How to Choose the Right “RSVP by” Date

Do you know what RSVP stands for? It’s short for “Répondez s’il vous plait,” which means “please respond” in French. Using the acronym RSVP is simply a tradition but choosing the right respond by date is an important decision when personalizing your wedding invitation suite.

Choosing the Response Date

We recommend choosing a date that’s 2-4 weeks before your wedding date. Why? There are two reasons:

1. Check with Your Caterer and Venue

Typically, your caterer and venue will want an accurate headcount one to two weeks before your wedding day. Before you create your invitations, ask them for a firm date.

Now, take that date and back it up two weeks. Because…

2. Expect Delays

You might give a respond by date but that doesn’t mean everyone will actually respond by then. Sigh…

Plan on spending some time sending texts and emails to those slackers who haven’t sent their respond card back to you. And remember, many guests will put the reply card in the mail back to you on the reply by date.

This is one of the most annoying parts of wedding planning and its extra stressful if you don’t allow yourself a couple weeks to gather the tardy responses.

We Break it Down

Let’s say your wedding day is June 20th.

Your venue wants your final headcount by June 10th.

Your RSVP by date should be May 27th. This gives you a two week window to gather those late responses.

The obvious next question is, “when do I send my wedding invitations?”. Our official advice is to send your invitations anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks before your wedding.

Let’s continue with our June 20th wedding example and go through all those key dates:

If your RSVP date is May 27th, you’ll want your guests to have those invitations in their hands about 3 weeks before, or on May 6th.

Your invitations should be mailed around April 29th (this gives them a week to arrive)

Our wedding invitations print and ship super quick, which means you could order them at late as April 15th and still have time address, stamp, assemble and drop them in the mail on time. If you want a little extra time, simply back that date up a week or two.

Best wishes and happy wedding planning!

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