Secrets to the Best Wedding RSVP Wording

Secrets to the Best Wedding RSVP Wording

After planning for what seems like an eternity, it’s finally time to send out your wedding invitations with RSVP. Are you unsure about the wedding RSVP wording? You’re not alone. Though many of us have filled out wedding RSVPs, how many of us remember the wording? 

There are many different ways to word your RSVP cards. Formal, casual, even funny RSVP cards are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting your guests to respond. Read on to learn what your RSVP card should include, and get examples of RSVP wordings to use as is, or adjust to your liking.

Wedding RSVP Cards: Giving and Getting the Essential Information 

Where the wedding invitation includes the key information your guests need, RSVP cards are designed to get you the information you need to finalize your plans in a timely fashion. 

No matter how you choose to word them, the critical info you need is the guest’s name and the number of people attending with them. The key info they need is the date you want the RSVPs back. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ wording. It’s just a matter of what you need (or want) to know.  

Other information couples may request on the card includes guest meal choices for sit-down meals (not necessary for buffet-style weddings). You can also ask about food allergies, dietary restrictions, or any other information that may help your guests better enjoy the festivities.   

If you are asking about food restrictions or special requests, add this to the bottom of your RSVP: 

Do you have allergies or special requests? Please let us know! 

Here are Wedding RSVP Wording Examples:

There are many different styles for RSVP cards. Some are appropriate for a formal wedding, some work well for a casual wedding, some will make your guests chuckle, and some are great for gathering additional information. Choose the style that best represents you, your partner, and your wedding style. 

1. Formal wedding RSVP wording:

If your wedding invitations are formal, stick with the theme and choose formal wedding RSVP wording, such as: 

M_______________

___ Accepts No. attending___

___ Declines 

M_______________

___ Will attend No. attending___

___ Unable to attend

M_______________

___ Accepts with pleasure No. attending___

___ Declines with regret 

M_______________

___ Fortunate to accept No. attending___

___ Unfortunately must decline 

2. Formal wording for meal choices:

___ Chicken 

___ Beef

___ Vegetarian 

___ Chicken piccata 

___ Beef Wellington

___ Pasta with baby spring vegetables  

___ Poultry

___ Pesce

___ Grain 

Be sure to include the date for the RSVP return. 

  • Kindly respond by May 1, 2021

  • The favor of your response is requested by May 1, 2021

  • Please reply before May 1, 2021

3. Casual wedding RSVP wording:

If you prefer to go with a casual approach, you can start by replacing the M with Name and then try one of these simple, laid-back examples:  

Name_______________

___ Excited to attend # attending___

___ Disheartened to decline

Name_______________

___ Can’t wait! # attending___

___ Can’t come

Name_______________

___ We’ll see you there # attending___

___ Sorry to miss out 

Name_______________

___ Can’t wait to celebrate!

___ We’ll have to celebrate from afar

4. Food choices on a casual invitation:

___ Beef 

___ Chicken 

___ I’m vegan, remember?

___ Land - Filet Mignon

___ Sea - Grilled Sea Bass

___ Field - Penne with artichoke cremé

___ Meat 

___ Fish

___ Vegetarian 

Include the date for the RSVP return. 

  • Let us know if you can make it by May 1, 2021

  • Please send your response no later than May 1, 2021

  • Kindly RSVP by May 1, 2021 

5. Funny wedding RSVP wording:

Funny RSVP cards can be attention-grabbers that might even get your guests to RSVP on time. How humorous you get is up to you and your partner. Start with the basic information such as guest name and how many will be attending, then go for the laughs. Fun options include: 

Name_______________

Number of folks attending___

___ Gladly Accepts

___ Regretfully Declines

___ Regretfully Accepts

___ Gladly Declines 

Name_______________

Bringing this many with me___

___ Will be there with bells on!

___ Will be there without the bells

___ Will not be there; heard about the bells

___ Will not be there regardless of the bells 

Name_______________

Expect this number___

___ Hell yeah, wouldn't miss it!

___ Dammit, can’t make it! 

Name_______________

This many people will be tagging along___

___ Will be there for the free food, open bar, and a front-row seat to family drama, er, fun.

___ Won’t be there because I’m a loser. But best wishes to you anyway.

6. Fun options for meal choices on wedding RSVP cards:

___ Chicken

___ Beef

___ Something without a face.

___ Land creature

___ Sea dweller

___ Plant 

___ Moo!

___ Cluck!

___ Silence. Vegetables don’t have mouths.

Laugh it up with your RSVP response date:

  • If you forget to respond by May 1, 2021, and still plan to attend, you’ll find your seat taken by our next-door-neighbor’s cousin.

