Wedding Reply Card Wording Ideas

by dustytoes

A bride and groom will need some way to keep track of wedding guests, and the reply card, or RSVP, enclosed with the invitation, is traditional.

Including a reply card enclosure may be an afterthought for the couple planning a wedding. There is so much to think about and wedding planning can be overwhelming, but don't forget the important reply cards.

Sometimes the RSVP can be done online at the couple's wedding website, but for a more traditional way to keep track of the wedding guests, enclose a reply card with the ceremony invitations.

Reply cards can be simple or involved, including a choice of meals to be served at the reception. To get an exact guest count, the couple can use reply cards that specifically ask for a number to be included on the response.

Small enclosure cards can match the invitations or be plain and simple. This page will give engaged couples a number of options and ideas to help with their wedding plans.

Simple and Traditional "Number Attending" Enclosures

This wedding reply card asks for the guests to supply a specific number.

The most simple of wedding reply cards will ask for the name of the person(s) replying, and a guest count, or number attending.

Usually this line is matched with the "will attend" text, which can be anything from "yes" to "wouldn't miss it".  Think up your own unique line if you want.

Beneath that, the "will not attend" text must appear for anyone who can not attend your wedding.  That text can also have variations.

They come in many themes such as beach wedding, summer floral, country, rustic, or plain black and white.

Fall Leaves Seasonal Wedding Reply Cards

This is a traditional way to get correct numbers from attendees.
Fall wedding rsvp
Fall wedding rsvp

Postcards: The Affordable Way to Gather the Responses

No envelopes are needed, and the postage cost is less.

Postcards are the affordable way to gather the responses from your wedding guests.  They are popular for all of the following reasons:

  1. Postcard prices are less and no envelopes are required.
  2. Postage for postcards is less than for cards with envelopes.
  3. They can be printed with a "return to" address - save time, yay!
  4. Custom cards can match your invitation theme.
  5. The Zazzle postcards are small enough to fit inside any 5x7 inch invitation.

Reply Card Basics

Enclose something with the invitations to make your life (as bride and groom) easier!

Once a wedding theme is in place, the wedding invitations can be purchased.  With all the choices out there these days, I do pity the bride-to-be who has to make a final decision about the all important invitations.

Wedding invitation sets, or sometimes "suites", will range in price from affordable do-it-yourself to expensive letterpress, embossed, and specialty printing.  In fact the couple can spend a small fortune for fancy folded, stationery in sets that include ribbons, bows and gems.  But whatever your choice for wedding paper, most likely you will want to include some way for the guests to let you know whether or not they plan to attend the event.

Reply cards are often enclosed with the wedding invitation.  Destination wedding sets may also include a card with travel, hotel and reservation information.  Another way to prompt guests to reply is to set up a wedding website and include that website information with the invitation.  It can be printed on the main invitation card, or added as a smaller, separate card.

The most basic RSVP will ask for guests to add their name on the card and check off whether or not they will attend the ceremony and / or reception.   An additional line for the specific guest count is helpful.

A menu list can also be added for ease in keeping track of the entrée selections.

Sometimes a space for special needs will be helpful to the bride and groom, such as when a guest has a food allergy, is on a special diet, or will require other arrangements to be made.

Modern couples may choose to include other fun information, or requests on the RSVP.

Guest Count RSVP Cards

Simple black and white enclosure cards where the couple indicates the maximum number of guests allowed.
Simple Guest Count RSVP Cards
Simple Guest Count RSVP Cards

Most Invitees Will Understand The Importance of Exact Numbers

Make the guests tell you exactly who will attend.

It seems that often times a wedding invitation is misinterpreted by the guests as meaning, "please come to our wedding and bring your friends along too!"

Weddings are expensive.  Even the smallest ceremonies will require some sort of food and drink and the bride and groom have to know how many mouths they will feed.

Unthinking attendees may believe that their one, extra guest won't matter, but the truth is that it is rude to bring uninvited people to a wedding.  One surprise presence surely won't matter much, but if twenty guests each bring one extra person, that could cause a shortage of food, drink, seating, favors, and so on.

