Author Topic: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?  (Read 2050 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lellah

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 188
response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« on: February 27, 2014, 09:16:42 AM »
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?

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2835
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 10:09:56 AM »
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.

MummySweet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 566
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 10:17:31 AM »
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.)     


camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8503
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 10:30:25 AM »
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.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 11:04:48 AM »
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 @ ISP.com 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.

Alli8098

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 12:57:20 PM »

(Snip)
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.)


I don't think it's rude, but I also don't think it's rude to include them.  I included handmade post cards that were already addressed and stamped.  I honestly thought I was helping my guests out, all they had to do was check a box and drop it in the mail.  At this time not everyone was on Facebook and I didn't personally have email addresses and cell phones for absolutely every guest.  I took great time and expense to make them and cover postage. 

Moving on, again I don't think it's rude not to include them.  In this day and age there is more than "two" ways to RSVP for an event.

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6839
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 01:40:25 PM »
  IT's not rude but it confused my mother when she received an invitation from a distant relation without one.  She thought maybe they just wanted this to be an announcement and  she was not  really invited.   *they had run out of little envelopes and left it to someone to tell her verbally "they ran out of those little envelopes" someone forgot*

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3663
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 03:17:38 PM »
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.)   

This.
Not including one is tantamount to saying, don't bother replying.

I just received an invitation for an event which normally needs a reply and there was no response card*. I thought, "hmmm... did they forget to include it? Do they figure I'm not coming so they just didn't bother with one? (I'm not and the person pretty much knows that.) Do they just figure they'll count on a certain number and not mess with replies?

Yeah, all that went through my head, even though I've hung out on eHell long enough to know they are not required. Why? Well, because I know that not everyone is on eHell and that the current norm is to include a response card if you want people to reply. Period.

So yeah, I wouldn't say it's rude not to include one, but since it's standard nowadays it's expected and rather than cause confusion and misunderstanding, I would.

*Turns out there was a sticker on the back of the invitation with RSVP and a phone number and email addr. I think the host forgot all about response cards and added that on as an afterthought.

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6552
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 03:22:55 PM »
I think most people probably expect them anymore.  If you don't include them, you should make it fairly easy for someone to figure out how to RSVP -- like something printed on the invitation or other enclosure.  The return address on the outer envelopes can get mangled sometimes.

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4775
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 03:37:46 PM »
I think most people probably expect them anymore.  If you don't include them, you should make it fairly easy for someone to figure out how to RSVP -- like something printed on the invitation or other enclosure.  The return address on the outer envelopes can get mangled sometimes.

POD. I wouldn't consider them rude but instead rather expect them for a formal event. Though if people would rather guests RSVP by phone or email or whatever, that's fine, they should just note that on the invitation somehow. If there's no mention of how or when to RSVP, a lot of people might assume that means no RSVP is necessary--like it's a come-and-go open house or something. Depends on the event, although sometimes even with a wedding people "invite" the whole congregation to witness it in the church via an announcement in the bulletin--I wouldn't expect to RSVP to that, I'd just show up if I wanted to.
~Lynn2000

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2106
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 03:39:13 PM »
It's not rude not to include a response card.  And although I know that technically it is rude (or perhaps "insulting" or "contrary to etiquette" would be a better description) to include one, I don't think that including the is rude, either.  I always appreciate it.

But if you are inviting a large number of people, my advice is either to include a response card or to put your preferred method:
RSVP to host@gmail.com or (123) 456-7890

You will save yourself a LOT of trouble.  If the card is right there, stamped and ready to go, your guests are much, much more likely to reply promptly.  Otherwise, even those who know already whether they can come are likely to put the invitation in a pile of mail they are going to deal with later, and we know what happens all too often then ....  An email address is almost as good for that.

Lynn2000 is right.  Unfortunately, some people see absence of any reference to responses as the hosts' telling them that they don't need a response, and they should just come or not at the last minute -- the way you would handle an invitation to a public or charity event, or, as she says, an open house or a "bulletin-invitation" wedding at some churches.

I know that the response cards are an extra expense, especially with the current high rates of postage, because I do agree that if you use them, you should stamp them.  But they are really fun to get back!  People often write such sweet and funny things on them, especially if you don't crowd the card with a lot of check boxes and such.

GlitterIsMyDrug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 04:05:38 PM »
If I got an invitation without a response card, I'd assume I was to RSVP another way, such as via email/phone call. It would not occur to me to sit down and write out a yes or no response.

So I don't think not including one is rude, but if you want people to respond via mail, I'd say include one. For me, it's what I've always seen done, so it's what I assume to be traditional.

In fact, throw me in the pits, but until this thread I didn't even know they weren't traditional.

Alli8098

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 04:08:40 PM »
If I got an invitation without a response card, I'd assume I was to RSVP another way, such as via email/phone call. It would not occur to me to sit down and write out a yes or no response.

So I don't think not including one is rude, but if you want people to respond via mail, I'd say include one. For me, it's what I've always seen done, so it's what I assume to be traditional.

In fact, throw me in the pits, but until this thread I didn't even know they weren't traditional.

Same here, all my life when my family received a wedding invite a response card was included.

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1720
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 04:23:01 PM »
I didn't have them, never sen them in invites here. I just saw them as an extra expense. Everyone we invited knew how to get in contact with us and weddings I've been to I knew how to get in contact with the bride and groom.

Some of our more traditionally inclined relatives actually posted response or decline cards to use which was nice.

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
Re: response cards aren't traditional but are they expected?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 05:09:26 PM »
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.)   

This.
Not including one is tantamount to saying, don't bother replying.

I just received an invitation for an event which normally needs a reply and there was no response card*. I thought, "hmmm... did they forget to include it? Do they figure I'm not coming so they just didn't bother with one? (I'm not and the person pretty much knows that.) Do they just figure they'll count on a certain number and not mess with replies?

I think as long as the invitation clearly states when and how to RSVP, noone could possibly think that. 
Clearly means face of invite, not hidden on the back.