What the "M" on Response Cards Stands for and More RSVP Etiquette Everyone Should Know

No, it's not for "Maybe."

Congratulations! You've been invited to a wedding. I've you've ever been a bride or groom yourself you know how important it is for guests to mind their manners when it comes to response cards.

Response cards tally the number of guests and accepted invitations so the bride and groom know the exact number of guests to expect. When planning a wedding, knowing the number of people attending can influence many decisions, so it's essential to fill out your response cards as early as possible and, perhaps more importantly, to fill out the card correctly.

Envelope or letter, gift, paper card and roses. Greeting concept.
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How Do You Fill Out a Response Card? Why Is There an "M" on It?

Before you complete the response card, first determine who has actually been invited to the wedding. To do this, check the inner envelope, as it will list the names of all invited guests. For instance, the outer envelope may only have listed your name, "Miss Elly May Clampett," but the inner envelope may say, "Elly May and Guest." That's how you know you're responding for two guests, rather than one. Same goes for families: The outer envelope might only say "Mr. and Mrs. Ladd Drummond," but if the kids have been included too, the inner envelope will tip you off, as it will say, "Ladd and Ree, Alex, Paige, Bryce and Todd." If there is no inner envelope, let the outer envelope be your guide, and don't make any assumptions.

Many response cards will include an "M" followed immediately by a line. In keeping with more formal wedding tradition, the line is here as a way to kickstart your reply. The "M" stands for the first letter of the title you prefer to go by, be it Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss. (Quick tip: Ms. may be used for married or unmarried women while reserving Miss for unmarried women.) Of course, you may have guests that are "The Honorable" or "Dr.," but the response card levels the playing field on the salutation front, and they'll have to use the old "M" like everybody else. (That said, if you are the bride or groom, get those titles right on the outer envelope.)

How To Accept (or Decline) a Wedding Invitation?

Mark the number of guests by either "joyfully accepts" or "regretfully declines." Do not include a checkmark or "X" to signify your acceptance or rejection of the invitation. Instead, list the number of guests who will or will not attend. The same goes for menu selection if listed.

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