Wedding Bliss and Blues > Paper Trail

response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?

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Back in those halcyon days of Grandmother's Proper Etiquette, no one used response cards because everyone knew they were supposed to respond to an invitation with a tone-matching letter accepting or declining.  These days stamped, addressed response cards are more typical.

So my question is this: is sending a formal invitation without that response card rude these days?

I am pretty sure the answer is no, I looked it up when we were sending our invites. We actually asked for rsvps by phone or email only which worked out fine.

I don't think it's rude at all, but I do think the lack of response card may be a hinderance to receiving an RSVP. (Who am I kidding, they are nearly impossible to receive anyway.)     

The absence of response cards in an invitation is not rude. (Actually, including a response card tends towards rudeness, as you are implying that your guest doesn't know enough to send a response. But that ship has sailed, long ago.)

However, for wedding invitations especially, the response cards have become so common that I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere out there, someone receiving a wedding invite without a response card would mistakenly think the sender was rude/clueless about etiquette.

I've encountered the same thing with "plus ones." They have become very common, and now a few friends of mine are greatly offended if they receive a wedding invitation without a "plus one."

So if you don't want response cards, don't use them. You might want to be prepared with a response if someone tells you that you were rude not to use them, though.

It's not rude.

But it is expected--I have seen comments by many people over the years about how rude the bride was to not include them; or how confused people are. (and god forbid you include them without a stamp!!! how cheap, how rude!! people will say)

As people get more electronic, that's starting to fade a little bit.

You can print on the bottom of the invitation: RSVP to email @ or 555-555-1212. (I wouldn't give only electronic--there are still people who don't really email, even if my Auntie Sandy *is* on Facebook now.)

Short answer: I would never leave them out. I might make them a postcard, but I wouldn't leave them out if my guest list was large-ish.  A smaller wedding, I might, because people would be much more likely to RSVP spontaneously, even if they just mentioned it.

With a smaller wedding, knowing that many people were on Facebook/email/etc., I'd create a Facebook event about 2 weeks before the RSVPs were due, and invite everyone who hadn't RSVP'd yet, just in case that reply mechanism is useful for them.


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