Do we have to include a reply card with the invitation to our daughter’s wedding? That invitation to her formal wedding is very attractive, but she says people forget to fill out reply cards and that nobody has stamps anymore because bills and letters are done online. She wants to have everyone RSVP to their wedding website. Not all of our older friends and relatives will understand about responding to a wedding website.
There lies our dilemma, how to be elegant, thoroughly modern, and communicate to all the generations?
–Alexandra, Grosse Pointe, MI
You do not have to include a wedding reply card to your daughter’s upcoming wedding in the wedding packet. Your daughter is right in assuming that she and her fiancé’s friends will RSVP to all the wedding festivities more efficiently and promptly when replying to the couple’s wedding website.
However, you will need to be sure the the web address appears prominently in the wedding packet.
If you are worried about what older friends and relatives will think about not receiving a reply card and thinking theirs was omitted from the invitation packet, remember that for generations reply cards were not used for the RSVP. The old-fashioned standard note to the bride’s mother (you) was the only form of acceptance. No doubt you will be receiving their RSVP in their own words and names can be added to the acceptance list on the wedding website.
Here are the most popular wedding websites offering the RSVP option to the wedding as well as to other wedding festivities:
The latest word from hosts and professional wedding planners, coordinators, and stationeries is that the outdated response/reply card is not working. When guests are expected to use a paper reply card with a return self-addressed (and often stamped) envelope, out of 200 guests invited, only 120 mail back the response card — and of that number, only 80 will actually show up.
Because of this, caterers are now requiring an exact headcount sometimes up to six weeks out. An impossible lead time for the RSVP cutoff date — which up until recently had been a week to ten days prior to the wedding day. Now, that can be an unexpected and unwelcome added expense if you’re paying for quests (per person) who don’t bother to let the host know they cannot attend after all — or who reply too late.
In wedding etiquette we have to use a more efficient method of collecting the acceptances and regrets. In other words, we have to speak the language of our guests, which these days is predominately a digital audience.
Keeping all records of all acceptances and regrets for all the pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding events on the couple’s wedding website makes perfect sense. A huge convenience for the guests, as well as the hosts.
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Accepting A Compliment