Monday, October 20, 2008

Q & A: What is the proper form of response to a formal invitation to a very small wedding

Q. What is the proper form of response to a formal invitation to a very small wedding where the reception is the featured event? The large reception invitation and smaller wedding invitation were received in the same envelope, separated by tissue paper, but only the reception invitation had "The favour of reply is requested" engraved on it. There was no customary reply envelope included.

A. Receiving the wedding and reception invitation in the same envelope is prefectly OK - an RSVP card is most often included but is not a prerequisite for asking for a response. You will seldom find that you are requested to confirm the wedding but in nearly all situations(especially if the family is wise to the cost of a reception) you will have an RSVP or "the favour of a reply is requested". When a reply card is not included with an RSVP you should either call the family or drop a note of your intention.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To expand on Best's response... two invitations such as this are used when the couple are inviting more people to the reception than are being invited to witness the wedding ceremony itself. This eliminates the need to order -- and pay for -- two sets of the large invitations: (1) requesting "the honor of your presence at the marriage", and (2) for the wedding reception alone.

There is no need to solicit replies re: attendance for the marriage itself: the number of guests present has little, if any, bearing on the expenses of the ceremony & the couple doubtlessly chose a site that can comfortably accommodate the number of invitees.

Traditional etiquette holds that you do not enclose a reply card with a pre-stamped/pre-addressed envelope, for it conveys the insulting suggestion that you think your guests either don't know enough to respond or are so inconsiderate about RSVP'ing that you must make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

The senders of such a set of invitations obviously care to honor etiquette tradition. So, although they doubtlessly would be grateful to receive an RSVP of any kind, a written note would be in keeping with the formality with which they regard the event. Miss Manners would be thrilled if you consulted her as to the truly proper format of your reply (e.g., written in the third person with centered lines, like the invitation itself).