Post # 1
Has anyone had an invitation suite that did NOT include a self-addressed stamped response card?
I ask because I was reading a Miss Manners book (her newest one that came out this year) and she pronounced response cards horrid, and says that in a perfect world, guests would be insulted to receive them because they would think it was being implied that they didn’t know how to correctly respond to an invitation…
… which, apparently, is a handwritten response that mirrors the wording on the wedding invitation. She also says that plenty of people don’t bother to return the cards anyway, so might as well save the trouble and expense.
She suggests putting “RSVP” and your address on the bottom left-hand corner of either the invite or the reception card.
Has anyone done this? Because I looked it up and for most invitation suites, doing away with the response card saves a lot of money.
I talked to some of my friends and they think it would be rude to not have a reply card and a SASE. But that would mean Miss Manners suggested something rude… Twilght Zone!
Post # 3
People expect to get response cards, so I think that some guests would view it as rude if you did not do it (even if Miss Manners says otherwise!). I think that even more people than the ones who already do not send back response cards will not reply. I have heard of people doing website-only RSVPs, but you have to know your crowd for that one. I am not particularly a fan of RSVPs where you are only given a phone number, especially onces where I do not know the host (which can be the case at a wedding if RSVPs were directed at parents). And forget about expecting handwritten letters as responses!
Post # 4
She is correct. A lot of potential guests don’t return the response cards; however, a lot of potential guests would wonder where the heck it was, if it wasn’t included in the invitation and how many potential guests do you know that would actually write out a response, if a RSVP wasn’t included. In years past, an not including an RSVP would have probably been okay because people were into letter writing, but these days, you are lucky to get a text or an email. With that said, I am including selfaddressed, selfstamped RSVP for the convenience of our potential guests.
Post # 5
She assumes that most people are taught to do such things. Fact of the matter is they are not. After my step sons birthday, I had him sit down and write thank you notes – horrible right? He had no idea what to write or how to write one. We are loosing the art of writing letters and notes. I write them all the time and am always getting comments on them, which kind of suprises me. I am going to include response cards in my invitaion suite. I am usually the first one to follow etiquette rules, however, I am going to have to assume that most of the recipients will have not idea what to do without one.
Post # 6
I never send “response cards”, and I’ve been having formal dinner parties for forty-odd years. There are indeed still people who know how to, and do, write a proper response. There are also people who are really old enough to know better (meaning even older than I am) who seem completely at sea and even sent back their venue admission cards with “1 will attend” written on them because they couldn’t figure out how to R.s.v.p. without a card (rolls eyes). I couldn’t figure out how they intended to attend without an admission card to get them past the gate guards, but they were obviously new to the world of restricted access venues. I also toss out the cards that are sent to me, and reply properly.
The last *wedding* I gave was, admittedly, a decade ago and fairly small and informal. About half the forty guests replied by phone, and the other half in handwritten notes. The last big one was in the early nineties, and the vast majority of the 100+ guests replied with properly-formatted handwritten notes. I did give one formal dinner last spring where one of the guests didn’t r.s.v.p. until 5 o’clock on the day of the dinner, and then did it by phone in the form of a “call just to check whether we were still on”. Given that I had already re-designed the seating plan to accomodate his absence, I had to do some very rapid recovery, but he never knew. I’m not sure whether to blame that on the fact that he’s a bachelor, or on the fact that he’s under forty, or just assume that it’s his own individual lack of culture. My grand-nephews and grand-nieces, who range from 15 to 35, do know how to write replies and notes, so I’m going to chalk it up to the last.
Miss Manners, by the way, is not new in declaring this. Amy Vanderbilt, Peg Bracken, the original Mrs Post, Debrette’s, George Routledge, and just about every other non-Wedding-Industry etiquette maven gives the same advice on how to R.s.v.p.
Post # 7
We are not doing response cards but mostly for practical reasons. We will be traveling in throughout europe for the 5 months before our wedding, so we are just going to invite guests to RSVP via our website. I know this isn’t for everybody but we really thought it was the best solution for us. Plus we are really trying to be eco-friendly and we just didn’t think it was necessary.
Post # 8
@aspasia475: You convinced me! Even though the poll results say the opposite 😉 My mother, who I never thought was an old-school etiquette maven, just told me that if any of my guests think omitting a response card is rude, it is they who are violating ancient tradition! I am going for a very traditional look (engraving on ecru) so I think I’ll take Miss Manners’ advice!
Post # 9
I think it’s hard enough to get people to send back an RSVP card – so I think if you were to not include one – you would have to hound people for a response! However, it would definitely be interesting to hear from brides who have done this.
I think the social norm/expectation for weddings is to have a stamped card to send back… and that’s what most people would expect to receive.
Post # 10
Honestly, who has the time to sit down and write a formal response card. If you provide a self addressed, stamped response card all people have to do is check it off and drop it in the mail. You’re creating a lot more work for them by not providing it. Is it rude? No. Is it very inconvenient? Yes. Just be prepared to be calling the majority of your guests. If i got an invitation without a response card I would assume that they did not need an RSVP or I would email or call by phone.
Post # 11
@Meowkers: You have a point, but I’ll put RSVP by June 1 right on the invitation in the corner, so hopefully people will figure out what they need to do if they actually read the invite. I think it’s easier for me because almost all of my guests are super close family members who I know for sure are coming anyway. Even if I get no responses I would only have to call about 10 couples.
Post # 12
People have a hard enough time writing their names and checking a box, you’ll end up chasing down responses either way but I’d worry that not including an RSVP card would get people thinking they could just show up.
If you really weren’t going to include a card I’d put a phone number instead of an address, most people a terrible about written correspondence.
Post # 13
i wanted to put response cards because i thought it was proper etiquette to do so, as i have never received an invitation without one (well one couple asked me to RSVP on their website)….but i am living in the USA right now, while the majority of my guests are living in Canada, so i had the issue of not being able to pre-stamp it with the stamps they would need. not to mention how expensive that would be and i am still a student myself….so in the end i asked them to RSVP on my website. also, i am having a destination wedding, so i would think that i will get notice somehow if people book their flights and hotels. actually some people have done this, i have marked them as coming, but they haven’t been on my website.
i REALLY don’t think it matters how you do it, no one will be offended or think you did it “wrong”…..and personally, if i didn’t get a website, email address, or stamped response card, i would likely fall into the category of “forgetting” and would have to be chased. so i prefer something in my face.
Post # 14
We all want our guests to actually RSVP, so I guess I feel like we should make it as easy as possible on them. I’ll be including addresses and stamped cards/envelopes.
Post # 15
I’m not doing them. My RSVP is via email (of course, we are having only 14 people and they all already know they are invited). Also, we don’t have to make menu choices until we actually get to the resraurant, so I guess I don’t see the point in wasting paper.
Post # 16
Miss Manners can stuff it. Do you want to put response cards in your suite? Then do it. Are your guests going to think you are horrible or horrid? Of course not. Tell Miss Manners to get laid. ^_^