mid-century modern pattern on wedding invitation in pale yellow
Photo: Hello Tenfold

What is the best way to address wedding invitations?

Make sure to address the envelope to exactly whom you are inviting. For example, "The Smiths" is vague. You might be intending only a Mr. and Mrs., but they might assume you are also inviting their four children. Rather, address it to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. If you are including a plus one for a single guest, it should read, "Mr. Smith and Guest." Wedding RSVP etiquette issues usually stay to a minimum when you are clear up front.

How should I encourage guests to RSVP quickly?

You can always include a date to RSVP by, but the most effective way to get a fast response is to include a pre-stamped and addressed RSVP envelope. That way, they just need to check the necessary info and drop it in the closest mailbox.

What if a guest RSVPs for more guests than invited?

You clearly addressed the envelope to just the guest, and did not include an "and guest." Yet, here you are with a RSVP card for two. You have a couple of options. First, make sure to doublecheck that this guest isn't married or living with their partner. It is considered proper etiquette to always extend an invitation to those people. However, if they are merely bringing a date, that's going to really mess with your numbers. Politely call and explain that you are not extending plus ones in order to stay within the venue's limit or your budget.

What if a guest has not responded to the invitation?

You need to start giving hard numbers to your caterer, and yet you've got a whole list of people who have yet to return their RSVP cards. Ask a family member or wedding party member to call these delinquent guests. You don't need to shame them, but this is definitely their wedding RSVP etiquette faux pas. Life happens. Simply ask if they are coming in a friendly way and move on. L

What are the rules regarding inviting guests to bridal showers and wedding-related events?

With the exception of a work wedding shower, you really shouldn't invite anyone to a wedding-related event that isn't also invited to the wedding.