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Etiquette

RSVP Stamps

I've seen discussions on The Knot about stamps for the RSVP; etiquette says you should always stamp the RSVPs so the recipient of the invitation is sure to mail it back. I totally disagree. I feel that if they  really want to come, they will go through a little trouble to get a stamp and mail it back. I've seen so many weddings where money has been wasted on people who will mail back the RSVP and don't even show up. Providing them with a stamp makes it easy for them to put the RSVP in the mailbox and not even think about it. I think since the wedding is already quite expensive, and you're providing them free dinner, drinks, and entertainment; the least they can do is put a stamp on it.
Miss June Bride 2017
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Re: RSVP Stamps

  • If you want your guests to RSVP, you should provide the stamp. If you want unannounced guests to show up to your wedding, then don't provide the stamp. Most people need to know how many people ARE coming and how many people ARE NOT coming in order to get a count for food/drinks/etc. Even if you provide the stamp, some people will not respond and you will have to follow up with them. By not providing the stamp, you are asking for more work for yourself. 
    InLoveInQueensHeffalumpernursejcowgirl8238
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2017
    If you want your guests to RSVP, you should provide the stamp. If you want unannounced guests to show up to your wedding, then don't provide the stamp. Most people need to know how many people ARE coming and how many people ARE NOT coming in order to get a count for food/drinks/etc. Even if you provide the stamp, some people will not respond and you will have to follow up with them. By not providing the stamp, you are asking for more work for yourself. 
    agreed.  Even when providing a stamped self addressed envelope, I still had people assume no response back was an obvious no.  Which it doesn't.  But I still had a lot of people mail a decline too, which helps. 

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I've seen discussions on The Knot about stamps for the RSVP; etiquette says you should always stamp the RSVPs so the recipient of the invitation is sure to mail it back. I totally disagree. I feel that if they  really want to come, they will go through a little trouble to get a stamp and mail it back. I've seen so many weddings where money has been wasted on people who will mail back the RSVP and don't even show up. Providing them with a stamp makes it easy for them to put the RSVP in the mailbox and not even think about it. I think since the wedding is already quite expensive, and you're providing them free dinner, drinks, and entertainment; the least they can do is put a stamp on it.
    Regardless of the postage, this is just a horrible attitude to have towards your guests. You seem really bitter and angry towards your guests. You should host guests because you want them there and have the wedding you can afford. 
    I almost thought this was MUD to get a conversation going....but the OP history shows it may be legit....

    Ro041
  • I've seen discussions on The Knot about stamps for the RSVP; etiquette says you should always stamp the RSVPs so the recipient of the invitation is sure to mail it back. I totally disagree. I feel that if they  really want to come, they will go through a little trouble to get a stamp and mail it back. I've seen so many weddings where money has been wasted on people who will mail back the RSVP and don't even show up. Providing them with a stamp makes it easy for them to put the RSVP in the mailbox and not even think about it. I think since the wedding is already quite expensive, and you're providing them free dinner, drinks, and entertainment; the least they can do is put a stamp on it.
    Regardless of the postage, this is just a horrible attitude to have towards your guests. You seem really bitter and angry towards your guests. You should host guests because you want them there and have the wedding you can afford. 
    ^^This. OP, a first-class stamp (if you are in the US) is $0.49. You will already be buying stamps for your invitations and thank-you notes, so while you are at the post office, you should just buy extras for the RSVP cards. Honestly, this is a really petty thing for you to be hung up about. Presumably you love these guests enough to want them at your wedding - why not show them a little courtesy (especially when some of them might be spending hundreds of $ on travel and lodging to attend) and put a stamp on the RSVP card to make things just one step easier for them for crying out loud? 
    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875MairePoppycowgirl8238
  • Ugh yes. Just buy the stamps. You're already going to the post office to get stamps for your invites and thank you cards (or you at least should be!), don't make your guests run an extra errand just to send your RSVP back.  Most people don't have an extra book of stamps just laying around anymore. Before I was sending out wedding stuff, anything I had to mail was WAY late because I loathe tasks like going to the post office.
    short+sassy
  • You don't have to include RSVP cards at all so this is an odd thing to get worked up over. However, when few people respond it's going to be on you to track them down, so why not make it easier on yourself from the beginning?
    InLoveInQueens
  • @lyndausvi - I don't agree that current etiquette precludes her from pre-stamping the RSVP envelopes. It may have been that in the 70s and 80s, people used their own stationary and stamps. But that was 40-50 years ago.

    Even Emily Post's site says the envelopes should be pre-stamped. (and HERE)

    Etiquette is all about being a good host and making things easy on your guests. Even Wedding Wire (yes, WW) thinks hosts should pre-stamp and that's saying something.
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    InLoveInQueensMyNameIsNotcowgirl8238
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @lyndausvi - I don't agree that current etiquette precludes her from pre-stamping the RSVP envelopes. It may have been that in the 70s and 80s, people used their own stationary and stamps. But that was 40-50 years ago.

