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Wedding RSVP Etiquette

Like many other aspects of a wedding, the RSVP card has its own rules of etiquette. Know some general etiquettes that need to be followed while sending an invitation and response card.
Kanika Khara Nov 4, 2018
Along with the other aspects of a wedding like catering, invitations, decorations, etc.
RSVP notes or response cards also need to be prepared by following proper etiquette. 'RSVP' is abbreviated from the French phrase Repondez S'il Vous Plait, meaning 'please respond'. The notes are sent by the host with the invitations for guests to acknowledge about their plans on or before the specified date, which is usually 2- 4 weeks before the wedding.
In earlier times, people never used response cards along with the wedding invitations, and the guests would respond using their own stationery, offering congratulations and letting the host know whether or not they would be able to attend the ceremony.
These days it has become customary to include a response card for formal invitations, and to ask the guests to RSVP either through telephone, email, or cards for casual invitations.


Invitations usually include a self-addressed and stamped response card that the guests mail back to the host to confirm their attendance. It is important to make the details regarding the wedding as clear as possible to avoid any unwanted situations afterward.

Guests' Names

Spell out clearly who is invited. It is better to write the name of the guest directly on the response card as this will discourage your guest from inviting people who are not on your guest list. Therefore, with no extra space for names on the card, no one can justify bringing along kids or a new beau.

Time Deadline

The RSVP deadline should be around two or three weeks before the big day so that you get enough time to settle count with the caterers, decorators, bartenders, and other vendors. However, in situations where you need to wait for a few response cards after the finalized date, it is better to call your guests to know their plans.

Necessary Details

Ensure that you provide all necessary details like the date, time, location, and information on nearby lodging for out-of-town guests. If you are planning to have a reception somewhere other than the venue of the ceremony, make sure you include this information in your card as well.


The response card wording mainly depends upon your taste and how formal the wedding is going to be. For instance, if giving guests the option to 'accept with pleasure' or 'decline with regret' looks too formal, you can write something like 'is/are looking forward to dancing the night away' or 'will have to miss the party'. Here are a few samples.

Sample #1

The favor of a reply is requested by August 25th

M __________________
# of guests _______
______ Yes, I / we will be attending the ceremony & reception.
______ No, but will be thinking of you.

Sample #2

The favor of a reply is requested
Please respond by
June 20th

# of guests ______

Sample #3

The favor of a reply
is requested on or before
March 6th

Name _____________________
Number attending ___________
Sorry, unable to attend _______
There are also etiquette rules for the guests invited, which include responding before the specified deadline, and always letting the bride and groom know as early as possible if there is any change in the plan.