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Invites and Paper

Response Cards vs. RSVP Website

I plan on including a response card and stamped return envelope with my wedding invitations, but we have a wedding website for our guests to RSVP. Since not all of our guests will use the website, I think it's important to include the response card  and stamped envelope.

I hate to waste a bunch of stamps if most people are going to use the website to RSVP, but I don't want to be tacky by not including a stamp.

What have you done?
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Re: Response Cards vs. RSVP Website

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I despise online RSVPing. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    MairePoppy[Deleted User]poodledoodleoooYogaSandy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    The most traditional persons insist that the hosts do nothing, while guests handwrite and mail back their responses.

    If you want to do something, then I would use the cards and preaddressed, stamped envelopes. Many people don't like online RSVPs, and in some cases, do not have Internet savvy or even access.

    Yes, it's certainly possible that some envelopes and stamps will go to waste-just as it's possible that food and drinks at your reception, which you are presumably spending money on, will not be consumed and will be thrown out. Them's the breaks.
    AddieCakeMairePoppy[Deleted User]
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I plan on including a response card and stamped return envelope with my wedding invitations, but we have a wedding website for our guests to RSVP. Since not all of our guests will use the website, I think it's important to include the response card  and stamped envelope.

    I hate to waste a bunch of stamps if most people are going to use the website to RSVP, but I don't want to be tacky by not including a stamp.

    What have you done?

    I'm personally not a fan of online RSVPs.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    On line RSVPs are fine for casual get togethers. For an event that requires a headcount written RSVPs , are preferred. 

    Traditional etiquette requires that guests respond in writing on their own stationary and use their own stamp and envelope, but I wouldn't chance that these days. People are accustomed to the convenience of fill in the blank RSVP cards, with addressed and stamped envelopes. 

    Short answer - yes, you must include postage on all the RSVP envelopes.
                       
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    We used both online responses and RSVP postcards, which saved on postage, but got the job done.  We also included my phone number, which a few older folks used.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    Knottie1251661 ChelleJayne
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2015
    In place of reply cards I got business cards from Vistaprint with our website and my phone number. *shrugs*

    I will say if you do online RSVP I would purchase a custom domain (nameandname or namelovesname) to make it extremely simple. I despise getting cards with theknot.com/wedding/crap/92304829034-date-wedding/somanyslashes.html that I have to manually type in.

    Why so many online RSVP haters? Takes 10 seconds.
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    canadianteacherMobKazUsername100108wink0erin
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    DD used traditional RSVP cards.  My son and his wife used an online RSVP system.  Both still needed to track down a few late/non-responsive guests.  Both had accurate head counts with their respective "systems".  Both still ended their day married. 
    Username100108HedgehogMama2016
  • In place of reply cards I got business cards from Vistaprint with our website and my phone number. *shrugs*

    I will say if you do online RSVP I would purchase a custom domain (nameandname or namelovesname) to make it extremely simple. I despise getting cards with theknot.com/wedding/crap/92304829034-date-wedding/somanyslashes.html that I have to manually type in.

    Why so many online RSVP haters? Takes 10 seconds.
    I agree.  I also ordered our enclosure cards on Vista, and included our phone number, wedding website and set up a wedding email that people can RSVP to.  With three options for people to respond, all of which don't include having to physically mail out an envelope which may or may not get lost on the way, there's something for everyone.  I've already had a few comments on how convenient I've made the response process by doing this. 
    People who aren't tech savvy can easily pick up the phone, and those who are will have no problem sending a quick email or using the website.
    I think in this day and age, electronic communication has become the norm, and it's also usually the most reliable way to send and receive important information anyway.  
    While it's still expected that wedding invitations themselves are paper goods that are physically mailed, I think the responses are a different story.  It's all about making things as comfortable and convenient as possible for your guests, right?  It sure is easier for me to shoot a quick email from my phone than to fill out a response card by hand and mail it on time.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In place of reply cards I got business cards from Vistaprint with our website and my phone number. *shrugs*I will say if you do online RSVP I would purchase a custom domain (nameandname or namelovesname) to make it extremely simple. I despise getting cards with theknot.com/wedding/crap/92304829034-date-wedding/somanyslashes.html that I have to manually type in.Why so many online RSVP haters? Takes 10 seconds.



    I was basing my answer on my experience with my family members. Some of the family members were flabbergasted with my DDs amazon (only) registry. Those who don't use computers didn't have access to the registry. They didn't complain to DD, they complained to me. But........

    I have reconsidered my opinion on the RSVPs. As long as you're providing the option of responding by mail, it's fine. The op wants to know if she has to stamp all the RSVP envelopes. I say yes, there's no way of knowing which method the invitees will use to respond. 
                       