    Even Emily Post's site says the envelopes should be pre-stamped. (and HERE)

    Etiquette is all about being a good host and making things easy on your guests. Even Wedding Wire (yes, WW) thinks hosts should pre-stamp and that's saying something.
    Etiquette states that if you receive an invitation it's your responsibility to respond to the invitation.    Period.    

    Just because over the last 40-50 years people have made it easier for wedding guests to respond  to an invitation doesn't change things.     If a stamp doesn't arrive, then you put a stamp on the envelope.   If no RSVP card arrives, you find a way to respond.

    *** I looked at your link and it doesn't say pre-stamped envelopes are required.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • OP, the PPs are right: you're looking at this as if you're doing them a favor, when really, stamping the cards is just doing yourself a favor.  Is your time worth $0.49/call to you?  If so, pre-stamp 'em. 
    MandyMostSP29
  • If you really feel this way just skip RSVP cards and do online RSVPs?
    STARMOON44SP29knottie1149ca42520e1ad4
  • Ro041Ro041 member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2017
    I've seen discussions on The Knot about stamps for the RSVP; etiquette says you should always stamp the RSVPs so the recipient of the invitation is sure to mail it back. I totally disagree. I feel that if they  really want to come, they will go through a little trouble to get a stamp and mail it back. I've seen so many weddings where money has been wasted on people who will mail back the RSVP and don't even show up.
    Other people being rude by RSVPing does not give you carte blanche to be rude first.  Your attitude towards your friends and family is kind of crappy and will more likely be the reason people decline to attend your wedding.  

    Providing them with a stamp makes it easy for them to put the RSVP in the mailbox and not even think about it. I think since the wedding is already quite expensive, and you're providing them free dinner, drinks, and entertainment; the least they can do is put a stamp on it.

    So this is the way you are going to save tons of money on your wedding reception?  Even assuming you send out 250 invitations, not adding stamps will save you a whopping $122.  In the world where you send out 250 invitations, you likely have at least 400 guests so your budget is probably at least $20,000.  Not stamping and saving $122 with a $20,000 budget will save you .006% of your budget.

    Man, I can just taste the savings.  Great idea!  (Sarcasm)

    Finally, I have NEVER been to a wedding that was "free" for me as a guest.  I spend at least $100 for a gift when I attend a wedding.  You, as a host, choose to invite people to your reception and then want to shove it in their face that you have given them "free dinner, drinks, and entertainment" so you want them to search around to find a stamp as proof that they actually want to attend.  


    Comments in bold, above.  You priorities are totally out of whack.  

    CharmedPamInLoveInQueensSP29
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    By all means. Don't buy stamps. Also don't include a reply card. After all, everyone should just write you a note indicating their reply on their personal stationary. 

    But it don't come crying to us when no one RSVPs at all. 
    Haha I was thinking the same thing because RSVP cards are a relatively new thing. When I was married (almost 34 years ago), they were looked down upon because people were suppose to write their own RSVP note. However, a lot of brides used them (including me). Now I think they are expected and yes you should provide the stamps, OP.
    charlotte989875eileenrobInLoveInQueenscowgirl8238
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    By all means. Don't buy stamps. Also don't include a reply card. After all, everyone should just write you a note indicating their reply on their personal stationary. 

    But it don't come crying to us when no one RSVPs at all. 
    Agreed. I did not include RSVP cards at all. Not because I expected people to write their own reply but because we had a cake and punch reception and guesstimated how many people would attend (I know, this isn't typically recommended, and I don't recommend it for most people, but in our situation, it worked). 

    I didn't know at the time that back in the day, they weren't included because people were supposed to respond on their own. I had a handful of people tell me when I saw them that they were attending, but I didn't get a single written reply from anyone. 

  • lyndausvi said:
    @lyndausvi - I don't agree that current etiquette precludes her from pre-stamping the RSVP envelopes. It may have been that in the 70s and 80s, people used their own stationary and stamps. But that was 40-50 years ago.

    Even Emily Post's site says the envelopes should be pre-stamped. (and HERE)

    Etiquette is all about being a good host and making things easy on your guests. Even Wedding Wire (yes, WW) thinks hosts should pre-stamp and that's saying something.
    Etiquette states that if you receive an invitation it's your responsibility to respond to the invitation.    Period.    

    Just because over the last 40-50 years people have made it easier for wedding guests to respond  to an invitation doesn't change things.     If a stamp doesn't arrive, then you put a stamp on the envelope.   If no RSVP card arrives, you find a way to respond.

    *** I looked at your link and it doesn't say pre-stamped envelopes are required.
    But there's guest etiquette and there's hosting etiquette. 

