Being invited to a wedding is always honor, no matter how formal or informal an affair the big day will be.
The most important thing to do once you have received an invitation is to respond to as promptly as possible to let the happy couple know whether you will be able to celebrate their special day with them.
Those of us who have never planned a wedding—or who have planned one a long time ago—tend not to be aware of just how stressful they are to plan.
Do your friends and family members the courtesy of checking your schedule and confirming with the other guest(s) included in your invitation whether you can attend or not.
Then, respond to the invitation in the appropriate manner.
What is appropriate will of course depend on your relationship to the bride and groom, as well as on the character of both the wedding and the invitation.
Here is a comprehensive run-through of how to respond to a wedding invitation, whether it is to your brother’s small gathering at city hall or your fancy friend from college’s destination wedding on Lake Como.
How to respond to a wedding invitation formally
Most formal wedding invitations will come with an RSVP card and a pre-stamped envelope to send it back in.
First things first: Fill in the RSVP card
Let’s just do every bride, groom, and wedding planner a favor and all solemnly swear that we will fill out those little three-by-five-inch cards as soon as we get them!
Too often, they are tossed aside, get lost in a pile of papers, get accidentally recycled, or seemingly just disappear into thin air.
To avoid having to answer to an anxious bride who is calling you up to enquire about the whereabouts of your RSVP card, just get it out of the envelope, filled out, back in its return envelope, and safely into a post box as soon as you can.
When filling out an RSVP card, don’t rush through it so fast that you end up failing to include key information.
Check that you have written your full name, for one! Specify whether you are coming and then make clear whether you are bringing a plus one (if you’re allowed to).
If so, say who they are. Choose your meal and make clear whether you have any dietary restrictions.
Also, just because the RSVP card is a form of sorts doesn’t mean you can’t add a personal touch.
Why not scribble a cute congratulatory note in the corner? Even a simple “Congratulations! Hope all is well with you!” will do the trick.
Now as we got that out of our way, let’s dive right into the various responses you could give when accepting a wedding invitation in a formal way.
1. Ms. Mahoney and Mr. Jameson accept with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews to the wedding reception of their daughter Johanna and Mr. Hannes Yuval on Sunday, March 17th at 2:00 pm.
This is a highly formal and traditional way to accept a wedding invitation.
This is most appropriate in cases where the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding.
If you wish to send a formal acceptance of this kind, write it out on nice stationary with a good pen and send it by snail mail.
It would be strange to respond in this way to an informal wedding invitation received from friends through WhatsApp, so only use this phrasing when the wedding invitation has been sent in the post by the parents of the bride.
2. Dear Sally and George, Harry and I are so excited to attend your wedding on June 3rd, 2022. Kind regards, Harry and Claire O’Kiely.
You may be intimidated about all the rules about how to properly write formal letters.
However, don’t worry, this sample response is the perfect way to respond to a formal invitation sent by the engaged couple themselves.
If you receive an elegant invitation on nice stationary, respond by writing out a sweet note on a nice card and sending it back via the post.
You don’t need to go into too much detail when formally accepting a wedding invitation.
After all, this process is essentially a formality that allows the couple to know how much food and drink to order. You can gush to them about how happy you are on the day!
3. Dear Mick and Katie, Georgina and I are so happy for you and cannot wait to be a part of the festivities on July 4th, 2023. Best wishes, Sally and Georgina Oppenheim
Just because you are sending a formal acceptance of a wedding invitation doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be a robot.
I mean, after all, these are your people! There is still room in a formal acceptance letter for well wishes.
4. Dearest Alison and Andrew, we are so pleased to be able to accept your kind invitation to the wedding on April 1st, 2023. We wish you every happiness and look forward to witnessing the first day of the rest of your lives. Yours sincerely, Tyler and Shana
If you are hand-writing a letter of acceptance to post to your newly engaged friend or family member, why not add a few kind sentiments.
These will only be appreciated, and they will not detract from the formal tone of the letter.
How to respond to a wedding invitation informally
While some people go for the full shebang––the big princess dress, the formal invitations, and the marquee—other people decide they would be happier with a more low-key wedding.
Intimate, informal weddings can be a whole lot of fun. You get to hang out with people you love without having to stand on ceremony too much.
If you receive an invitation that doesn’t require a traditional confirmation of attendance, you can personalize your response to your heart’s content and be as genuine as you want.
Here are a few ways you could confirm your attendance to a more informal shindig.
