Right of reply

June 6, 2006. Written by

Replying to the wedding invitation in the correct way is the first thing a good guest needs to do. It’s polite to reply as soon as possible, even if you can’t attend…

How to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’

Replying to the wedding invitation in the correct way is the first thing a good guest needs to do.

It’s polite to reply as soon as possible, even if you can’t attend. This gives the organiser time to plan numbers and the seating plan, or to invite someone else that they didn’t have space for before.

If your invitation has a response card, replying couldn’t be easier. Otherwise, look at what the RSVP says. Replying by email is acceptable if the invitation says you can. If you receive an invitation without a response card included, and you want to be formal, you can reply with a separate card. Otherwise, a polite note will do.

Acceptance card

A formal acceptance card could look like this:

Thank you for your kind invitation.
We/I would love to attend
…(event)…
on… time…
at…
Your kind invitation was received with
sincere thanks.
We/I would take great pleasure in attending
(event)…
on… time…
at……

or

……………………………………………………………….
would love to join in the celebrations of
…(sender’s name & event)…
on… time…
at…

It is with great pleasure that
we/I accept your kind invitation to
…(event)…
on… time…
at…

Replying dilemmas

If you want to go to the wedding, but aren’t sure if you’ll be able to, you need to write to whoever it is that invited you (eg the bride’s parents) and tell them that you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to come. Be honest about what it is that may prevent you from attending and give them the chance to let you know whether or not they’d rather you declined at this stage.

Remember that, even if you’re not sure, it’s discourteous to hang on to an invitation and not reply. Assuming that invitations have been sent out at least two months ahead of the date of the wedding, any replies that have not been received three weeks before the date will be followed up.

The couple will be trying to finalise numbers and beginning to think about seating plans, so don’t be offended. You really should reply to an invitation as soon as possible.

Saying ‘thank you’

Sending a thank you note to the host after a party is a lovely gesture and one that they are bound to appreciate. Thank you notes can be as formal or as informal as you like, though it’s best to send thanks as soon after an event as possible.

Declining the invitation

If you send a card to decline an invitation, it can look like this:

Mr. and Mrs. (Surname)
regret that they are unable to accept
the very kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. (Surname)
for
(Date)
Thank you for your kind invitation,
Unfortunately, we/I am unable to attend
…(event)…
on… time…
at…

Your kind invitation was received with
sincere thanks.
Unfortunately, I/we are unable to attend
…(event)…
on… time…
at…

Thank you for your kind invitation
to (event)
on… time….

Unfortunately, I/we are unable to attend,
but wish you every happiness for the day.

If you can’t attend a wedding, for whatever reason, it is polite to send your regrets. You don’t need to say why you won’t be able to come. It may be nice also to consider sending a separate card to congratulate the couple on their marriage. Sending a gift as well is optional.

You don’t have to go to a wedding you’ve been invited to if you don’t want to. If, for example, you don’t know the bride or groom very well, don’t go. They, let’s face it, would rather have people at their wedding who really know and care about them. They may have felt they had to invite you, and if you don’t want to attend their wedding, why not give them a chance to invite someone else? The most important thing is that you decline the invitation politely as soon as possible.

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