  • Please fill out the card, insert in the pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope, lick the envelope, and toss into a mailbox before May 1, 2021

  • We’ve made it pretty easy to respond by May 1, 2021. You’re welcome.

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Discover Custom Wedding RSVP Wording:

You might prefer an adults-only wedding, or you want guests to fill out more information that can be useful during the reception, such as favorite songs. Here are some examples of customized and creative ways to word your wedding RSVP. 

Adults-only wedding RSVP wording:

If you’re planning a wedding for adults-only, don’t be shy about letting your guests know. Being vague to avoid hurt feelings and hoping they “get it” on their own will only lead to uncomfortable misunderstandings (and maybe a few toddlers on the dance floor). Be direct with your wedding RSVP wording so that everyone is clear on your expectations. 

  • Please note this will be an adults-only celebration.

  • We politely request no children under age 16 at the reception.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate children. Thank you for your understanding. 

  • We wish we could include all children, but are unfortunately only able to invite immediate family.

  • To allow all guests to relax and enjoy themselves, we have chosen to make our special day adults only. We thank you for your understanding.

You might find that some guests cannot (or will not) attend for this reason, and it’s best that you not be offended over this. Focus on the people who showed up to celebrate with you. 

Mini-questionnaire:

Send out an RSVP card that includes a mini-questionnaire for fun. 

At the wedding, I/we plan to:

___ Eat a lot of cake

___ Dance the night away

___ Enjoy the open bar

___ All of the above

The happy couple’s best qualities are:

___ Stunning good-looks

___ Incredible intelligence

___ Witty sense of humor

___ Amazing taste in friends 

plates and flowers on wedding table.jpg

Song selections on RSVP cards:

You might already be aware of the best songs for a wedding reception, or you might leave it all up to whoever is providing the music. But including a few song choices in your RSVP can help you formulate a song list with your DJ or wedding band in advance. Plus, it can help get guests up and out of their seats. Consider these examples:

Will get up and dance if you play ____________________  & ______________________

Count on us to dance to the following songs:

___ Twist and Shout 

___ Uptown Funk

___ You Shook Me All Night Long 

___ Signed, Sealed, Delivered 

___ ABC

We’ll dance all night if the era is right:

___ 70s (e.g., Stayin’ Alive, Turn the Beat Around, Love Train)

___ 80s (e.g., Pump Up the Jam, Walking on Sunshine, anything by 80’s Madonna) 

___ 90s (e.g., Livin’ la Vida Loca, U Can’t Touch This, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It)

___ 2000s (e.g., Single ladies, Don't Stop the Music, SexyBack)

We’ll know all of the moves to:

___ Cha Cha Slide

___ Y.M.C.A.

___ The Electric Slide

___ Boot Scootin’ Boogie 

___ Macarena

___ All of the above 

Here Is Wedding Wording to Address Your RSVPs:

Your wedding RSVP cards should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope so that guests need only fill out the card, seal it in the envelope, and drop it into the nearest mailbox. It doesn’t get much easier than that, and it helps ensure responses sooner rather than later. 

The address you include on the return envelope should be for whoever is handling the RSVPs. This is typically the bride, or the bride and groom if they live together. Sometimes it can be the Mother of the Bride, or a member of the wedding party. Keep in mind that tracking RSVPs is an important job and there’s no room for inaccuracy. Misplacing just five responses could cost hundreds of dollars. That’s why most couples prefer handling the job themselves. Not only does it help when it comes to contacting those who missed the cutoff date, it’s fun to look over the replies and congratulatory notes. 

