Best Responses

Wedding Invitation? RSVP Like a Pro: Mastering the Response

Getting a wedding invitation may be exciting. However, it can also be a little stressful trying to figure out the proper way to respond. As someone who has both planned weddings and attended many as a guest, I want to share some tips and examples to help make the response process smooth and stress-free.

Knowing the Etiquette is Key

The first thing to remember is that wedding invitation responses have their own set of traditional etiquette rules. While trends are evolving, the basics have stayed the same. As guests, it is respectful to follow the couple’s wishes on how they prefer you to respond. Some things to keep in mind:

Reply by the Requested Date

Nearly all invitations will include a response date – this is not a suggestion, it is a deadline. Replying by this date allows the couple time to finalize headcounts with their vendors. Brides and grooms put a lot of effort into planning, so honoring their requests shows you value their needs.

Respond for Your Party Only

Unless the invitation specifically asks for names of guests, only RSVP for yourself and any children/spouse included on the invitation. Do not write in extra names the couple may not have room for or budgeted for.

Use the Method Specified

The invitation will indicate if an online RSVP, mailed response card, or phone call is preferred. Respect the couple’s chosen method as it likely aligns with their planning process. Unconventional responses can get lost or tangled in other details.

Knowing and respecting the common etiquette is a great way to show thoughtfulness for the couple during their special event. Now let’s dive into some practical tips for crafting your response.

Related: How to Respond to ONG

Replying in Writing

For mailed or emailed response cards, here are some guidelines for what to include:

Your Name or Names

Write out your full name and your guest’s full name clearly if responding to a couple or family. This allows the couple to cross you off their guest list accurately.

Your Response

Use one of the phrases below to RSVP:

  • “Accept with pleasure” or just “Accept” if you will attend
  • “Regretfully decline” or just “Decline” if you cannot make it
  • “Accept/Decline for [NAME]” if responding to another guest

Return the Entire Response Card

Even if you are declining, send the whole card back in the self-addressed stamped envelope. This lets the couple know you received and responded to the invitation.

Add a Brief Note (optional)

You can write a short note sharing your excitement or regret if unable to attend. However, keep it brief – the response is not the place for a lengthy letter.

Sign and Date Your Response

Sign your full name and add the date to authenticate that it is truly you responding. This helps prevent mix-ups!

A neatly filled-out response card using these basic elements shows manners and makes the couple’s job of tracking RSVPs much easier. Now let’s move to some examples of real responses.

Examples of Written RSVPs

John and Jane Smith
1234 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

John and Jane Doe
5678 Wedding Way
Anytown, CA 12345

We regret that we will be unable to join you as we have a prior commitment out of town. Thank you for thinking of us and we wish you both all the best on your special day.

Regretfully decline,
John Smith March 15, 2023

Another one

John and Jane Smith
1234 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

John and Jane Doe
5678 Wedding Way
Anytown, CA 12345

We are delighted to accept your kind invitation. Thank you for including us in your celebration.

Accept with pleasure,
Jane Smith March 15, 2023

Phoning or Texting Your Response

Some invitations prefer an RSVP call or text to a designated phone number. Be sure to leave these for this:

  • Your full name
  • Names of any guests included on the invite
  • Whether you accept or decline
  • Your contact number in case a clarification is needed

Keep it brief! A simple “This is John Smith RSVPing for two – we’ll be there!” gives the needed info concisely.

Replying properly shows care and respect. Now let’s look at a few potential questions guests may have.

Read also: How to respond to WTW

FAQs About Responding

What if I’m not sure I can attend?

It’s okay to RSVP as “undecided” or “pending” if you need more time. However, do clarify your final response as soon as possible, ideally by a couple of weeks before the wedding date.

What if my guest list status changes?

Contact the couple right away if your number increases or decreases after responding. Bump counts affect seating arrangements and catering costs. Honest communication alleviates stress for everyone.

How do I respond to children too young to RSVP?

Just list their names after your own when accepting or declining. No need for little ones to handle the formalities themselves!

Can I bring an uninvited guest?

Only accept the number of guests specifically invited on the invitation. Do not write in extra names without asking permission first.

What if I forget to RSVP in time?

Call when you realize to apologize and provide your late response. While it’s now an estimate rather than a solid headcount, honesty is still best. Forgotten RSVPs happen to the most organized – the couple will appreciate you following up.

Does this help cover common questions? Let me know if any other situations come up!


Responding to a wedding invitation is an important part of participation. By following the guidelines outlined here, including the proper etiquette, response examples, and FAQs, you can ensure your RSVP is respectful and helpful to the couple. Remember, your effort that matters most. I hope these tips take the stress out of replying so you feel prepared for weddings to come! Wishing you many future fun celebrations to attend.

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