There are a couple of ways that I know of to get an exact count.  Simply include an area on the reply card that asks guests to fill in a number.  That should make it blatantly obvious that they need to stick to that number.

I also had a couple make a request for reply cards like the ones below.  It takes more work on the part of the bride and groom because the number of invited guests must be filled in by the couple before sending, but it's a sure way to let guests know that you are counting on that amount of people and no more.  You get the idea.  And guests should get the message!

Cute and Economical Country Reply Postcard

Include your 'return to' address on every card, and customize all the text.
Informal Burlap Reply Postcards
Informal Burlap Reply Postcards

Enclosures That Include Menu Selections For Sit Down Reception Dinners

Do-it-yourself stationery with entrée list.

Any wedding reception that will include a sit-down meal will require knowing which types of meals the guests want to eat.  This number is very important to give to the caterers ahead of time so they can provided enough of each selection, and it will help to figure more closely the cost.

The couple usually offers two or three choices of meals, with options that usually include beef, chicken, seafood, and / or vegetarian fare.  If you know that all your guests are big meat eaters, it may be possible to forgo the vegetable meal, and vice versa for a family of vegetarians. 


Plain reply cards with menu / entree selection

The graphic background is easy to remove for a basic black and white card.
Plain wedding reply with entree selection
Plain wedding reply with entree selection

Small, Casual Weddings

Save money and do away with the reply card idea.

If the reception will be small and / or very casual, a simple note on the bottom of the invitation may be all that is needed.

For any other information guests may need, a small enclosure card, directing guests to a wedding website is popular.  This allows the couple to easily keep all wedding information, including a reply count, in one convenient online place.

When the bride and groom are in direct contact with most everyone who will attend the wedding, there may be no need for formal RSVP cards.  If the max number of guests is low, and the food is served buffet style, simply supply plenty for all.  A line of text at the bottom of the invitation could direct guests to the reception celebration.

Examples for small / casual wedding:

  • "Join us after the ceremony for a barbeque"   
  • "Drinks and hor d' oeuvres under the pavilion"   
  • "Family style, country smorgasbord to follow"          

Wedding Events at the Wedding Website

Simple wedding website enclosure cards can direct guests to all the information needed for a big wedding event.

Although small cards can be used for large or small events, it stands to reason that a website can hold much more information than a reply card.  Modern couples direct guests to a site that can be a wealth of information for savvy guests. 

Free wedding websites are available all over the internet.  The wedding website can come in a theme to match the wedding theme.  It can be filled with everything from a place to reply, to big event weekend activities.  

When sending the save-the-date announcements, or wedding invitations, it's the best time to give guests the URL to their personal website.

Custom Colors, Affordable Small Reply Enclosure

Direct wedding guests to the website for celebration information.
Wedding Website Reply Cards
Wedding Website Reply Cards

Post-Wedding Reception Invitation and Reply Wording

A private destination wedding can include a party for the married couple days, or weeks after the marriage.

Destination weddings can be small, private events when the couple realizes that cost is prohibitive for guests to attend. 

In order to celebrate with family members and good friends even though they could not attend the ceremony, hosting a post-wedding reception is a great idea. 

The couple could throw this gathering together themselves, or family members could do the planning while the couple honeymoons.  Upon their return home, a reception only invitation is sent out.

This type of invitation (see below) is usually less formal and can include the reply information at the bottom of the card.   The traditional RSVP can also be used.


Succulents Wedding Announcement and Invitation to Reception

Included reply information right on the invitation.
Announcement and Invitation with RSVP
Announcement and Invitation with RSVP
Updated: 07/01/2015, dustytoes
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Any additional advice to brides on reply card wording?

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dustytoes on 05/16/2014

You're welcome Tara. I'm sure couples come up with their own very unique wording too.

Tara_W on 05/16/2014

Thanks for the great tips. It's always challenging to find just the right way to word your wedding invites and reply cards.

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