RSVP

Responsibilities of a Wedding Guest
A great wedding guest can make or break your wedding experience.

To be a great wedding guest, make sure that you are polite and courteous.

April showers bring May flowers, but for brides, April showers bring June flowers. Summer is a popular time for weddings, so you might start getting invitations from your friends who are getting married. To survive wedding season, be the best wedding guest you can. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • RSVP by the date requested. Do not put the invitation aside for a few days, because you’ll forget. Don’t make the couple track you down for an answer.
  • Look at the invitation to see who was invited. Do not invite anyone yourself. If your children aren’t mentioned on the envelope, they are not invited to the wedding. It is customary to invite partners, but if you aren’t married or in a long-term relationship, you may have to go single.
  • Show up if you RSVP “yes.” Barring an emergency, don’t change plans at the last minute. The caterer will charge the couple for your plate, whether you show up or not.
  • Do not talk about the wedding with friends who may not have been invited. This means on social media too. You don’t want to come off as boasting or make others feel bad because they were not invited.
  • Be on time for the ceremony. Better yet, be there 10 to 15 minutes early to get the lay of the land. When you arrive late, you disrupt the flow of the ceremony. If you do arrive late, wait for a break in the action to sneak in.
  • Dress appropriately. If the invitation says “semi-formal,” don’t wear jeans. For a beach wedding, dress more casually. Don’t wear white.
  • Put your phone on silent during the ceremony. Let your babysitter know your phone will be off for a half-hour to forty-five minutes and promise to check immediately after.
  • Don’t take pictures during the ceremony. Respect the wedding photographer.
  • Ask the couple if you can share pictures on social media before you do.
  • Send the gift, if you do, to the home of the bride or groom. Don’t make them deal with more stuff at the reception.
  • During the reception, sit where the bride and groom have placed you. Make conversation with those around you. It’s only for a couple of hours. Your phone will wait.

What About the Rights of a Wedding Guest?

Wedding guests also have rights that come with their invitation:

  • You can expect to receive an invitation if you received a save-the-date card.
  • You have the right to decline the invitation if you cannot attend. No explanation needed, just say, “Thank you, I’d love to be there, but I can’t.”
  • You can ask the couple if you need clarification about your invitation. Maybe you want to make sure you understand the dress code or are confused about the plus one.
  • You have a right to not send a gift at all. You also have up to a year to send a wedding gift.
  • If you do send a gift, you have a right to expect a timely thank-you note. You might want to give the couple a few weeks after the wedding to wrap up all their duties, but if you don’t receive a thank-you note within three months, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if they received your gift.
  • You should take advantage of the open bar, but don’t overdo it.

Have a Good Time

A wedding is a celebration, and you should have a good time. Thank the host and hostess, typically the bride’s parents, before you leave. Don’t be offended if you don’t get a few minutes with the bride and groom. One of the best things you can do as a wedding guest is to be flexible and gracious, no matter what happens at the ceremony or reception.

Wedding Invitations: Tips and Ideas
Retro Floral Elements- illustrations for wedding invitations.

Getting your wedding invitations in the mail with plenty of time for family and friends to respond is key to having a good turnout at your wedding.

If you’re one of the many couples planning a summer wedding, you’re probably thinking about getting your wedding invitations and save-the-date cards out after the first of the year. The invitations set the stage for your wedding. It’s the first opportunity you have to share the style of your celebration. You’ll want to have an idea of what type of ceremony you’re having, classic or modern, elegant or casual. When you order your invitations, you’ll want to consider other wedding stationery, such as menu cards, ceremony programs and thank-you notes, that carry your motif and colors throughout the event.

Making Your Wedding Invitations

Here are some tips and ideas you’ll want to keep in mind when you make your invitations:

  • Choose your wording carefully. Learn the rules of how your invitation should be worded. Traditionally, it’s the host of the celebration who is listed first. If you are dealing with multiple sets of parents, you may choose something different to honor everyone. Don’t put too much information on the card. Print separate enclosure cards for directions to the venue and travel information.
  • Don’t include registry information in your invitations. Put it on your wedding website and tell your family for when guests ask.
  • Order invites and other stationery together and early. This saves you time, money and stress.
  • Double or even triple check everything that is printed. Have two or three different people look at the proofs to ensure nothing is missed, misspelled or incorrect.
  • Get creative with fonts and coloring, but make sure the invitation is readable.
  • When ordering invitations, count mailing addresses, not guests. But remember to add a few extra invites to avoid having to run a reprint later on.
  • Send an invite if you’ve sent a save-the-date card. Even if you know the guests cannot attend, send the invitation, because not doing so implies that the guest is no longer invited.

Deadlines

  • It’s recommended that you send invitations about six to eight weeks prior to the wedding, but 10 weeks is becoming the norm in these busy times. You have to remember not to send invites too early, because people forget to RSVP. Sending invites too late doesn’t give you enough time to get responses to tell your caterer an official head count.
  • When putting an RSVP deadline on the card, give yourself a few extra days between the real date and the date you tell people. For example, you have to give your caterer a head count on June 1. Make the RSVP deadline on May 24, a full week earlier. If you have to spend time calling people, you won’t be so stressed. Giving people a short time to respond makes them take care of it quicker. You might even choose to move the date up even more.
  • Help your guests respond to invites with all the information that you require. You might be surprised how many people forget to write their names on the reply cards or just forget to respond at all. Discreetly number the reply cards to correspond to the list of guest names, or consider pre-printing a label for the reply card.

Making Your Wedding Invitations: Outside the Envelope

  • Don’t use address labels on the envelope. Hand write them yourself or ask your bridal party to help. If you’re concerned about making mistakes, just get a few extra envelopes. The hand-written address makes the invite feel more personal.
  • Get a glue stick to seal the envelopes without damaging the invites.
  • Be careful about the outside of the envelope. Use a dark-color ink to address the envelopes to make sure it can be read.
  • Check the correct the postage before you mail. Take one envelope with the reply cards inside to the post office and have it weighed and examined. To be sure that the clerk got it correct, mail an invite to yourself before you send out the others.

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