Answer to 8 Common Questions About Wedding RSVP Cards: 

Now that you have a grasp on wedding RSVP wording, there are a few questions you might have about RSVPs in general. 

1. What does the ‘M’ stand for on the RSVP card?

Most RSVP cards include a capital M followed by a blank line. This is where your guests will write their name when they respond. The M stands for Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Ms., which your guests will fill in before they send the card back to you. For example:

  • Mr. & Mrs. John Smith

  • Ms. Olivia Boone

  • Ms. Janet Brown & Mr. Thomas Grey 

  • Miss Ellen White 

For a casual invitation, you can replace the M with Name

2. Do you always have to send out an RSVP card?

If you are hosting a ceremony-only wedding (without a reception), you do not need to send out an RSVP card with your invitation. You may also be able to skip the RSVP if you’re planning a distinctly casual affair (a handful of friends in flip-flops and cutoffs at the local park with a BBQ to follow). Texting the info to the small group should do the trick.  

But if your wedding is formal or a catered event of any style, including an RSVP card with the invite is recommended. There are certainly many ways to estimate how many of your guests will attend your wedding, but this isn’t accurate enough for a final tally. The only way to get that number is through your RSVPs. 

3. Can I choose to receive an electronic response?  

Yes. Today, many couples allow guests the option of sending digital RSVPs through mobile wedding apps, wedding websites, email, or texts. Others set up a dedicated phone line just for RSVPs and warm-wishes. You should still include an RSVP card that gives your wedding website link or your cell number, so they know where to reply. Include self-addressed, stamped envelopes for older guests who aren’t tech savvy. 

4. What is an RSVP with ‘regrets only’? 

You can choose to include the phrase ‘regrets only’ in your wedding RSVP wording. This means that your guests only need to send the card back if they will not be attending—and it’s not the best option for weddings. You won’t get specifics, such as meal choice or favorite songs, and people can get mixed up and send back the card when they plan to attend. 

5. When is the best time to send out an RSVP for your wedding?

Since RSVP cards are sent out with your wedding invitations, the ideal time to mail them out is between six to eight weeks before your wedding day. For destination weddings, three months is ideal so people have time to schedule time off and make travel plans.

6. How far before the wedding should you request your RSVP return?

Typically, three to four weeks before the wedding. This provides plenty of time to get final counts to your vendors and venues. If you have a secondary guest list that is contingent on how many replies you receive, you can request an earlier response, such as four to six weeks in advance. 

7. What if someone forgets to include their name in their response?

It’s not uncommon for respondents to forget to include their names on the RSVP card. There are a few ways you can keep track of the cards you receive back without a name filled in. You can assign each guest a number and write that number on the back of the card. Or, you can invest a few dollars in an invisible black light marker and write guests’ initials on the back of the card. Use your black light to solve the mystery upon arrival. 

8. Is there proper RSVP etiquette? 

Yes. Sending and responding to RSVPs is a matter of courtesy. Though it’s fine to have fun and be playful with your wedding RSVP wording, there are times when a more formal approach is necessary. 

Don’t mention the registry. This information should be sent with the invitation to the wedding shower, and you can include a registry link on your wedding website. Do not, we repeat, do not include any information regarding your registry with your wedding invitation or on the RSVP card. Leave that information to your family and bridal party to disperse if asked.

Pick up the phone. The proper etiquette for addressing guests who do not RSVP is to wait until one week after the response date has passed and give them a friendly reminder call. Is this slightly uncomfortable? Maybe. But you would rather ask a simple question than pay a hundred dollars for a plate that will never get eaten. (A phone call is also acceptable to clear up any information that gets left off when the RSVP is sent back to you, such as meal choice or number of attendees.)

Put a stamp on it. Always place a stamp on your RSVP envelopes. Not everyone has a book of stamps hanging around their house these days. Don’t give people an extra chore. You might not receive responses until the last possible minute (if at all). 

Leave some space at the margins. If the RSVP isn’t overcrowded, many guests will write special greetings and well wishes to the happy couple. 

Now that you understand wedding RSVP wording, learn the best way to keep track of your wedding RSVPs as they come in. Or, move on to wedding thank you card etiquette to prepare yourself for what comes next. 

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