Repondez s’il vous plait

Something I’ve been thinking about as I prepare for the Baltimore Bridal Show 2nd and 3rd February is the knotty problem of RSVPs.  It causes much stress in wedding planning.  You’d think people would reply to a wedding invitation in a timely manner, but this is not a new problem and over the years various solutions have been deployed.  First an RSVP by date was introduced hoping that would spur people on, then the idea that including a response card with a stamped, addressed, envelope would help – surely if it was that easy to reply it would help smooth the RSVPs.  None of this has really worked to general satisfaction.

These are still tried and tested ideas you can go with – but you have other options. I sent out my wedding invitation without response cards.  Most people chose to reply via e-mail.  I can’t tell you the number of lovely little notes I received with warm wishes and messages of congratulations.  It was a marvelous bonus that hadn’t occurred to me.  One friend’s response in particular is a model in how to write an RSVP.  I’m going to break it up and show you how she accomplishes such a feat.

Start out with some kind words of encouragement:

Dear Antonia:

…  Updates with the wedding preparations?  Is everything mostly set?  I bet that you are super busy getting the final logistics ready. However as I know you, I am sure things are under control and well organized.

Continue with whether you will be able to attend, including some thoughts about the wedding, marriage and how exciting it all is.  If you can’t make it do show regret!

I am checking in to share that I am so sorry that I am not going to be able to make it to your and Brian’s wedding.  …  If I were still living on the East Coast, I won’t have missed [it].  It is tough being out west and not being able to get back east as easily as I would like for it to be.  Anyway, I am bummed that I can’t be there to see your dress, connect with your family and friends, to hear the vows, and to be there to celebrate the special occasion.  I can’t wait to see the photos and to hear all about the wedding.

You could then ask about a wedding present, being sensitive to the couple’s situation and needs.

Additionally, I wanted to check in about your wedding gift.  In many Native American cultures, a traditional wedding gift is a Pendleton blanket.  I also know though that with city living you often don’t have a lot of space and every item needs to be thought through.  So I wanted to touch base about ideas.  Is the blanket something that you might like? … If the blanket is not something that works with your home, another idea that I had was to get you and Brian a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant in DC.  This way you can continue the wedding celebrations and have a wonderful evening out.  I am not sure if this may be a preferable gift, if you are thinking of a more experience based present.  Please let me know your thoughts as I would like for your and Brian’s wedding gift to be something that you can enjoy.

It is also thoughtful to assure the couple they don’t have to respond quickly.

Also, no rush in getting back in touch, since I am sure you have a lot to do in the upcoming weeks.  I am wishing you good luck with the remaining preparations and a very happy wedding day 🙂  I look forward to sharing more updates sometime soon!

Three Corn Maidens Saddle Blanket

The beautiful Pendleton ‘Three Corn Maidens Saddle Blanket’ that we are lucky enough to have as a wedding present

Of course, the main thing is to reply in a timely manner to a wedding invitation – and you can mix and match all these ideas.  As you can see, there are happy solutions to the RSVP dilemma.  Do you have a thorny issue with wedding invitations that I could be of help in solving?