Wedding Invitation Etiquette: RSVP Date

Updated July 19, 2017

If your wedding date is coming up soon you need to start thinking about sending your invitations out. It's very important for your guests to be given enough time before the wedding to decide if they'll be able to come and to allow them to respond. The RSVP date is a crucial element to your invitation.


Knowing how many people will attend your wedding is an important piece of information. You need to know how many tables you'll need, how many centrepieces to order and how many favours to make. Most catering and reception halls require you to give a final headcount within a specific time frame before the wedding. It could be a week before or sooner.


Most wedding invitations include a separate card with the information for the RSVP. It will indicate when you would like the guest to return their response. It is customary for the bride and groom to provide a stamped envelope for the guest to mail the card back.

Time Frame

Regardless of what type of invitation you are sending, you need to be clear on the date all responses must be received. It is recommended that you mail your invitations about 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding and request that your guests respond about three weeks before the big day.


The RSVP can simply say: "Please respond by..." or be a little more sophisticated: "The favour of your response is requested by...". It all depends on your individual taste and style.


If you are mailing a separate RSVP card with your invitation, the card should be tucked under the fold of its envelope with the print facing you. The card gets placed on top of the reception card. If no separate card is being sent, simply type out the RSVP information on the bottom of your invitation. Be sure to include the telephone number or e-mail address for who to contact.

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About the Author

Nancy Tappin has been a writer for practically her entire life. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and completed a four-month intensive program in broadcasting school. Tappin works full-time for a local Long Island news station. Her articles specialize in pregnancy and parenting.