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Replying to a Formal Wedding Invitation

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So you have been invited to attend the wedding of a very special person/s. It is with great honor that you accept this invitation. Your quick reply to the couple's R.S.V.P. will be your first approach. If this is however to be a church wedding, a reply to the invitation will not be expected nor necessary. Your reply to a traditional wedding R.S.V.P. should be done on the lower left hand corner of the card or invitation. 

A formal invitation to any of the wedding celebrations with no R.S.V.P. included in the envelope will commonly mean that the hosts are prepared to entertain anyone who shows up; in this case, a reply from you is not warranted. If you are however unable to attend the function a note should be sent to indicate your regrets for not being able to be present due to reasons that you will explain briefly. Your best wishes should be included also. On the day after the wedding, another good measure would be for you to send another note to the couple expressing again your regrets for not having been present at their special occasion and wishing them the best in their new life together.
 

Replying to the R.S.V.P.
The invitations are sent out by the couple as soon as a decision for the date of their wedding is confirmed. The reply to a R.S.V.P. that is included in the invitation should be written in on a good quality notepaper in blue or black ink longhand style. In today’s world of computer driven services, more convenient measures are in place to allow for quicker and more cost efficient ways of replying to a wedding invitation’s R.S.V.P. Though this is used by most couples as a method convenient for its accessibility and control, traditional methods are still favored and preferred to allow the opportunity of securing invitation keepsakes. When replying to a wedding invitation in a traditional method, here are some tips and ideas on wording:
 

Mr. and Mrs. Davis Brown
accept with pleasure
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson’s
kind wedding invitation for
Saturday, the sixth of July
at noon

 

If the reply is being sent in regrets, the form will follow a similar flow:

Mr. and Mrs. Davis Brown
regret that they are unable to accept
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson's
kind wedding invitation for
Saturday, the sixth of July

 

Adding a more detailed regret with explanation will state "why" in this for:

Mr. and Mrs. Davis Brown
sincerely regret that their absence from the city
prevents them from accepting
the king invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson
for Saturday, the sixth of July

 

The returning envelope should be addressed, for the reply to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, using the names and address exactly as they are in the invitation. Being invited to a wedding is a very personal and special thing. The event may be that of a close intimate friend or relative, never the less if you receive an engraved invitation it should be answered in a formally with the appropriate style. If you are in receipt of an invitation that you must unfortunately decline the request to attend, it is a good idea to enclose a personal note that does well at explaining the circumstances for you not being able to attend. The formal reply should also be included. 
 

If your decision is to accept the invitation to the wedding event, it is good to repeat the hour and optional to repeat the wording in details of the original invitation. If you receive a joint ceremony and reception invitation with no separate time given for the reception after “following the ceremony,” best practice is to use that phrase in your reply rather than the time of the ceremony as you would otherwise. The wording in the reply is repeated however if the full form is used in an acceptance:

Mr. and Mrs. Davis Brown
accept with pleasure
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson’s
kind invitation to
the wedding breakfast of their daughter
Samantha
to
Mr. Henry James Taylor
at two o’clock
Denton Serves” Toronto

If this reply is in regret, then the form would not repeat the hour or the place but would indicate the date. 

If circumstances have it that only one person from a couple can attend the wedding with the other sending regrets, the order for the form is as shown:

Mr. Burton Anthony
accepts with pleasure
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson’s
kind wedding invitation for
Saturday, the sixth of July
Mrs. Burton
regrets exceedingly
that she will be unable to accept

If children are also invited (as would be stated on the invitation) the reply would follow the following order:

Mr. and Mrs. Davis Brown
and their children
accept with pleasure
The kind wedding invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson
Saturday, the sixth of July
at noon

Again, receiving a wedding invitation is a wonderful compliment. A reply to a wedding invitation does not require an answer unless it includes an invitation to the reception where the wedding will be celebrated. Standard practice is however to reply to the invitation regardless of your decision. This would be addressed to the person that you are indebted to for having sent you the invitation. The reply if your decision is in regret would include a personal note of your happiness for the couple. This letter would not be in direct reply to the invitation because none is needed for that, would be written in a social form and may read:
 

Dear Carl (TO THE GROOM)
The news of the upcoming wedding event is wonderful news. I am so excited for the both of you and would have done anything to be there to share in it with you. My best wishes of happiness go out to both of you. I wish also for your safe return home where I will be waiting to see you both as husband d and wife. My love again goes out to you and your beautiful bride.

 

If your note in acceptance to the invitation will be sent to the marrying couple, then it may follow an order similar to this:
 

Dear Carl
I am so happy to hear the news of the forthcoming wedding and am delighted and honored to be included. I have already made reservations at the Inn. I look forward to you on the second!

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