I can't tell you how long I took to create the RSVP wording. In fact the reason I can't tell you is because of the shameful face I would have to make while telling you.
First of all, I knew I wanted postcard RSVP's. (Economical, what what) But the person doing our invites keeps one side blank, free of design or wording. So then I thought we should ask people to write a message on the blank side (you know, a "Please feel free to send a message to the bride and groom" kind of thing. That way it wasn't such a lonely barren side of the RSVP (they have feelings too ya know!) But that would have cost 35 dollars to print. I passed because every time I turn around we are spending 100 dollars here or 50 dollars there (luckily the thousands of dollars here, thousands of dollars there thing stopped a while ago) and my sister said "Save that money for a nice bottle of wine on the honeymoon!" Well said.
So then I was worried about the actual wording. Do you just have a line for regrets and accepts? Do you get a little wordy for fun like this:
____is/are looking forward to dining, dancing, and celebrating
____has/have to miss the fun
or even this:
__ Yes, we look forward to dinner!
__ Sorry, we're unable, our plate is full.
oh, and there are corny themed RSVP's as well, such as if you were to be married at a golf course:
__ Yes, we'll see you on the green!
__ Sorry we can't swing it.
Anyhow... point is... a zillion options. Plus there is the whole +1 issue. Sadly, we are not able to allow our guests +1's (we have 150 chairs that fit under our tent and our guest list is currently well over that, so it's just a matter of space! Plus, have you ever had to feed tons of people? Sheesh it's expensive) and honestly I knew I didn't really want +1's to begin with because I am not comfortable having people that I don't know as guests at the most special day of my life. That might come off as rude or weird to others, but when I picture my wedding day, I want to look out at the church and see people that know and love us and are there to celebrate our union... not just come for the free beer with a date. So, we decided to only allow people who are in relationships to bring their boyfriend or girlfriend as a date, since chances are we probably know them anyway if they are dating our friend that is invited. My exception is that a few way out of town friends can bring someone if they don't know anyone else at the wedding... and of course the bridal party. I know it might not seem fair to some, but this is what we are comfortable with and so that's just the way it is!
So how to convey this on the response cards? Well... I have read some horror stories where people just automatically add names on their response card without checking with the bride first, and I really wanted to avoid awkward situations like that at all costs, so I did a little research and I found two options. One was that you can put an asterick and small font below the response part that looks something like this: *__ seats have been reserved for you. And you fill in the number for each person before mailing them out, so Uncle Bob sees he only has one seat reserved and isn't going to bring his stripper girlfriend. However, that seemed a little too blunt. Plus, you have the family of 5 that might possibly only have 3 coming to the wedding. Now where to fill in how many out of their party might be attending?
SEE WHY I HAVE HAD SO MANY ISSUES?!?!?
So here is what I decided, in my own nice wording with a way for people to know how many people in their party are invited and a way for them to tell me how many they will be bringing. Whew.
__ out of __ will be attending with glee! (and yes, I fill in the second line with the number)
__ will not be attending, but shall celebrate from afar!
Crisis averted. And I kind of like knowing people can still say they will celebrate from afar. It makes their "no" seem warm and sweet, even if the no is from grumpy Uncle Bob who is mad he didn't get a plus one.