Last week, we discussed the basics of the wedding invitation with what you should and shouldn’t include on the invitation. Today, I will break down the R.S.V.P. card line by line and give suggestions for supplements that could make your wedding planning process smoother.
Let’s start with the purpose of the R.S.V.P. card. R.S.V.P. stands for the French phrase “Répondez s’il vous plait” meaning “Please respond”. The purpose of the R.S.V.P. card is for your guests to respond with the requested information outlined on the card. Typically, this is regarding whether or not they will attend your wedding, but it can also include meal selections and additional useful details to help you prepare for your wedding day.
Now, let’s break down the R.S.V.P. card, line by line...
Your R.S.V.P. Card, Line by Line
Your R.S.V.P. date should be about 4-6 weeks prior to your wedding date. I recommend connecting with your venue on when they need their final numbers by (usually 15-30 days in advance). Take that date and add a full week to allow a buffer to track down anyone who hasn’t R.S.V.P.’d yet.
The M line is used for the recipients to write their names on the card so that when they return it, you know who it came from. The M signifies the start of your name, for example “Ms. Jane Doe” or “Mr. John Doe”. It’s common to use either “M” or “Name(s)” to address this line. Without this section, it will be difficult to tell who is returning the card.
Meal selections can be added to any R.S.V.P. card design, if the original design does not already include it. Requesting meal selections is recommended if you’re having a plated reception so that you can communicate to your venue how many guests will require each entree selection.
Meal selections can be written out as “beef”, “chicken”, “fish” or “vegetarian” or we can include animal icons in lieu of the wording. It is not recommended to write out the specific entree details (i.e. Grilled Filet Mignon with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Port Wine Sauce) on your R.S.V.P. card as the details may change.
When requesting meal selections, we recommend using the statement “please initial an entree selection for each guest,” followed by the selections. It’s important for you to request initials so that when the time comes for place cards, you can include the individual’s meal selection on their place card.
A line regarding dietary and/or allergy restrictions can be added to any R.S.V.P. card.
Managing Guest Count
A big concern I often hear from clients is about making it clear how many guests are included with each invitation. My first suggestion is to make sure the invitation is addressed correctly by writing out each individual name on the envelope.
Another way to manage guest count is to include the following line on your R.S.V.P. card:
“We have reserved ____ seats in your honor”
Before you send out your invitations, you will write in the number of guests (i.e. 2) you intended to include.
Other weekend events
If you’re hosting other weekend events, your R.S.V.P. card is a great way to have your guests R.S.V.P. for those events as well. For example, a rehearsal or welcome dinner and a farewell brunch. We’re happy to design two variations of your R.S.V.P. card to accommodate these additional events.
A fun addition to R.S.V.P. cards is requesting a song to play at the reception by simply adding:
“You’ll get me to dance if you play ____”
This is a great way to get your guests excited and easily create your playlist.
These are items that are typically included on your R.S.V.P. card. As I've mentioned before, every couple is unique and therefore, so is every invitation suite. We're happy to accommodate any other R.S.V.P. requests.
Stay tuned for next week where we will go over details cards!
As always, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!