How to Word an Invitation and an RSVP Card

Announcing your fundraiser or wedding ceremony is a first step in generating excitement for the event. The style and wording of your invitation will set the mood and provide guests with information they need to prepare for your event. Properly worded RSVP cards are necessary for you to accurately plan the final event details.

Write your casual fundraiser invitations with a title. A description of who the proceeds go to would follow the title with the words, "to benefit." A full title and beneficiary description could read " Wine Tasting to benefit the Main Street Library."

Start formal fundraising invitations with the organisation's name that is presenting the event. Example wording for a formal invitation may read "Downtown Civic Association cordially invites you to a Black Tie Gala."

Detail the location, date and time of your event in your invitations. For example: "Downtown Convention Center, 123 Main Street, Anywhere, USA 12345. Sunday March 2nd 2008 4 p.m." Spell out details such as "Sunday the second of March, two thousand and eight, at four o'clock in the afternoon" in a formal event invitation.

Request responses from your guests with an RSVP to gather information on who will attend and to create future donor lists. Words to include on your RSVP with lines for guests to write replies are "Name," "Address," "City," "State," "Zip Code," "Phone Number," "Email," and "Number Attending."

Ask that responses are made no later than your specified date. Do this by stating "Kindly Respond by February 10, 2010."

List the couples names and a statement including their family in a wedding announced by the bride and groom. For example "Betty Ann Smith and Carl Edward Miller together with our families request the honour of your presence in our celebration of marriage."

Include the parents as well as the bride and groom in weddings announced by parents. Full names should be used, for example "Mr. and Mrs. Brian McCoy and Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Thomas request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their children Kimberly Ann McCoy to Jack Edward Thomas."

Detail the location, date and time of your event. For example: "Saturday the twenty-third of April, two thousand and seven at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. All Saints Catholic Church, 123 Main Street, Anywhere, USA."

Create a separate list of details if a reception card is included in your invitation. Include full building and room descriptions as well as reception times. For example, "Cuyahoga Room Sheraton Suites, 1989 Front Street, Anywhere, USA. Reception immediately following ceremony. Dinner will be served at five o'clock in the afternoon."

Request information from your guests in an RSVP card. Ask for the guest's "Name," if they are "able to attend" or "unable to attend."

Ask for dinner choices such as "Baked Chicken" or "Rigatoni," if applicable.

Include a deadline for receiving responses. Traditionally worded response cards would read "The favour of a reply is requested before the fifteenth of March."


Be sure to include less common details, such as "costumes encouraged" for a Halloween fundraising party. Consider adding transitions such as "hors d'oeuvres hour," "dinner time," "bar opens at," and "entertainment begins at" times.


Formal etiquette requires the use of British words "honour" and "favour," instead of the American versions without the "u."

Things You'll Need

  • Event Plans
  • Paper and Pen or
  • Computer
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About the Author

Janet Pahlau has enjoyed over 15 years as a marketing designer. She holds a B.F.A. in design studies from Bowling Green State University and has career experience in design and production for print and Web as well as the coordination of marketing communication materials. She enjoys following the visual arts world.