Whether you feel it appropriate or not and do so only begrudgingly, sending out a wedding acceptance card or RSVP card along with your wedding invitation card will definitely improve the rate of reply from your guests and save much work in following up. These cards can take the form of an RSVP postcard, on which responses are sought on one side of the card whilst the reverse bears your pre-printed return address, or they can take the form of RSVP cards and envelopes, which are the more usual. Here the responses sought are printed onto one or both sides of the card which is teamed with an envelope bearing the pre-printed return address. Other formats can also be appropriate and the quirkier ones can sometimes add a fun touch, but whatever style you choose you will probably be glad that you sent one.

What Information should we ask people to confirm on the RSVP cards?

It goes without saying that you will need one or more lines on which guests can write their names. Please bear in mind that as you will want to know exactly who is coming it is important to leave enough space for more than one first name, where guests share the same surname. It might also be a good idea to include a wedding information card in the event that this helps your guests to fill in the RSVP card.

If your invitation encompasses both the service and reception and there are no further events for guests to attend, your recipients will only be replying to that one event. In this case, we would recommend that you have two separate lines, each ending with a tick box. On the first line, guests indicate their attendance and the second line is used for non-attendance.

If you have more events than the actual wedding day itself, such as a welcome drinks/rehearsal dinner, or maybe a Sunday recovery brunch, then your RSVP card wording can get a little more complicated because in some instances you may not be inviting all of the guests to each of the events. If we take possible scenarios in turn, then let us assume in the first instance that you have invited all of the guests to each of the events:

- This is the most simple version, as it allows you to list each of the events and to seek a simple “Yes/No” response at the end of each line. Consequently for this scenario it is important to structure each event sentence in such a way that the recipient can reply in a yes or no manner.

In the second scenario you may only be inviting some of your guests to some of your events, in which case things get a little more complicated:

- The obvious answer would be to print a second or even a third version of the wedding RSVP cards, with each version being sent to different groups of guests. This solution requires a little more care when pairing the correct card with the invitations in order to avoid any kind of embarrassment. This does mean that costs of production will increase since you are looking to print more than one version, but sadly there really is no other way around this when it comes to multiple events all requiring an RSVP card, except perhaps to use an rsvp email on the auxiliary invitations so that recipients can reply to these directly.

Other questions that you might wish to pose your guests should include information about their special dietary requirements and it is increasingly common these days for the hosts to include a line which allows their guests to indicate whether they suffer from any food allergies. Similarly, you may well be organizing transport to and from the venue(s) so you will doubtless want to find out whether your guests will want to take advantage of this facility. Or you might be hoping to build a music playlist that will include many of your guest’s favourite songs, in which case you might also want to ask them about this on the wedding reply cards. In short, this card provides you with the means to ask your guests any questions for which you need answers.

How much time do I need to allow for my guests to reply and should I include a reply by date?

As a general rule, we would highly recommend that you include a reply by date as this will help prompt your guests to reply all the sooner. Naturally there will always be late respondents but a reply date will allow you to chase them as soon as that date has expired.

When it comes to setting the reply date whilst a number of factors might come into consideration, we would recommend, as a guide, that you give your guests at least one month to reply from receipt of your invite. Possible exceptions might be:

1.) If the size of the wedding venue is limiting guest numbers you may well have a “B” list, so you will want enough time to send out a new batch of wedding invitations, should you receive more refusals than you anticipated.

2.) Another influencing factor is location. If you are holding the wedding overseas there will be a lot for you to organize, including holding rooms in hotels, arranging other events on the day(s) leading up to the wedding and the day after the wedding, local travel arrangements, excursions and much else besides, so whilst you will probably have sent your wedding invitations out well in advance you will doubtless want to receive the replies promptly so that you can finalise your arrangements, and this will also impact upon the reply by date that you choose. Conversely, if you are holding a local wedding, then there is naturally a reduced time pressure but you will still want to have the reply by date to be approximately 4 weeks before the big occasion.

3.) It can also depend on the catering arrangements. For example, if you are holding a more casual Wedding Breakfast, such as a buffet or a barbeque, you will be under slightly less pressure to confirm final numbers compared to a more formally organized dinner served by waiting staff. For the more formal offering you will find that the caterers will want final numbers confirmed at least one month before the event.

Print Lead times and design for the wedding RSVP

It is more than likely that you will be ordering your reply cards at the same time as your invitations so that the two processes will usually begin at the same. The design of the RSVP card, would usually be based very closely on the invitation itself, so that ink colours, fonts and card choices would all be in the same style but, of course, you may choose to differentiate them if you prefer. Approving all items for print at the same time will increase the likelihood of them completing together. Traditional print techniques, require approximately 7-10 working days to complete but for more modern digital printing techniques the lead time can drop to as little as 5 working days from proof approval.

Do I have to collect my wedding stationery from you in London or can you send it to me?

We would be delighted to welcome you to the office to collect your stationery should you be based in London or alternatively deliveries within London can be sent by same day courier but this does incur an extra premium. If you are not in such a hurry then we can deliver to anywhere in the UK (greater and central London included) using a next day delivery service. For all overseas clients, we can ship to anywhere that is serviced by FedEx and would advise that you allow 1-3 working days depending on your location.

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