The thought of uninvited guests showing up on your big day would turn any bridechilla into a bridezilla. Couples are going above and beyond to make sure guests are aware who is and who is not invited, but sometimes the method of delivery isn’t the best.

I’m often asked to add a line on wedding RSVP cards worded something like: “We have reserved ____ number of seats in your honor. Number attending ____.” The couple would pre-fill in the first blank prior to mailing in an effort to be extra clear on who is invited to bring a guest and/or their children.

Turn Off? Rude? Confusing?

The truth is, guests should know exactly who is invited by the way the envelope is addressed. I’m saying they should, not that they will. However, most will – so it’s important not to offend or confuse anyone by putting extra information on the RSVP card.

Instead? To solve your anxiety, but remain polite, add a space for guests to fill in how many will attend. This is traditional and I can’t imagine offensive in anyway. In the unlikely chance that someone fills in “2” when only one was invited, deal with the situation then.

Why you don't need the "Reserved Seats" wording on your wedding RSVP card

If it’s a close friend or family member of the bride or groom, I would casually reach out and let them know that the invitation was for one and you hope they’ll be able to make it alone. (I’ll write another post soon on whether to add “plus ones” or not for your single guests) If it’s an extended family member, coworker, or friend of your parents, and you don’t feel totally comfortable “confronting” them, have your wedding planner reach out.

Don’t get me wrong, this approach isn’t perfect either. There is a chance of an awkward conversation, but I find that to be pretty unlikely! By only having to communicate this with guests who aren’t clear on their invitation, you remove any chance of offending or confusing anyone else.

That being said, this is just my opinion and personal experience. At the end of the (wedding) day, you should do what works best for you and your guests! If you’re inviting a lot of people who you think will be confused with the amount allowed, then by all means – be explicit.

I will politely suggest etiquette to couples I work with on wedding invitations, but ultimately am happy to do whatever they decide. Wondering what other things to leave off your invitation? Read this post on common wedding invitation mistakes!

1 Comment

1 Comment on Why You Don’t Need the “Reserved Seats” Wording on your RSVP Card

  1. I felt this way until I got an RSVP card back from a couple that squeezed the names of their 3 children and 1 house guest on the RSVP card. When I called to say that just the couple was invited due to budget and space limitations I was screamed at by the couple who then called my mother. This wasn’t an isolated incident. 10 of the 65 rsvp cards that were sent back has more people than were named on the invitation. 5 of the people who were expected not to bring a date called and asked if they could have one despite the number of RSVPs. Not being straight forward at the start created arguments and undo stress. Just be clear from the start it might ruffle some feathers, but it’s way better than being surprised by how rude and inconsiderate of your budget your friends and family are.

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