What Do I Include on my RSVP Card?

Planning Tips


Today I’m sharing with you all the elements that can be included on an RSVP card. This is an essential piece of your invitation suite, so it’s important to dissect it and figure out what you should have on yours to get the information back that you need!

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an rsvp card?

An RSVP Card, also known as a response card or reply card, is what you include in your wedding invitation suite for guests to send back, letting you know if they are attending your wedding. “RSVP” actually stands for “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for
”Please respond”.

Insider Tip: Don’t write “Please RSVP”, as you are essentially saying “please” twice!

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What should be on an rsvp card?

When it comes to the RSVP card, there are the essentials and the optional add-ons. Let’s start with the essentials!

  1. RSVP Date: Make sure to put a date, which is their deadline for sending back the card. You’ll often read that your RSVP date should be 4 weeks prior to your wedding, but I always do at least 5 weeks for my couples. Why? 4 weeks is usually when your caterer and other vendors want your final guest count, so this gives you a week to hunt down any stragglers who didn’t respond yet. (And yes, there are ALWAYS stragglers!). You may have to call or text them to get their answer.

  2. Name Line: You often see this on an RSVP card with an “M” and an underline, or sometimes a line that underneath says “Name(s)”. Also, sometimes people just leave the space completely blank, allowing the guests to write it out completely, and perhaps include a note of excitement. Whichever way you do it, this is essential to know who the card is from.

  3. RSVP Choices: This is where they check off if they are coming or not. The traditional way of doing this is an iteration of “Happily Accepts” & “Regretfully Declines”, but these days there are tons of creative wording choices to fit your style of your wedding. (In fact, I send my RSVP wording guide to all my couples to give them with different choices!)

Now, the optional add-ons! Doing these depends on the needs of your caterer and/or venue, but also what kind of information you want to receive back.

  1. Number of Guests: You can put a line underneath the name line, asking for number of guests attending. This is particularly helpful if you are having an adults-only weddings. It’s a backstop to ensure people know that, and don’t plan on bringing their children. For example, if you invite a friend and her husband, and see they wrote “4”, you’ll know you need to reach out and kindly give them the number for a local babysitting service :).

  2. Meal Choice: Including this really depends on the type of meal you’re having and the caterer’s guidelines. If you’re doing a family style meal, this probably won’t be necessary. And some caterers and restaurants will take orders at the reception. But I find more often than not for the traditional plated meal, caterers want to know beforehand how many of each entree. This cuts back on waste and keeps things moving smoothly in the kitchen!

  3. Dietary Restrictions: Lately I’ve been seeing this included on RSVP cards more + more. Perhaps it’s all the LA weddings and the prevalence of vegetarians + vegans, but I think collectively our culture is becoming more conscious of people’s allergies and food preferences. This can simply say, “Please list any allergies or dietary restrictions on the back of the card”, and can be very helpful for your caterer when preparing meals. Insider Tip: I always recommend giving vegetarian as a meal choice on the RSVP card, and if you can have it be vegan, you’ll kill two birds with one stone!

  4. Multiple-Event RSVP: Though the RSVP for the wedding is essential, more + more couples are planning wedding weekends! This often means a welcome party the night before, and/or a brunch the day after. How to handle this really depends on the details for each wedding. Some people may have everyone invited to all the events, so they will use one card with an RSVP to 2 or 3 events. For others, a welcome party for example may be only for family or out-of-town guests. In this case you may opt for two versions of the RSVP card, or to include a separate insert card with the welcome party details plus an email address for RSVP’s.

    Insider Tip: a full-service stationer will help you work through all these details + logistics, which can get complicated quickly! For more info on what it means to hire a full-service stationery designer, check out this post!


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Here are some other helpful tips when thinking about your rsvp card…

-Don’t forget the RSVP envelope! This should be included with all suites, and a first-class postage stamp should be put on each one. (The exception to this rule is for international guests, which should have no postage. They’ll have to add postage from their country on their end.)

-A response card requiring RSVP’s to multiple events may need to be larger than the standard size. Be sure the envelope you order fits the size of your card!

-Some people number their cards, meaning they put a number in light pencil on the back corner of the card. They then make a spreadsheet of which number was sent to which guest. This way if a card comes back and the guest forgot to fill out the name line, you can identify who it’s from. (Most people don’t put their return address on the back flap of the RSVP envelope!). Truthfully it’s not something I do often, but if you think your guests are not the organized type or you have a lot of elderly guests, it certainly can’t hurt to add in this extra layer of coverage!

And that is your full guide to the RSVP card and what to include! Follow this formula, and collecting info from your guests should be pretty simple. But no matter what, you’ll always have those stragglers who don’t get back to you in time :).

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Now that you know the in’s + out’s of the RSVP card, head over to this post to figure out how many invitations you should order. And keep following Roseville on Instagram for weekly wedding inspiration!

Photo credit (from top to bottom): Rebecca Theresa Photography, Peterson Design Photo, Lauren Fair Photography

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