    The OP's question is what are the host's responsibilities. You're right, the links do not say "pre-stamped envelopes are required", but it does say that it's a good idea to do so and refers to pre-stamped RSVP envelopes when discussing RSVPs.

    I do understand your point of view and where it comes from. For me though, this is common courtesy. If the host wants RSVPs mailed to them in a particular way, they should provide the materials to do so. I think that includes a stamp. Otherwise, they should include a phone number, email, or alternate way to RSVP. 
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    SP29DrillSergeantCat
  • Do your guests know you think so little of them that you assume so many would be rude by RSVPing yes, and then not showing up?  Nice.

    We had a whopping two no-shows out of 100 guests.  One was very ill.  The other, it turned out later, was just an asshole.

    As for me, I value my time at more than $0.49, so I sent stamped reply cards.  Fewer people to call later.  If your time isn't worth anything, don't do stamps. 
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • OP, if you know what's proper etiquette, why post this at all?  You aren't even posting a question, you're just stating your opinion.  Are you just trying to stir up drama?  Maybe online-only RSVPs are a better choice for you.
    CMGragainlnixon8
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Wow. 


    image
    missJeanLouise
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I do understand your point of view and where it comes from. For me though, this is common courtesy. If the host wants RSVPs mailed to them in a particular way, they should provide the materials to do so. I think that includes a stamp. Otherwise, they should include a phone number, email, or alternate way to RSVP. 
    I very much agree with this. If you want your guests to respond using the RSVP card, and that is the only option you have provided, you should pre-stamp the RSVP cards. Or, provide your phone number and/or email and/or wedding website as options.

    I've seen discussions on The Knot about stamps for the RSVP; etiquette says you should always stamp the RSVPs so the recipient of the invitation is sure to mail it back. I totally disagree. I feel that if they  really want to come, they will go through a little trouble to get a stamp and mail it back. I've seen so many weddings where money has been wasted on people who will mail back the RSVP and don't even show up. Providing them with a stamp makes it easy for them to put the RSVP in the mailbox and not even think about it. I think since the wedding is already quite expensive, and you're providing them free dinner, drinks, and entertainment; the least they can do is put a stamp on it.
    This is kind of the point. You pre-stamp the RSVP envelope so your guests can simply respond and drop it in the mailbox. Then you have less guests to follow up with, because presumably you've made it easy for your guests to respond.

    Have you honestly seen SO many weddings with SO many people who no show? Absolutely it happens- but that has nothing to do with whether or not you pre-stamp envelopes. We had 2 no shows and a handful of guests (all on MIL's side of the family) that we had to follow up with for their RSVP- we did not pre-stamp as we had more than one way for guests to RSVP. I had a friend who had an entire table of guests no-show, but they were all from the same family and the B&G and their family weren't exactly surprised; if someone is the type of person to no show without a valid reason (i.e. they got sick, emergency, whatever), they are the type of person to do that regardless of the RSVP method.
    sparklepants41InLoveInQueenscowgirl8238
  • Good grief. I even included stamps for my international RSVPs. While just two needed expensive international returns (and I even knew they weren't coming), I still thought it was polite to handle the stamps so they didn't have to.
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    My friend group got an invite with a reply card that had no envelope (and therefore obviously no stamp). Maybe we are just petty bitches but SIX years later we still talk about how cheap that couple was! 
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    lizybeffInLoveInQueenseileenrobcowgirl8238
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 2017
    I've seen discussions on The Knot about stamps for the RSVP; etiquette says you should always stamp the RSVPs so the recipient of the invitation is sure to mail it back. I totally disagree. I feel that if they  really want to come, they will go through a little trouble to get a stamp and mail it back. I've seen so many weddings where money has been wasted on people who will mail back the RSVP and don't even show up. Providing them with a stamp makes it easy for them to put the RSVP in the mailbox and not even think about it. I think since the wedding is already quite expensive, and you're providing them free dinner, drinks, and entertainment; the least they can do is put a stamp on it.
    This is the etiquette board.  Our purpose is to advise brides on proper etiquette.  Our purpose is not to challenge it.

    If you want to ignore etiquette because, in your own opinion, it is wrong, then by all means, go ahead and be rude to your guests.  Don't expect any support from us.  You need to understand that by breaking etiquette rules, you might offend some of your guests. 

    If your personal opinion is more important than your guests' feelings, we have nothing further to say to you.  You post tells me that you value a 49 cent stamp more than you value your guests.  I think you should cancel your wedding and go get married without guests.  You will be doing them a favor.

    By the way, when you cancel your wedding, you need to send out written cancellation announcements, and you need to put the 49 cent stamp on each one of those!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    CharmedPamInLoveInQueens
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Jesus. Why are you even inviting people? 

    MairePoppyCMGragainInLoveInQueenseileenrob
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