5 things I wish I could tell people about wedding RSVPs

The “Please respond by” deadline we put on the invitations is now approaching. Honestly, getting the little response cards back has been one of the only fun parts of wedding planning. Mail — yay! Notes from friends and family — yay! People coming to party with us — yay! People we invited out of obligation respectfully declining — yay!

However, as with all wedding stuff, there’s plenty to be annoyed about. Below are several public service announcements for those of you who don’t know what the fuck to do with a wedding invitation:

1. I do not give a shit if you can’t come, just check the “no” box: I suppose people’s hearts are in the right place with this one. They’re worried I will take it personally if they can’t come to my wedding, so they’re too afraid to respond with “no.” Or, maybe they really want to come but are facing sticker-shock when they look at ticket prices.

In any case, as the deadline creeps closer, I’m getting a lot of, “I really really want to come, but I’m not sure it will work…” “My job is so crazy now, but I really want to go …” “I may have a family thing that weekend…”

OK, people: This may sound harsh, but I do not give a FUCK if you come or not. There are roughly 15 people whose attendance we give a fuck about. We talked to those people right after we got engaged and picked our wedding date around their schedules. We even helped defray their travel costs. If you didn’t get a call from us asking whether our wedding date worked for you or offering to pay for your hotel, you are NOT on this list. We’d love it if you came, but we’ll live if you don’t. And I promise I won’t get mad. What *is* making me mad is you coming up with a bunch of excuses that I have to pretend to care about, when what I really want you to do is check the “Declines with regret” box so I cam make the damn seating chart. And then we can celebrate at a local bar later.

2. Use your reading-comprehension skills: We put the address of our venue on the invitation. We also put the URL of our wedding website on the invitation, and that website has the address of (and directions to) the venue. We have blocked off rooms at three hotels, and those are also on a little insert inside the invitation envelope and on the website. You have a computer and smartphone. So why are you asking me where the venue and room blocks are? Why are you asking me, “which hotel is the wedding in?” Why are you asking me, “How far is the wedding from the reception?” when both the invitation and website clearly state that they are in the same damn building?

3. Do not send me back a blank RSVP card: Write your name on the little lines provided and check a box. It’s not hard. Luckily, I idiot-proofed the RSVP cards by writing a  line number from the guest spreadsheet in tiny print on the back of every RSPV card. My fiance thought it was a waste of time, but plenty of our loved ones have justified the exercise. Also, it’s been a very interesting little intelligence test.

4. Price out the travel costs before you respond: I kid you not, we had someone reply “yes,” only to realize later that the wedding was out of town. The city where it’s being held is clearly written on the invitation and on the response card, by the way.

That person was a “special” exception. For the most part, we’ve just had a lot of people reply “yes,” and then text us/Facebook message us, “Woa, flights to [city where wedding is] are EXPENSIVE! Do you think they’ll come down in price?”

I have said many times on this blog that I don’t want anyone going broke making it to our wedding. I know leaving town for a wedding is a huge pain and is no small expense. That is why, whenever I receive a save-the-date or invitation, I price out the travel costs first and then respond accordingly.

5. Seriously, just respond to the goddamned thing on time: Whether my answer is “accepts with pleasure” or “declines with regrets,” I have always sent back my response cards as quickly as possible — and certainly by the deadline. I know the bride and groom are trying to plan a big event, and I want to help them get concrete guest numbers as soon as possible. The worst thing you can do is not send back an answer. Even if you think you’ve made it obvious that you’re coming (for example, you’ve told the bride and groom how excited you are at a random party last week), make it official and send the fucking card or an email or text.

Also, if you think a lack of response makes it “obvious” you’re not coming, fuck you and fuck the barn you were clearly raised in. No response could mean “declines with regrets.” Or it could mean “I might just decide the day of to show up.” So check a box and put the card in the mail so I don’t have to call your ass.


Most people who have responded to the invitation have done so flawlessly. We received our first yes’s and no’s just a few days after mailing the invitations, and those people are getting extra-big hugs at the wedding.



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