How to interpret "Number of Guests" on an RSVP?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
79 posts
Worker bee

It refers to total number of guests.. so a single guest should reply “1”. Congrats!

Post # 4
28 posts

OMG I am going through the exact same thing. My cards say exactly what yours say. We have not sent out the invitations but we had a friend over who we are inviting to the wedding. We just gave him his invitation while he was here and he filled out the rsvp. He put 1 where it said number of guests. When i looked at it i said “Oh, so you’re not bringing anyone?” He said “Yes I am. I’m bringing my girlfriend. See I put one guest.” Now its driving me crazy because we haven’t sent the invitations out and i just know people are going to be all over the board with this.

Post # 5
48 posts
  • Wedding: November 2012

Shouldn’t you write in the number?

Ours said ___ seat(s) reserved and a line with thier names with our website to put in thier RSVP.  The names in our online RSVP database were the same as printed on the cards so they couldn’t add people.

Post # 6
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@athousandjulys:  When my friend got married, she did this:


2 Seats have been reserved in your honor (she pre-filled them out)

I would suggest addressing the invitation to who is invited. If you are not inviting them with a guest, obviously you only put Mr. John Smith and NOT Mr. John Smith & Guest


For my RSVPs I addressed the invitation to who was invited

Ex: Mr & Mrs. John Smith (if they RSVP’d with their kids or extra guests, I would call them and explain the invitation was only intended for you and your SO) Thankfully, we didn’t have to make any of those phone calls.

Post # 8
1318 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would go by the names they fill in rather than the number. If any come back that you are unsure of send the guest a message or phone call.

Post # 9
285 posts
Helper bee

As a guest who had the uncomfortable moment of realizing I had brought an uninvited guest to the wedding… I would totally recommend checking with people. The invite I got looked just like this, so I responded thinking I had indicated that I was bringing my boyfriend. Then we showed up at the reception and saw there was only a seat for me

Post # 10
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@athousandjulys:  why do you need the “Number of Guests: ___” part?

if they are writing their name or names on the “M__________” line you should know who is coming.  the number of guests is confusing. 

people who follow ettiquete will look at the invititation, see who is invited and respond accordingly with the correct number of people.  but others who don’t know may think they can bring guests.

Post # 11
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@athousandjulys:  Call people, thank them for replying, and ask to clarify what they meant, so that you have correct numbers.  It’s not a big deal.

Post # 12
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@ajillity81:  Some people just don’t get this.

Example: We sent an invitation to Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Doe. The RSVP came back:

Mr. John Smith. 1 guest.

We had to call and follow-up – was Jane coming? (Yes). Even though we had addressed the invitation to them both, he replied only for himself and indicated 1 guest, presumably Jane Doe. However, it looked to us like he was coming alone.

We had a couple like that, actually. It never dawned on me that people might get confused about this, when we were so carefully to get everyone’s SO’s names and correct spelling, so we could address them both on the invitation.

THEN there was the one who RSVP’d for a date he was never given in the first place, but I suppose that’s a story for another day … lol

Post # 13
2270 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@athousandjulys:  That is exactly why I designed my own RSVP’s to be crystal clear bc I also find the standard ones confusing.

People will probably include themself in that number, but honestly you might get some extra un-invitees on there since it seems to be wide open. Just prepare for that. Just make sure that you have clearly indicated who the invite is to: for example Mr and Mrs Smith, or Mr and Mrs Smith and family, etc. That helps people figure out how many and who is invited.

Post # 14
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I automatically assumed I would write the number of people attending, not how many guests they are bringing.  Specify names of the invited on the inner envelope and they should understand.


I’m having a similar situation.  Mine read:



Prime Rib ____  (please initial)

Chicken Gorgonzola _____ (please initial)


I’ve had numerous guests at a family event over the weekend ask how to fill them out!  Ugh!!  (We need to code their place settings for which meal they’re getting, hence the initials).  Some people write a number, some people do “X’s”… this kind of thing must be a common problem!


Good luck – it will all work out in the end!

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