The series continues. Kudos to Kailyn Clay once again for doing the extra research to provide some useful information regarding your Big Day registry! Do you have a burning wedding etiquette question? Let us know over on Facebook!
#mannersmonday: How Should You Ask Your Guests to RSVP? | by guest blogger: Kailyn Clay
When you’re planning your wedding invitations, there are lots of things to consider. Besides, color, design, and type of paper, you have to consider all the information that needs to be included with your invitation. For example, if you have lots of guests coming from out of town, do you include an enclosure card with hotel information? If your wedding is taking place on an estate or in a small town, do you include information about other activities for guests to do in the area?
Another question that is often raised by brides these days, due to the prevalence and accessibility of technology, is this: should you include an RSVP card or ask the guests RSVP online?
Both options have pros and cons, and depending on who you ask, traditional wedding etiquette may help you make your choice. Here are some pros, cons, and schools of thought to consider:
One important pro of an RSVP card is that they’re generally accepted as the traditional way to respond to an invitation. Guests will expect to receive an enclosure that they can return via snail mail to tell the couple whether or not they will attend.
Another pro is that the RSVP enclosure card is very self-explanatory. Guests will know what to do with it without any further instructions. You can also easily include things like options for dinner on the enclosure card, making it work twice as hard for you.
Probably the one thing that deters some couples from including and RSVP card is the cost of postage to have them all returned. Traditional invitation etiquette says that the couple should pre-stamp all the RSVP cards so that guests don’t have to pay for postage to return them. On top of the cost to mail the invitations, this can seem like the straw that breaks your budget. One way around this is to include an RSVP postcard rather than an RSVP card and envelope. This will eliminate the envelope and the postage will cost a little bit less.
For many couples, asking their guests to RSVP online simply comes down to convenience. You don’t have to worry about RSVP cards getting lost in the mail when the responses are coming right to your inbox. If you want, you can dedicate an inbox to your wedding so that RSVP and other important wedding correspondence doesn’t get mixed up in day-to-day email. And if for some reason you have to get in touch with all of your guests, you have an easy way to do that, as well.
For others, RSVPing online is a simple extension of another wedding practice that is becoming commonplace: the wedding website. Asking guests to RSVP online drives them to your website, where you can also share additional information such as the story of how you met and hotel booking information. Including all of this online will also help to save costs on mailing invitations.
One deterrent to using an online RSVP system is that some guests may not be comfortable with this. Especially for your older guest, it may seem like more work to send an email response rather than responding with the RSVP included in the invitation.
How to choose?
While some may go as far as to say that it is a breach of etiquette not to include an RSVP card, probably the greater consideration to make is the median age of your guest list and consider how many of them will naturally be comfortable with the technology you’re asking them to use.
You should also consider the tone that you’re trying to set for your wedding. Is this an elegant affair or a “no-shoes-cause-we’re-on-the-beach” kind of event? Online RSVPs are certainly a less formal method for receiving RSVP responses. If you’re going for an elegant or classic wedding atmosphere, including RSVP cards may be the best way to go. On the other hand, if you’re having a whirlwind wedding with twelve of your closest friends in Barbados, then why not let them RSVP via email?
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that budgeting for your wedding invitations is vitally important to the financial health of your wedding budget. Even if you’re going back and forth on whether you’ll include that RSVP card, it’s best to include it in the budget so that have wiggle room instead of a budget crunch when you make the final decision. Jamie Lynne Creative can help you stay within your wedding budget and achieve the beautifully designed wedding invitations of your dreams.