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Would I be surprised that an RSVP envelope doesn't have a return stamp?  Yes, as it's been the norm the last few decades.  Does that mean the couple is rude for not providing one?  Not at all.   

    Honestly, it's the guest's responsibility to RSVP to an invite.   Wedding or otherwise.  If your friend  texts you do say "do you want to see a movie tonight".    You reply right?   Well it's the same for wedding invitation.  

    Because some guests are rude and do not RSVP when invited to a wedding some people try to make things easier.   That is why the pre-stamped envelopes came about.  When that start it was met with some push back.  Some people couldn't understand why people need something to make RSVPing easier.    Which I understand.  Someone invites you to an event you RSVP.  Not hard.

     Fast forward to now and online is becoming a popular way to RSVP and again there is push back.  Which is kind-of silly.   RSVPing is the guest's responsibility.  The how is pretty irrelevant.  If you do not want to RSVP online you simply do not have to RSVP that way.  You are free to send a note via a courier if you want.  Or call, text, email or send something via USPS. 

    While the host might prefer a certain way for their guests to RSVP, they need to be happy anyway the RSVP is received.






    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. 
    holyguacamole79Knottie1251661 ILoveBeachMusicSP29
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I'm an online RSVP "hater" not for anything to do with the time it takes or doesn't take. I hate it b/c I think a wedding, no matter how casual, deserves something more formal for correspondence. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    holyguacamole79charlotte989875Maggie0829[Deleted User]
  • edited December 2015
    We did stamped envelopes and included an email so guests could RSVP in whatever way they preferred. The vast majority sent back cards. I agree with @AddieCake and appreciate the formal correspondence for a wedding, and ive heard more than a few stories where responses were lost in online systems or guests typed in emails wrong and people were scrambling at the last minute tracking down most of their guests.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    AddieCake said:

    I'm an online RSVP "hater" not for anything to do with the time it takes or doesn't take. I hate it b/c I think a wedding, no matter how casual, deserves something more formal for correspondence. 

    Ditto.
  • Thanks all! Very helpful :)
  • Pretty cool read! Interesting thread. The gorgeous post learned a great deal Thanks greatly!
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    In place of reply cards I got business cards from Vistaprint with our website and my phone number. *shrugs*

    I will say if you do online RSVP I would purchase a custom domain (nameandname or namelovesname) to make it extremely simple. I despise getting cards with theknot.com/wedding/crap/92304829034-date-wedding/somanyslashes.html that I have to manually type in.

    Why so many online RSVP haters? Takes 10 seconds.
    I agree.  I also ordered our enclosure cards on Vista, and included our phone number, wedding website and set up a wedding email that people can RSVP to.  With three options for people to respond, all of which don't include having to physically mail out an envelope which may or may not get lost on the way, there's something for everyone.  I've already had a few comments on how convenient I've made the response process by doing this. 
    People who aren't tech savvy can easily pick up the phone, and those who are will have no problem sending a quick email or using the website.
    I think in this day and age, electronic communication has become the norm, and it's also usually the most reliable way to send and receive important information anyway.  
    While it's still expected that wedding invitations themselves are paper goods that are physically mailed, I think the responses are a different story.  It's all about making things as comfortable and convenient as possible for your guests, right?  It sure is easier for me to shoot a quick email from my phone than to fill out a response card by hand and mail it on time.
    Only there are some people for whom emails are not comfortable and convenient even if they're quicker for you to receive.

    If my grandparents and great-aunts and uncles were living, this is something that they would not be comfortable with.  Nor would my ex-BF's mother-she's so scared of the Internet that she has no connection or email address at all, so expecting her to RSVP by email is expecting the totally unrealistic.

    And some people prefer not to do it over the phone for their own reasons.  Maybe they're afraid of catching you at the wrong time, when you can't talk or write down their message or think you won't remember it later.
    MairePoppy
  • I did both, included a stamp and had the website. ~95% of people returned the card and some of those 5% who didn't just didn't respond and I had to call them. If you haven't already set up the online RSVP I wouldn't bother but if you do have the online RSVP too just include a stamp and most people will probably use it. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I am planning on offering both a traditional via mail option and an online option for my guests to RSVP.  I figure most of our older guests and those who are not very tech savvy will want to respond via mail.  I am ordering a invitation design off Etsy and printing them myself.  I liked that the response card is a postcard so postage to mail them back to us will be cheaper.
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  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    If guests don't feel comfortable calling, going to the website, or emailing, they are certainly welcome to send a letter or card. I'm just not going to pony up for the stationery or postage on their behalf. Even those who do exclusively mailed RSVP have to track people down or deal with fence-sitters; those are not sufficient arguments against online RSVP.

