Wedding Reply Cards – The Simple Rules
You’ve chosen your wedding invitations and now it’s time to choose the rest of your wedding stationery. If you only choose one extra type of wedding stationery to accompany your wedding invitations, make sure you choose wedding reply cards. You’ll be so grateful you did once the responses arrive and you aren’t faced with the task of sorting through phone and email messages.
What is Wedding Stationery?
Wedding stationery is any type of correspondence associated with your wedding invitations that you might choose to include in your wedding. Wedding stationery ranges from wedding reply cards to menu cards, receptions cards, thank you cards, and wedding programs. You can also choose from pew cards, place cards and direction cards.
All of this can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry. The only essential extra that you order with your wedding invitations are wedding reply cards with matching envelopes. The rest can be ordered if you find the need for them at a later date or printed yourself to save money.
The Importance of Wedding Reply Cards
Wedding reply cards are important and necessary, no matter how small or large your wedding will be. Even small weddings will be stressful, especially once wedding invitations are mailed and the final countdown begins. You will suddenly be faced with what feels like a thousand last minute decisions, and you won’t want to be worrying about guests responding to your wedding invitation. The best way to alleviate the stress related to responses is to include wedding reply cards.
Guests understand and recognize wedding reply cards as soon as they come out of the inner envelope containing the wedding invitation. Guests find it easy to check yes or no on the response card and mail it back to you. It also helps you to stack the response envelopes so you know immediately what they are in reference to and allows you to keep a running total of the acceptances and regrets.
Be warned, however, that no matter how easy filling out a wedding reply card is, you will still be faced with those delinquent guests who just don’t respond. It’s easier to keep track of those non-responders and assign and family member or friend to get on the phone and find out, once and for all, who will be attending.
What to Include on Wedding Reply Cards
Wedding reply cards typically include a place for guests to place a check beside “accepts” or “regrets.” If they fill in the “accepts” line, typically they write in the number of guests attending, but don’t despair if you just find a check mark. Beneath this part of the wedding reply card is a line that reads “names” and asks the guests to write out the names of the attending guests. That way, if you invited a family of four and only three can attend, you’ll easily ascertain this by reading the names. The names will also be useful for creating place cards because you’ll have the spelling of everyone’s name, especially for your single friends who will bring a guest you might not know well.
The optional portion of a wedding reply card depends on the type of reception you’re planning. If you plan to offer a buffet or simply serve heavy appetizers, drinks and dessert, then you’ll be finished with the wedding reply card. If, however, you plan to serve dinner and give guests a choice between two entrees, it’s customary to list the two choices beneath the name with a small line beside each so guests can choose their meal. Thus, if a family of three is accepting your invitation, they might fill in a “2” beside the chicken option and a “1” beside the steak option. This helps you tally up for the caterer approximately how many of each meal will be needed.
Finally, the wedding reply cards should always have a matching envelope that is pre-printed with either your address or the address of the host who will be overseeing this portion of the wedding. You should also stamp the envelopes so that the only responsibility of your guests is to take a couple of minutes to fill out the reply card and simply seal it in the envelope and place it in the mail. The post office can supply you with a pretty stamp, or you can even custom order stamps to match your wedding theme, although this will cost a bit more.
Should Wedding Reply Cards Match the Wedding Invitations?
Wedding reply cards need to match the wedding invitations. They aren’t like save the date cards that can be a complete departure from the wedding invitation to follow because wedding reply cards are mailed inside the wedding invitation.
Of course, the word match is used loosely because in reality, the wedding reply card needs to complement the wedding invitation. For example, if you choose a modern wedding invitation with a sea shell embellishment on turquoise invitation with navy blue accents and wording, your wedding reply card might be reversed and be navy blue with turquoise wording. This complements the wedding invitation, but doesn’t match it completely and also doesn’t feature the embellishment (one embellishment is enough for wedding invitations).
Wedding reply cards will usually echo a design, pattern or color from the wedding invitation to remain cohesive. The worst thing for a guest is to view a wedding reply card that seems to have fallen into the wrong envelope due to a completely contrasting design or color scheme.
In general, wedding reply cards can be a more sedate version of the wedding invitation because the true focus should be the wedding invitation itself. The wedding reply card should focus on being legible and easy to fill out for guests, helping to snag you more responses.
As long as you stick to the basic rules of choosing wedding reply cards and include addressed, stamped envelopes, you will hopefully be that lucky bride who has all her friends and family respond as the wedding reply cards intended: on time and through the mail.