As if picking an invitation design isn't difficult enough, there are other decisions to make. The question we are asked the most is: Are RSVP cards really necessary? Can I use an email reply or do I need to do something else?
Why Send an RSVP Card?
An RSVP card has been the traditional method for replying to an event for as long as anyone can remember. From formal events to casual affairs, this was the only reliable solution until email and web options began to catch on. In many respects it is still the best solution depending on your timeframe and budget.
A printed RSVP tells your guests that yours is an important event, one that is a milestone event and quite different than a birthday party or casual get together. Guests are made to feel special when invited to an event where a printed RSVP card is included and your invitation takes on added importance. In addition, a printed card can be personalized for your different subsets of guests. For instance, at EventPrints, we can create multiple versions of a reply card for a small setup charge, so guests may RSVP only to the events they are invited to. One card may be for the service and luncheon, while another version includes a Sunday farewell brunch. This differentiation is not something you can easily do when opting for an email reply. An RSVP card also allows for much more information than can be gathered through an email. Special dietary requests or menu choices may easily be requested with a printed card.
Another feature of a printed RSVP is the memory that it creates. More often than not, guests will include a personal note with their reply. Years, or perhaps even decades later, how comforting to fondly remember each guest while thumbing through your saved RSVP replies.
Many guests who cannot attend might also opt to tuck in a gift check with their reply, therefore making their gift giving easier. We are often told that gift quality also increases when a printed RSVP card is included, as the stature of the event is enhanced.
What about web based reply sites?
We are often asked if a web based reply site might be a viable option. Unfortunately, navigating these sites has proven to be challenging more many guests, especially those who are older. ANd, while many of these sites advertise free or low cost options, they rarely include the option to request information other than the most basic attend or not reply. Adding versioning for different events may end up costing as much, if not more, than a traditional mailed RSVP card without any of the intrinsic benefits of print.
RSVP card options
In addition to the cost of the card, you will also need to consider printing the envelope with your return address. At EventPrints, we are the only premium invitation seller that includes your address on the envelope for free. This typically will save you $100 or more per order depending on the quantity printed. Even better, we print your mailing address with your invitation colors and fonts so it is perfectly coordinated with your invitation.
When to request an RSVP due date
This largely depends on your own preference and those of your event venue or caterer, but we typically suggest the RSVP due date 3 weeks before your event. Any earlier and your guests may forget about it. Any later and you may not receive them in time.
All things considered, a printed RSVP card will add importance to your event and help you better coordinate your guest list for each event. Given a choice, you can rarely go wrong with choosing a printed RSVP card.