What’s up, old friend!” is a bad idea. A casual, general greeting like “guest” or “friend” is almost like an insult when you’re inviting a person you care about to your special day.
Instead, make sure that your RSVPs have names printed on them. If you can’t remember an exact name, make sure to personalize the card in some other way.
That way, your guests will receive an invite that says “Hello Tom,” or “You’re invited to my wedding, Janet!” Both of which feel much more personal and caring than the alternative.
Make Sure Your Deadline Is in Bold
Even if you buy the fanciest paper and use the curliest font you can find, many people will forget to respond. After all, we move through the world at a breakneck speed. It’s nice to make what you need your guests to do painfully obvious.
So, make sure that the reply date is bold and near the top of the invitation. If nothing else, your guests have to know when to send the RSVP back to you.
To reduce stress on your end, you can include a disclaimer that you won’t be planning on them arriving if they never RSVP.
Finally, Include Only Simple Reply Fields
Weddings are logistics problems. The more you can reduce the complexity of the tasks that a hundred people (or more) have to do without your help, the better.
So, with that in mind, keep your questions simple. We suggest you include these three reply fields.
- One that says “attending?”
- One for food choice (with the food options laid out in detail and allergens listed)
- One that says “Plus one?”
Include those three questions, and you’re 90% of the way there!
You can feel free to add any well-wishes you would like to underneath those three main questions. We’ve also put together a helpful list of other things you might want to include as well!
Consider Including These in Your RSVP
All of this information is wedding-dependent because it mainly helps with more specialized sections of the wedding coordination world.
So, without further ado, you might want to consider adding in the following questions and/or information:
- First and last names (if you don’t already have them)
- Physical or email addresses
- Location details for the event venue
- Hotel information
- Travel restrictions
- Travel advice
- Favorite song to dance to
- Best piece of wedded life advice
- Favorite snack
- Anniversary advice
- Favorite date ideas
- Favorite drink
- Favorite color
- Bubbles or wedding rice
All of these questions will help you make important decisions about your special day, including location. Even if your plan is just to search for “wedding venues near me,” the extra input will be good to have.
We think the more information you have, the better off you’ll be.
What if Paper RSVP Card and Stationery Is Too Expensive?
Online RSVP and stationery templates are a great way to do that on the cheap.
Better yet, online RSVPs can help you gather data from your guests way quicker than a paper RSVP ever could.
Hey, maybe all you care about is getting the correct information ASAP. If that’s you, then consider a digital form instead of a paper invite!
Many talented designers can whip something up in no time. (You could even keep everything in-house by using a service like Canva to save a buck.)
When Do You Ask Your Wedding Guests to RSVP By?
Here’s a top tip. Never schedule your RSVP deadline to match your vendor’s deadlines. Someone will always want to RSVP late.
Most caterers, florists, DJs, and planners will require finalized details around a week before the ceremony and reception happen. So, when you’re setting your “return by” deadline, schedule it for two weeks to a month ahead of your final deadlines.
Don’t Rely On Your Guests to Remember to RSVP
Like we said above, everyone’s life is jam-packed with action. Send out your RSVPs several months in advance and schedule three-four reminder emails to make sure everyone who wants to come can RSVP successfully.
Are You Ready to Reach Out?
Like it or not, you’ll have to reach out sometime. You might as well reach out now. Finalize that mailing list and send that fancy, embossed letter on its way!
If you need any help with your ceremony, we would love to help. The Electric Loft team is more than ready to help you with anything you need, even if you’re just looking for the right RSVP card and stationery.