Decoding the wedding invitation
RSVP is French for ‘ respondez s’il vous plait” or “please respond.”
This means that you are expected to respond to the couple to let them know if you will be attending the wedding.
Because the caterers will need to know the guest count, in order to ensure that there is enough food and drink for everyone.
The decorators also need to know how many tables, chairs and centrepieces will be needed.
The couple will need to know how many guest tokens to provide…get the picture?
This is most definitely not the time to say to yourself “ well dey invite meh, I bound to come…”
RSVP. Regrets only means that if you are UNABLE to attend the wedding, then you should contact the couple to let them know that you are not coming.
Adults only reception. What this means is that while you and your spouse or partner are invited to celebrate the marriage, your children, from babes in arms to teenagers are not invited.
The couple will expect you to make your own babysitting and child care arrangements.
Invitations addressed to Mr + Mrs means that the legally married couple are invited. ‘
Other partners cannot and ought not to be substituted.
Invitations addressed to Mr John Doe and guest or Ms Jane Doe and guest signal that you are free to invite anyone you choose to be your “ plus one”.
Invitations addressed to you alone. Mr John Doe or Ms Jane Doe mean that you and you alone are invited.
You may not take it upon yourself to invite someone else to accompany you.
Be prepared to either come alone or decline the invitation graciously.
If you receive an invitation to the reception only, then please do not embarrass yourself and the couple by showing up at the service.
Some couples prefer to keep the ceremony intimate with family + close friends only, so please respect their wishes.
Show up at the reception, all glammed up and ready to celebrate!
Gift giving dos and don’t’s
Do select a gift that you can afford from the bridal registry.
Most couples indicate where they would like you to purchase their gifts. Usually there is a gift for every “ pocket”.
The bridal store takes note of who bought what, and the couple usually collects all the gifts purchased in store, after they return from their honeymoon, and are ready to “ set up house”.
If the couple chooses to open an “ I do” or wedding account, please do use this. How much you deposit is totally up to you.
Some couples who may be getting married in one country but planning to live in another , may also prefer cash gifts.
Do walk with the cash in an envelope to the wedding and either place it in the beautifully decorated money bag or box ( bird cages are on trend), or give it to one of the parents for them to hand over to the couple, at an appropriate time, after the wedding.
Then there are a few couples who prefer you to donate money to one of their causes. Again, do respect their decision and donate what you can afford.
Remember, it’s not about you. It’ about them. Their choices. Their lifestyle. Their special day.
It’s always an honour and a privlege to be invited to a wedding, so please keep these guidelines in mind.
Do your part to make it memorable for them and for you.
This article was written by Kathleen Maynard, CSEP
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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