    Weddings can be special, meaningful, and solemn without being formal. And what do most people do with their formal paper RSVPs once they get them all back? They end up in a landfill. How special!
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I hate the assumption that only your grandparents or great-aunt/uncles will be unable to RSVP online. I have two good friends in their 30's that have absolutely 0 internet access and would have no idea how or means to go to a website to RSVP. I can think of 4-5 other youngish people in my friend group that rarely go online for anything and/or wouldn't be comfortable RSVPing online. Not every 20 or 30 something sits in front of a computer all day and is comfortable with technology.

    I personally am at least moderately tech-savvy, but I still prefer to mail back the RSVP card. A wedding is more important than a backyard BBQ. I prefer to treat the whole event like it matters a little more than some pool party. 
    MairePoppy
  • julieanne912julieanne912 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited December 2015
    I did both, and included postage on the card.  Even from our group, which are mostly tech savvy people, we got lots of response cards.  Most of the people who replied online were the ones who were replying right up on the deadline or even after the deadline.  

    I love handwritten correspondence so I always return a card when given the opportunity.
    Married 9.12.15
    image
    charlotte989875
  • If guests don't feel comfortable calling, going to the website, or emailing, they are certainly welcome to send a letter or card. I'm just not going to pony up for the stationery or postage on their behalf. Even those who do exclusively mailed RSVP have to track people down or deal with fence-sitters; those are not sufficient arguments against online RSVP.

    Weddings can be special, meaningful, and solemn without being formal. And what do most people do with their formal paper RSVPs once they get them all back? They end up in a landfill. How special!

    I'm with you. I don't agree that sending mail is the only way to communicate "formally" at all. Just because something is "old fashioned" or doesn't require the use of modern technology doesn't mean it's more formal, it just means that it's old fashioned.
    My return address labels are on my wedding invitation envelopes, so those who wish to mail a response are welcome to, but that's their responsibility. People who are the type to "forget" to respond or leave it to the last minute are probably going to do so whether they're expected to call, email, use a website or mail a response. However, I would absolutely argue that my friends and family who are this type are much more likely to remember to send an email RSVP or call, especially if they've left it to the last minute and know that I won't get their response card in the mail on time anyway.
    Further, I have wedding invites going out to Japan, Vietnam, Denmark, Scotland, Canada and the U.S. The likelihood that my international guests are going to have their response lost in customs, or that it'll take a ridiculously long time to get to me is a lot higher. Not to mention the postage is a lot more expensive. I think this is the beauty of electronic communication in the age of a global community.
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  • If guests don't feel comfortable calling, going to the website, or emailing, they are certainly welcome to send a letter or card. I'm just not going to pony up for the stationery or postage on their behalf. Even those who do exclusively mailed RSVP have to track people down or deal with fence-sitters; those are not sufficient arguments against online RSVP.

    Weddings can be special, meaningful, and solemn without being formal. And what do most people do with their formal paper RSVPs once they get them all back? They end up in a landfill. How special!
    I'm with you. I don't agree that sending mail is the only way to communicate "formally" at all. Just because something is "old fashioned" or doesn't require the use of modern technology doesn't mean it's more formal, it just means that it's old fashioned. My return address labels are on my wedding invitation envelopes, so those who wish to mail a response are welcome to, but that's their responsibility. People who are the type to "forget" to respond or leave it to the last minute are probably going to do so whether they're expected to call, email, use a website or mail a response. However, I would absolutely argue that my friends and family who are this type are much more likely to remember to send an email RSVP or call, especially if they've left it to the last minute and know that I won't get their response card in the mail on time anyway. Further, I have wedding invites going out to Japan, Vietnam, Denmark, Scotland, Canada and the U.S. The likelihood that my international guests are going to have their response lost in customs, or that it'll take a ridiculously long time to get to me is a lot higher. Not to mention the postage is a lot more expensive. I think this is the beauty of electronic communication in the age of a global community.
    Just thought I'd let you know, my daughter had several international invitations sent out (only to European countries). We included an insert that said they were more than welcome to email me their response. However, the first RSVP we received was from London - it took less than a week for the invite to get there! I was shocked since I figured it would take a lot longer. Two of our US invites never arrived to the addressee! Go figure.
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I hate the assumption that only your grandparents or great-aunt/uncles will be unable to RSVP online. I have two good friends in their 30's that have absolutely 0 internet access and would have no idea how or means to go to a website to RSVP. I can think of 4-5 other youngish people in my friend group that rarely go online for anything and/or wouldn't be comfortable RSVPing online. Not every 20 or 30 something sits in front of a computer all day and is comfortable with technology.

