(Closed) RSVP's… How Specific/Strict Are You?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1736 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015


atoney86:  I think you should put a specifuc number so when at the reception you don’t get a surprise 

I am going to be very struck with my RSVP

Post # 3
10290 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I do think you are going overboard. 

The specific names go on the inner envelope, or if there are none, on the outer envelope with names of children below.   I don’t like X seats reserved language because it implies the majority of guests don’t  know how to read an invitation,  while not at all preventing the kind of people who will add on anyway.  I did totally blank cards with only “the favour of a reply by X date” language up top and believe it or not all but one person figured it out. 

The thing to do with people who respond for extra guests is to follow up and say “Sorry, there must have been a misunderstanding. We are limited for space and have only invited first cousins, but not their children.’.  Or words to that effect.  

Post # 4
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

atoney86:  I do feel your frustration.  5 years ago my oldest StepDD got married and asked me to help her plan her wedding.  Her father and I hosted it.  Her biomom and stepdad are nice enough people but both, very large families are NOTORIOUS  for bringing extra guests.  I’m talking legendary type notorious.

Her mom is one of 7 kids and her stepdad is one of 10.  The wanted all of their siblings and all of the siblings children/grandchildren invited.  They started spreading the word too.  DD wanted a no-kid wedding and since her biomom and stepdad were not paying for anything for the wedding we took control of the issue.

Since we were hosting, we issued the invitations.  They went something like this:

2 seats have been reserved in your honor

AnnaBelle Jones ___accepts ___declines

James Jones ___accepts ___declines

We only had 2 sticky issues but we dealt with it.  DD’s biomom’s side of the family wasn’t happy, but they did play nice.  If we hadn’t done that, we would have had the usual boatload of uninvited guests they are known for bringing.

Post # 5
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We addressed our invites to exactly who was invited then our response cards went like this (we filled in the number of reserved seats prior to sending them out):

We have reserved ____ seat(s) in your honor.

Please include names of all attending M ______

___Accepts with pleasure

___Declines with regret


So far no issues, but only 83/217 have RSVP’d….21 days left for them to be on time!

Post # 6
1608 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I wrote names on the RSVP to emphasize non-transerrabile

Mr. John Smith       will/will not attend                 steak       fish vega

Mrs. blah blah

Post # 8
392 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

atoney86:  I think you’re being perfectly reasonable. I wouldn’t like anyone tagging along uninvited. I’m not even going to be happy if other family comes when I only invite one person from the family, if I don’t know they’re sister/mom/dad very well. I really like what a PP suggested:

AnnaBelle Jones ___accepts ___declines

James Jones ___accepts ___declines

Or something of that nature. I’ve experienced people (at other weddings) who assume that their children and their children’s friends are invited, or their nonmutual friend can come and don’t even clear it with the bride and groom first. I think the mentioned format is polite but also sets clear boundaries. Good luck and congratulations!

Post # 9
1772 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

hermom:  +1 

best way to fully nip this in the bud is to have each name written out and accept or decline next to each so you get an RSVP for each invited guest and not them just saying the # of ppl they’ll bring. this isn’t rude or overboard IMO, just very clear. Otherwise ppl think they “have 4 seats” to do with as they want. Or they assume you mustve forgotten abt lil Joey, but of course you’d be fine w him coming. Etc. you know your guests best, but I don’t see how doing this could hurt anything. 

Post # 10
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL & Cheney Mansion, Oak Park, IL

I read this post to my student teacher, who told me that she invited a high school friend who had a child to her wedding as “Girl and Family”….and she brought her son, mother, father and brother! I think if your family is known for bringing extras, hermom‘s idea would work really well for you.

Post # 11
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Here’s what mine looks like. You’d be surprised how many people don’t read their envelopes or who think family means everyone under the sun. We have a maximum number of guests that will fit in our reception venue. We really can’t even have one extra person – or they will not eat or be seated in the room. Sad, but true. I did fill in the ___ seats reserved in your honor part of the card. 


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