How to Answer a Formal Wedding Invitation

How to Answer a Formal Wedding Invitation

Responding promptly to a wedding invitation shows the sender your gratitude for being included. It also shows that you understand our society's customs and are willing to participate in them, therefore ensuring future inclusion and connection. Most of all, though, it really helps the person planning (and paying for) the wedding estimate how many chairs will be needed and what the grand total of the bill might be. Here's a to-do list.

1 If there's a response card, fill it out and send it back as soon as possible. Most are preprinted, and you need to check boxes and fill it out. If you see "M_____ will attend _____ will not attend," it means to finish the courtesy title and write in your name. For instance, a single man, might write something like "r. Smith" on the line, a married couple might finish it with "r. and Dr. Smith."

2 Some invitations include entrée selections. If yours does, and you're responding in the affirmative, check the box or boxes for your desired entrée.

3 If your invitation doesn't include a response card, you are often expected to hand-write a response (although sometimes a website where you can RSVP may be provided). Use the plainest, nicest cardstock you can find. Be quite formal. You are elevating the event and giving it the gravitas it deserves. Say something like, "Ms. Flattered Guest accepts with pleasure your wedding invitation for Sunday, the tenth of June, at four o'clock in the afternoon."

Although rumor has it that a wedding guest has an entire year to send a gift, it's considerate to send one before the wedding or shortly (no more than three months) thereafter.


If you are single, unless the invitation specifies "Mr. Happy-to-Attend and Guest," you are not invited to bring anyone. Plates at weddings are costly. Don't put the couple in an awkward position by increasing numbers. Also, children are not invited with parents unless their names appear on the envelope. Many couples want weddings to be adults-only affairs.