Reply Wording for Wedding Invitations

by Nora Zavalczki

Before the era of mobile phones and email, reply cards were an essential part of a wedding invitation. Today, if you include an RSVP address or phone number on the invitation card, the reply card is not compulsory. If the hosts of a wedding provide a response card, the guests just need to fill in the blanks with some details. However, if the invitations don't contain a reply card, the guests need to compose the wording.

Formal Reply Wording Provided by Hosts

The reply cards should be composed in a formal style if the wedding invitation is also formal. The empty blanks are left for the guests to fill in with the details: "The favor of a reply is requested/on or before June 29/Mr./Mrs. (blank space)/(blank space) will attend/(blank space) is unable to attend./Please indicate below if you have any special dietary requirements (blank space)." If you already know the menu for the wedding, provide the choice of meals and ask the guests to check the menu of their choice.

Informal Reply Wording Provided by Hosts

Informal wedding invitations may include RSVP contact details on the invitation and the guests may respond via email or phone. However, if these details are not included, the host should provide a reply card that reads similar to: "Don't miss the boat!/Please respond by/June 29, 2011/Name: (blank space)/(blank space)Our ship came in! We'll be there!/(blank space) Sorry, we're all booked up." Alternatively, use this kind of formulation: "Please respond to this journey of love/by June 29/Name (blank space)/ (blank space) Green light! We can make the trip!/(blank space) Red light! We'll have to pass." Leave a blank space on the reply card so that your guests can leave a personal note. Guests may like to include wishes and thoughts along with their response.

Formal Reply Wording Written by Guests

Some wedding invitations may not contain a response card and no RSVP details. In this case, the guest has to compose the wording on a blank sheet of note paper or a card. For a formal reply, use a formulation such as: "Mr. and Mrs. Green/are pleased to accept (or "gladly accept")/Mr. and Mrs. Red's wedding invitation/for Sunday, June 29/3 o'clock in the afternoon." The wording for sending regrets for a wedding invitation should be composed as follows: "Mr. and Mrs. Green/regret that they are unable to accept/Mr. and Mrs. Red's kind invitation/for Sunday, June 29/3 o'clock in the afternoon." If one of the invited guests is able to attend, but the other can't, you will need to compose a split acceptance/regret card: "Mrs. Jane Green/accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Red/for Sunday, June 29th/Mr. John Green/regrets he is unable to attend." The location of the reception is optional, so you may include it or skip it. However, when declining, you can omit both the time and the location of the reception.

Informal Reply Wording Written by Guests

To reply to a less formal wedding invitation, compose your response as follows: "John and I are excited to be invited to the wedding. We'll be there, rain or shine." You may also include a personal note. The informal wording for a refusal may be something in the line of: "John and I are unable to join you for your wedding, but keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming gift." Compose a split acceptance/regret as follows: "I am thrilled to join you, but John won't be able to make it."

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