The Dos and Don'ts When Creating Your Reply Cards
1. Do ensure it's the right size. Reply cards are typically 3.5" x 5" and the envelope is a standard A1 3.5" x 4 7/8." This is the smallest size that the post office will mail. You can go bigger of course with your design but you can't go smaller.
2. Do make sure that the wording is clear! Reply cards must have 2 important components: 1. a place for your guest(s) to write his or her name and 2. a place to indicate whether they are attending or not. The traditional form has an M and then a line. Most people understand that is where you write Ms. (or Mrs.) Jane Smith or Mr. John Smith. But you can also have a section that says Guest(s) and a line. Make sure the line is long enough for them to write both names. In order to indicate their attendance - they can either check or circle yes or no but it needs to clear!
3. Do have a reply by date. If you don't have a date listed, everyone will procrastinate or forget! We suggest 3-4 weeks before the wedding date. People are used to looking for that date. If you are mailing your wedding invitation very close to your wedding date then it's perfectly acceptable to list an email on the reply card.
4. Don't give your guest too much time to reply. If you give them too much time, it will get forgotten!
5. Do feel free to list entree choices. You can use illustrations are just wording. No need to get specific about the food choices - that's for your day-of menu. You can simply list meat (steak), fish or vegetarian.
6. Do make sure your return address is correct! Check, double check and then triple check. When you are approving the proof, it's your responsibility to ensure the return address is right. It's no fun realizing that your reply cards are going to a house across town.
7. Do put a stamp on the envelope: This is proper etiquette but it also ensures for fast delivery as your guests don't have to hunt for a stamp! Have fun selecting beautiful ones that match your design aesthetic but do make sure it's the right postage. If you have a square reply card- you may need to add more postage- check with the post office to confirm how much it will cost before you send your invitations.
8. Don't put the reply card inside the envelope. The reply card should be face up and tucked under the envelope flap. Place it in the inner envelope and then on top of the main invitation. If you have a reception card. Your reply card goes on top of the reception card.
9. Don't feel the need to put the address of the church or venue on your reply card. You can have a separate reception card with address details. The event locations should be listed on the main invitation.
10. Do have fun with the design and wording: Yes, it's ok to have fun with the wording, just make it sure it's absolutely clear as to whether they can attend or not. Don't make the wording so complicated that they don't know how to respond! Most importantly, make sure there is a place for them to write their names!
Here are some ideas from traditional to non-traditional:
Will Attend & Will Not Attend
Accepts with Pleasure & Regretfully Declines
Graciously Accepts & Will Celebrate From Afar
Pour My Champagne, I'm In & Sorry I'll Have to Toast from Afar.
Ready to Eat, Drink and See you Get Married & I Will Sadly Have to Miss it
Then as encouragement to remember to respond, add: I'll Promise to dance if you play ______________ (they should list a song suggestion)
Oftentimes if you have a lot of out of town guests coming; you'll want to have a welcome party and perhaps a brunch. You can either create 2 separate reply cards or if everyone is invited to all the events then list all of the events on 1 reply card and add a place to confirm whether they can attend to each one.
When you come in to do your invitations with us, we will take plenty of time to discuss your reply card to make sure it's all clear for your guests and for you!
Photo credit: Trisha Keeler Photo