I find when I first start discussing wedding invitations with new couples, the subject of Reply Cards always brings out some strong opinions. The grooms usually just want a line on the bottom of the invitation, the brides want a pretty card and envelope set. Who knew an RSVP could cause so much controversy?
Not that long ago, people didn’t have the need for reply cards. When they received an invitation, they would reply back their own handwritten note thanking the couple and either accepting or declining their invitation.
Personally I love Reply Cards. They serve as a tangible reminder to your guests that they need to reply to you by a certain date and they contain vital bits of information that you need to help plan your wedding day. And seeing them pop up in your letterbox as your guests start sending them back is a tad bit exciting.
Traditionally, RSVP cards are sent with your invitations, paired with an addressed envelope so it can find its way back to you. You can use this is an opportunity to introduce some colour to your wedding package, which with letterpress printing, printed colours are often limited.
Another popular choice is a Reply Postcard, which as the name suggests is a postcard that goes through the mail without the need or added expense of a separate envelope. These savvy cards have the address and stamp on one side, with the information to be filled out on the other, like a traditional postcard.
There isn’t a correct way to word a reply card, but it does need to contain certain pieces of information that you need:
Guests names: be sure to include enough lines to house all the guests that are invited – kids as well. You will need to know exactly the number of guests to avoid any awkward questions or surprises.
RSVP date: This is usually dicated by the venue. Some require a couple of weeks notice of head count, others need six or more. I always advise my brides to allow a couple of extra weeks for chasing those guests who don’t reply by the RSVP Date. And there will always be a few.
Dietary Requirements: You can’t cater for everyone in this gluten free, lactose free, fructose free, nut free life we live in. Most guests know this and will only respond with actual allergies or vegetarian needs. Hopefully you won’t get too many Paleo Pete’s or Sugarfree Sarah’s to cause anarchy in the kitchen.
Transport/Accomodation: If you are arranging a pick up service for your guests.
The Day After: If you are having a day after brunch, keep it easy and have this on the same reply card for your guests to fill out at the same time.
Some brides like to have fun with their RSVP cards and include personal details such as ‘Name the song that will get you up on the dancefloor’ or this piece of genius.
Oh and don’t forget to include a stamp if you want to make it super easy for your guests.