Wedding Etiquette for an R.S.V.P. Deadline

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Conscientious wedding planners will send out save-the-date cards six months prior to their wedding and invitations at least six to eight weeks before the big day, including response cards to make it easier for their guests to R.S.V.P. The acronym stands for the French-language expression of "Respond, if you please," and couples are often frustrated when their guests fail to do so. Setting a clear "R.S.V.P. by" date can make this courtesy easier for guests to remember.

Setting a Deadline

You can include an R.S.V.P. deadline either on the wedding invitation or on the response card itself. Wedding stationers will often have templates that help you choose where to include this information. An R.S.V.P. deadline two to three weeks before your wedding day allows your guests enough time to decide whether they will come and allows you enough time to finalize plans with your caterer and venue.

Dealing with Non-Responders

Even with a clear R.S.V.P. deadline, pre-filled response cards and stamped return envelopes, there will be guests who neglect to respond. This can be annoying, especially when you have so many other preparations to attend to, but everyone who's planned a wedding has had to deal with it. After the R.S.V.P. deadline has passed, determine who hasn't responded and send them a polite email reminder or a give them a quick call.