Let’s talk about what you should do if you receive a wedding invitation and how you can become a guest that everybody wants to have! These tips are also useful if you are planning a wedding as you can see what is expected from the guest’s perspective.
Photo: Vicki Grafton Photography
1- Look At The Envelope.
The exact names of the invitees will be listed, and only those who are invited.
2- What does the M on the RSVP (response) card mean? Or sometimes you just see a line. What do I do?
Fill in your title and name, i.e. Mrs. Vicky Choy. Be sure to put down all those who will be attending and only those who will be attending, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Jane Smith or Bob, Jane, Billy and Anne Smith if there are children (that were invited). The couple will be using this information to fill out their escort cards. Please print legibly.
3- What if the RSVP card requests you to choose an entree for your dinner?
For example, if you see a choice for beef or fish on the RSVP card, do not simply put “1 fish” and “1 beef”. Please put your name or initials next to the entree of your choice. How will the couple know if Bob Smith or his wife Jane Smith is the one getting the beef and vice versa? The couple will be providing this information to their caterer. Sometimes your entree choice is indicated on a place card so that the wait staff can easily serve you the correct entree.
4- Be sure to let your hosts know if you have any serious dietary restrictions:
This applies mostly to food allergies. Today, most couples will offer a vegetarian option. This does not mean you tell your hosts of food items you simply do not enjoy; even if you do not like Brussels sprouts.
5- When do I mail back my RSVP / response card?
As promptly as possible! If you definitely know either way if you can attend, please send the RSVP back immediately. This includes all the events you may be invited to like rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches. The Washington DC area is notorious for late responses!
There is no reason to hold on to that RSVP and it will really help the couple in finalizing how many of everything to order. If you are not sure if you can attend please try to resolve your plans before the RSVP due date. Adding and subtracting guests past the due date causes quite a bit of stress for engaged couples. For example, a couple is required by contract to provide their caterer with the final guest count by a certain date and that date is usually pretty early, especially if there are entree choices involved. Sometimes it can be as early as one month before the big day as chefs need to know how much food to order.
6- If lodging information is provided, please make your hotel reservations promptly and preferably before the room block cut-off date.
Today’s couples are opting to greet their guests with welcome bags at their hotel rooms. This said, they really need to know how many of bags to make and when the first guest will check in.
7 – What if I have questions regarding transportation, dress code or gift registry?
Most couples will have a website specifically for their wedding and the website’s address should be provided to you within the invitation mailing. You should be able to find additional information regarding the wedding on their website. If a wedding website is not provided, ask the couple’s families or a member of the wedding party.
8 – What do I do if I cannot attend the wedding?
- Yes you still need to send a gift and/or a card. It’s the thought that counts so sending something inexpensive is OK.
- You cannot, under any circumstance, invite someone else to take your place. This is not your party.
- If you are able, attend the ceremony only if you live locally. Just let the couple know of your plans.