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While your response to a wedding invitation may not be as important as the bridesmaid colours or first dance song, it deserves to be done right, and the correct way can vary, depending on the situation. If you aren’t sure how to reply to a wedding invitation, then continue reading to find the solution for your scenario.


There is definitely such thing as a good and bad wedding guest. Here are some tips on returning an RSVP that will keep you in the good books of the stressed out engaged couple.
It really makes planning a wedding – already a difficult task – harder if you have to follow people up for an RSVP, so don’t be that guest. Beware, if you are too slack with responding, you might not get a follow up email – you may just get cut from the list with an email or no notice at all!
Bonus good guest tip: never just show up to a wedding that you haven’t RSVP’d to. Your friendship with the wedding couple might struggle to recover from that awkward situation.


Your response to a wedding invitation depends on the method chosen by the couple. We cover the alternative ways later in the article, but for accepting in the traditional manner – with an RSVP card that is included in the invitation suite – it’s as simple as ‘fill and send’.
However, here are some tips to remember:
  • Include the names of every guest attending, so your host knows numbers (if replying as a family or couple, exclude the names of anyone not attending to avoid confusion, rather than ticking both boxes).
  • Be specific about dietary requirements (and who they belong to, if more than one person is accepting on the same card).
  • Don’t forget to respond to any extra little details like song requests etc.
  • Respond early enough to allow for postage times (especially if you live far away from the couple).
The reply to a wedding invitation doesn’t have to be limited to straightforward prose. Some have fun with the RSVP by using or creating their own wedding invitation acceptance poem. This can take the form of a completed poem for guests to chuckle at or – better yet – a poem on the RSVP card left with blank spaces so the guests can fill them in creatively.


Declining a wedding invitation, while more simple, can sometimes be difficult because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. On a practical note, if it’s an RSVP card, you simply tick the decline box and send back. That’s the easy part, but if you’re wondering how to say no, especially how to decline a family wedding invitation, then it may require some extra effort and tact.
If you’re worried that declining the invite may cause offence, make sure you tell the couple directly (either in person or via phone) before they receive the declining RSVP, as a tick in a ‘no’ box can come across a little impersonal. Be sure to explain your reasons, honestly and kindly, and if possible, let them know how much you would have liked to be there. If you are close to the couple whose invitation you’ve declined, it can be a nice thought to send them a card or gift anyway, so they know that you are thinking of them despite your absence.


Today there are several ways to respond to a wedding invitation. Knowing how to respond to a wedding invitation via non-traditional methods is helpful knowledge, so here are the most common alternative ways:
  • Responding via a wedding website – Couple: try to make the website as simple and easy to navigate as possible. Guest: don’t forget to fill in all fields (and don’t assume that an RSVP is less important because it’s digital).
  • Responding by text message or phone call – Couple: if people are calling to respond, remember to keep an accurate list of the ‘yes’ group and ‘no’ group to save yourself the trouble of having to double check later.
  • Responding via email – Guest: ensure you haven’t forgotten to answer any of the questions in the RSVP request. Wondering how to decline a wedding invitation via email without coming across rude? Follow the invite up with a call, or add a nice personal message in the email to the couple, congratulating them and wishing them good luck on their big day.
For couples distributing invites via email or other digital format, remember that in the internet age, most people skim read on a screen, so we recommend sending the group message out with the same email address you want people to reply to. If the two are different, you will have lots of people who won’t read properly and will reply to the wrong person – adding to the already busy load of a groom or bride.
It’s handy to be able to brush up on the minor etiquette details for a friend or family member’s upcoming nuptials so now we hope that you feel confident to perfectly craft your wedding invitation reply – no matter which format you’re faced with.


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