For those who studied French we all know the meaning of R.S.V.P. But more importantly then knowing what R.S.V.P. means (respond please) is understanding the importance of the R.S.V.P. as a part of the wedding planning process. With your invitations you should always include an R.S.V.P. Wedding etiquette generally includes a return card that should be mailed back. You can also phrase your invitation with a “regrets only” which means the invitee only need to respond if they cannot attend.
Some of the recent weddings I’ve attended have had extra tables and place settings with no guests. Every extra seat or plate cost. If you are expecting 200 guests, and order food for 200 guests, then you pay for 200 guests, even if only 150 attend. When you prepare your invitations take care how your address them – Friend and Guest (2 places), Friend and Family (??? Places). If your invitation is addressed to “Mr. & Mrs.” and not “Mr. & Mrs. and children”, then children are not invited. Leave a space on the response card so that the guest’s name can be added. I also recommend a date by which to respond. A detailed list is critically for accuracy. For most brides, paring down the invitation list is stressful because it is difficult to maintain a balance between staying with your budget and trying to make sure nobody’s feelings are hurt.
When the wedding is more informal and the invitation is via email or Facebook, it is okay to respond in kind.