What is the Purpose of a Respond Card?

The respond card, or RSVP, is a handy card to have when you need to have an accurate count of how many people will be attending your wedding and reception. The card should contain the following information:

  1. An opening line. Example: “Please respond on or before…” or “Kindly respond on or before…”
  2. The date you need them to respond by (usually 2-3 weeks before the wedding date)
  3. A line for your guests to fill out their names. Example: M__________ or Name___________
  4. One or two lines for them to indicate their intentions:
    “Number attending___
      Sorry, unable to attend___”

If you are having entree choices at the reception, you should include that information on the respond card. In lieu of step 4 above, you can list the entree choices and ask the guest to indicate the number of each entree. This not only lets you know that the guest wishes to eat, but gives you the total amount of people coming. For example, when inviting Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their child, you might get back a respond card similar to this:

Kindly respond by May 1, 2009
M r. John and Sally Smith & Johnny  
Number of entrees:
 1 Beef     2 Chicken    __Vegetarian
Sorry, unable to attend___

If only 1 Beef and 1 Chicken were indicated, then you would know ahead of time that only 2 of the 3 people invited plan on attending.

To make it convenient for your guests, make sure to provide a pre-addressed envelope in which to return their respond card in. When ordering your wedding invitations from a printing company, most include the printing of the response envelope in the cost of the respond cards. But what address should you use? Traditionally, it should be the address of the person in charge of the guest list. This could be the bride, the maid of honor, or even a wedding planner.

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