There’s a certain art when it comes to accepting or declining an invitation gracefully; and with different rules depending on the occasion, the formality and the type of invite, responding correctly can feel like navigating through a minefield of explosive, floral-scented, 300gsm gloss cardboard.

When it comes to weddings, the RSVP rules are even more important, as the time and effort spent planning this Big Day is far more than what would go into a Saturday night soiree with the girls. To help guide you through even the trickiest RSVP situations, we’ve put together the rules according to us – the wedding experts.

1.Thou Shalt Respond Quickly

With weddings, a ‘save the date’ is usually sent out months in advance. This little card serves as a hint that that bride and groom have started planning their event and common courtesy implies that you should let them know whether or not you can make it asap. There really are no excuses for a late response to this one…

2. Thou Shalt Be Guided by the Bride and Groom

Most wedding invitations come with clear steps on how to respond and it’s generally considered a ‘deadly sin’ to reply in any other fashion. RSVPing to a wedding is not the time to think creatively and surprise the couple; because not matter how much you think they’d appreciate a stripper-gram or an envelope filled with confetti, if they’ve asked for an email response, you’d gosh-darn better send them an email.

3.Thou Shalt Not Concoct an Excuse

We’ve all done it. You receive a wedding invite from your best friend’s cousin’s chiropractor and although you’ve got nothing against spinal health, you simply don’t want to spend your Saturday evening making awkward conversation with strangers while eating mini quiches. Do not fall into the trap of fabricating an elaborate excuse, especially if it involves a dog and homework, because I can tell you from personal experience, they’ll never believe you. Instead, politely decline the invitation and if by some chance the busy bride and groom question why you’re unable to make it, let them know you’ve got already got an obligation on that date.

4.Thou Shalt Not Assume You’ve Got a +1

Is it just your name on the invite? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re going to have to leave your beau at home. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a hot new date you want to show off to your Nana or you’ve been going steady with your partner for years, if there’s only one name on the invitation, you should assume there’s only one seat at the table (and yes, it is inappropriate to sit on his lap). For formal events, like weddings, I wouldn’t even recommend asking the host as it’s very possible that they will take offense to the suggestion.

5.Thou Shalt Include Dietary Details

These days it seems as though everyone has a special diet – paleo, lactose-free, gluten intolerant, vegan and Sizzler (a diet I’m practising where I eat everything in sight). Most invitations will include a return card that asks you to outline any dietary requirements, so make sure this is clearly filled out. If you aren’t provided with this card, it’s up to you to take the initiative and let the host know what menu modifications you might need. We all know there’s nothing worse than a PETA advocate being served a juicy filet mignon.

Weddings are a stressful time. The groom is busy bribing the best man with gifts in an attempt to ensure he doesn’t end up handcuffed to a street sign at the bachelor party and the bride is generally hungry from the detoxing. As a guest, you have one job – to RSVP correctly. Do it right and we guarantee you’ll be given an extra big slice of wedding cake on the night.


Posted in Expert Advice, Planning by wedded wonderland

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