Etiquette: Replying to an Invitation

engraved wedding invitation reply cardYou love a good party, which is probably why you get invited to so many. (That and your incredible charm and wit). Here’s how to accept — or decline —  an invitation.


Formal Replies
Informal Replies

Filling in Reply Cards
Reply cards are sent with invitations in order to give recipients an easy and convenient way to respond. They should be returned promptly. Your name, preceded by your title is written in following the “M” in the space provided (that is what the “M” is for). If you will be attending the event, the space between “will” and “attend” is left blank. If you will not be attending, write  “not” in that space.

Formal Replies
Replies to formal invitations should be sent within three days of your receipt of the invitation or before the reply date given on the invitation. They are handwritten in black ink on the first page of ecru or white letter sheets. (Letter sheets have a fold along the left-hand side, like formal wedding invitations.)

The replies are written in the third person and follow the format of the invitation. They are sent to the persons issuing the invitation. If more than one name or couple are listed, the replies are sent to whomever is listed first on the invitation.

Acceptances repeat the date and time. Regrets repeat just the date and may include a brief reason for not being able to accept. Mentioning the event is optional. If you do mention the event use “on” before the date. Otherwise, use “for”.

Invitations from the White House always take precedence over other invitations. The only acceptable excuses for refusing invitations from the White House are illness, a death in the family, a wedding in the family and being out of the country.

ACCEPTANCE
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Randall Carr
accept with pleasure
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Travis
to dinner
on Saturday, the sixth of June
at six o’clock

REGRET
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Randall Carr
regret that because of a previous commitment
they are unable to accept
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Travis
for Saturday, the sixth of June

ACCEPTANCE WITH CHILDREN
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Randall Carr
Esta, Janice, Barbara
accept with pleasure

WIFE ACCEPTS, HUSBAND REGRETS
Mrs. Taylor Randall Carr
accepts with pleasure
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Travis
to dinner
for Saturday, the sixth of June
at six o’clock
Mr. Taylor Randall Carr
regrets that he is unable to accept
due to a previous commitment

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Informal Replies
Replies to informal invitations should be as formal or informal as the closeness of your relationship to the host or hostess dictates. For example, a reply sent to your mother should be a lot less formal than one sent to somebody you just met.

If you are sending a regret, you should briefly state the reason. Replies should be made within three days and can be written on informals, fold-over notes or even calling cards. If you use your calling cards, be sure to send them in an envelope that is large enough to mail.

ACCEPTANCE
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Randall Carr
accept with pleasure
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Bolton
for Saturday, the sixth of June
at six o’clock

REGRET
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Randall Carr
regret that because of a previous engagement
they are unable to accept
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. Travis
for Saturday, the sixth of June

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One thought on “Etiquette: Replying to an Invitation

  1. Pingback: Friday Roundup + Ooooh pretty! ::

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