How to Word RSVPs & Reception Cards

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Wedding invitation etiquette involves many intricate details. Couples write RSVPs and reception cards when the reception location is separate from the wedding location. As the reception is not the main event of a wedding, the etiquette guidelines are more flexible. View samples of RSVPs and reception cards you like. Stay true to your own style and level of formality when writing the RSVPs and reception cards. As long as the reception card includes essential information and the RSVP allows guests to indicate whether they are attending or not, the remaining writing choices are largely preferential or circumstantial.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Word processing or desktop publishing software
  • Invitation template for RSVP card
  • Invitation template for reception card

Reception Cards

  • View several samples of wording for reception cards. Collect samples of wording you particularly like.

  • Open the reception card template. Be sure that your template aligns so that if there are borders or images on the card, you will write around any graphics.

  • State the type of event the reception will entail. Some examples of reception events include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dancing, brunch, lunch, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a sunset cruise, etc. To allow your guests to plan for the type of attire expected, also indicate whether the reception is casual, formal, or a black-tie affair.

  • Indicate the timing of the reception in relation to the wedding ceremony. If the reception follows right after the wedding, write, “immediately following” or “following the wedding ceremony.” If the reception starts an hour or more after the end of the ceremony, state the start time.

  • Include all the essential details for the reception: reception location, reception address, and reception city, state and zip code.

RSVP Cards (Response or Reply Cards)

  • View several samples of wording for RSVP cards. Collect samples of wording you particularly like.

  • Open the RSVP card template. Be sure that your template aligns so that if there are borders or images on the card, you will write around any graphics.

  • Write the RSVP card. Always include a line for guests to indicate the number attending or the number declining the invitation. If called for, include dinner choices or a line for guests to write any dietary considerations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Begin with a rough idea in mind. Gather samples of your favorite RSV’s and reception cards to make the writing work less time consuming.
  • For the reception card, clearly state if there is a specific cocktail start time and a specific dinner service time. Example: “Cocktails at 2:30 p.m. Dinner and dancing begin at 3:30 p.m.”
  • On the RSVP card, specifically say, “number attending” so guests will write a number instead of an “X” on the blank.
  • If your caterer needs to know how many beef or fish or vegetarian dishes to include, make sure to have a blank line where guests can indicate their meal preference. If you know some of your guests have special dietary considerations, write a line stating, “dietary considerations.”

References

  • Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
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