    I personally am at least moderately tech-savvy, but I still prefer to mail back the RSVP card. A wedding is more important than a backyard BBQ. I prefer to treat the whole event like it matters a little more than some pool party. 
    My contention remains that formal paper RSVPs do NOT mean the event matters more than a backyard BBQ (and my wedding reception actually is a backyard BBQ, just FYI, since you seem to be using that as an insult). Formal paper RSVPs, once received, rarely do anything else but go into the trashcan with all the other wedding paper. 

    The only purpose an RSVP serves is to let the host know how many people are coming. It does not itself lend an event significance.
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  • edited December 2015
    I just wanted to chime in and say why I hate online RSVPs. I'm on my computer all day at work, so once I'm home, I pretty much never open up my laptop or browse the web. With a paper RSVP card I can just get the card, fill it in and send it off immediately (as I normally do). It takes me 10 seconds. With an online RSVP I have to find my rarely-used laptop, log in, find your website, find the charger (because lets face it, it's never charged) finally reply, and the close out of all of that. It will take me like 10 minutes, so if I don't have 10 minutes right when I receive your invite (and I probably won't), I'll probably tell myself I'll do it later, and then I'll forget about it and then you'll be calling me 4 weeks later asking where the hell my RSVP is. If I try to save it for when I'm at work, I'll still forget to bring the web address with me, and I'll eventually forget, and you'll still be calling me 3-4 weeks later. With a paper RSVP, I can just fill it out immediately and put it in my mailbox.

    I'm 28 and pretty tech savvy, but I hate being on my computer from 7 am until 10 pm, so I just don't use much technology beyond the work day. I'm also exceptionally forgetful when it comes to smaller tasks (like RSVPing) so if I don't do it immediately, it probably doesn't get done and if it does get done, it get's done very late.
    [Deleted User]
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I do not feel that an email RSVP is informal. However,  I definitely think EMAIL invitations are less formal than paper ones.

    I get so much go damn emails these days.   Like hundreds a day that go into my junk mail (which is everyone not in my contact list).   An emailed invite is more than like going to missed.   Especially with all the spam mail these days.  I do not trust e-invites.  I rarely open them.  I never open e-cards.  Many years ago I was hacked from them.

    Basically if you want to send me an evite you better call me to give me a heads up or plan on tracking my RSVP down because chances are I deleted it before realizing what it was. 

    RSVPing online is not big deal to me at least.  I get why others do not like them, which is fine.  There are other options to RSVP.






    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. 
    SP29charlotte989875
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    If you want to be 100% etiquette correct, then you do not send out ANY RSVPs at all.  It is correct to expect your guests to have the good manners to respond to your invitation without prompting.
    However, this is completely impractical in today's day and age.  It doesn't work!
    I think the more options you give your guests, the better your chances of getting responses in time.  I was once guilty of losing an RSVP to a wedding, and I was very embarrassed at having to track down the bride (whom I didn't know) and respond by telephone.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I hate the assumption that only your grandparents or great-aunt/uncles will be unable to RSVP online. I have two good friends in their 30's that have absolutely 0 internet access and would have no idea how or means to go to a website to RSVP. I can think of 4-5 other youngish people in my friend group that rarely go online for anything and/or wouldn't be comfortable RSVPing online. Not every 20 or 30 something sits in front of a computer all day and is comfortable with technology.

    I personally am at least moderately tech-savvy, but I still prefer to mail back the RSVP card. A wedding is more important than a backyard BBQ. I prefer to treat the whole event like it matters a little more than some pool party. 
    My contention remains that formal paper RSVPs do NOT mean the event matters more than a backyard BBQ (and my wedding reception actually is a backyard BBQ, just FYI, since you seem to be using that as an insult). Formal paper RSVPs, once received, rarely do anything else but go into the trashcan with all the other wedding paper. 

    The only purpose an RSVP serves is to let the host know how many people are coming. It does not itself lend an event significance.
    Sorry, but that's just not true. Attaching formality to something does underline the gravity of the event. That's why graduations ceremonies involve formal insignia and why we say "Sunday Best". We adhere to formalities to signify importance.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a backyard BBQ for a wedding. (I don't see how you took an insult, perhaps you are being a bit sensitive here?) But a wedding is still more important than a random BBQ, even if they both serve the same food. I prefer to go the extra step to show my reverence for the wedding. 

    Just as I'd never send engraved letterpress invitations to a pool party, I would use the more formal means for wedding correspondence. 
  • This is the postcard we used, from Vistaprint:



    We put the response information on the left side of the back, with the return address on the right side.


    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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