5. Hi guys! So excited for your special day! Of course we’ll be there! Can’t wait to see Claire walk down the aisle to the man of her dreams ☺ See you on Friday for a celebratory drink. Big hug, Samantha and Alyssa
While it would be inconceivable to begin a formal wedding invitation acceptance with “Hi guys!”, this is an entirely appropriate opener for an informal acceptance letter.
You can mention something about the ceremony you are looking forward to, or else reference an inside joke.
Since the bride and groom have decided to have a more informal affair, they will surely appreciate you picking up on the tone of the invitation and will like seeing what you come up with in your response.
6. Dear Sara and Henry, Congratulations on this exciting milestone! We always knew you two were meant to be. Can’t wait to see you make it official. We will absolutely be there on March 2nd. Love, your biggest supporters from day 1, Ian and Alana
Referencing your personal relationship to the happy couple is never a bad idea.
If you’ve always thought they’d end up getting married, you can mention this in your wedding invitation acceptance.
7. Well, well, well! So very happy to get this in the post this morning. What a beautiful invitation from two beautiful people. Can’t wait to celebrate this special milestone with you.
The most important thing when responding to an informal wedding invitation is showing a good measure of enthusiasm.
While formal invitations and responses take a more distant approach by definition, informal invitation correspondence has the advantage that it can be as familiar as the parties involved want it to be.
However, this can also make you feel under pressure to say lots of gushing, funny things.
The best thing to do when responding informally to a wedding invitation is just to speak from the heart.
The more genuine your acceptance, the more it will be appreciated.
8. Our two favorite people are getting hitched! And of course, we’ll be there. So happy for you and can’t wait to have an absolute blast on August 10th. Hugs from all of us in Seattle.
This is a cute and straightforward way for one couple to respond to a wedding invitation from another couple they are good friends with.
It is easy, light-hearted, and appropriately excited.
How to respond to a wedding invitation on WhatsApp
With the introduction of new technologies, what would once have been literally unthinkable is now frequently coming to pass.
Responding to a wedding invite on WhatsApp? Our grandparents would wonder what the world is coming to.
However, if you communicate with a close friend or family member almost exclusively over WhatsApp, it might seem only natural to you to respond to their invitation in your regular chat.
Imagine, for example, that your friend lives across the world and has sent you an informal wedding invite in the post.
Is there really a point in sending back a physical piece of paper?
Unless it is important to the bride and groom, not really.
Feel free to respond by simply firing off a quick WhatsApp message.
Do be aware though, that while this is a nothing-to-see-here situation for some, it might be considered rude by others.
Always assess the situation carefully before responding to a wedding invitation on WhatsApp.
10. Yay! So excited you’re getting hitched. Of course I will be there. My plus one will be Tom.
This is the perfect response to send to a friend who has invited you to her wedding in an informal manner.
Maybe she has invited you over WhatsApp, or else has sent an informal invitation over email or in the mail.
By sending this response to a wedding invitation over WhatsApp you’re giving your friend all the information she needs.
You’re confirming that you’ll be there, that you’ll bring a plus one, and who they are.
11. Oh, I will absolutely be there on your special day. Can’t wait to see Claire and Bonnie as flower girls!
The best part about responding to wedding invitations over WhatsApp is that you don’t have to spend too long thinking about exactly how to say what you mean.
Instead, just see it as another piece of casual conversation—this time it just happens to be about someone’s wedding, rather than say, a recipe you’re sharing.
If you’re most excited to see your friend’s daughters be flower girls, you can add this into your message. These personal touches never go amiss!
12. Is this even a question? YES! I will attend your wedding on April 8th, 2023.
Don’t be afraid to be informal when responding to a wedding invitation from someone you’re close to!
They don’t become a different person just because someone has put an engagement ring on their finger!
This sample response is a cute way to express excitement for the upcoming festivities.
13. Hi Jane, I’m so sorry that I never sent you back the RSVP card, it totally slipped my mind. I would still love to come, if it isn’t too much hassle now? Let me know! And again, I’m so sorry, I’m sure you have enough on your plate right now!
There are also slightly more awkward circumstances under which you might find yourself responding to a wedding invitation on WhatsApp.
You may initially have felt very excited for your friend’s wedding upon receiving the invitation, but then forgot about RSVPing as regular life stressors took their toll.
If you realize after the RSVP date that you haven’t gotten back to your friend about their wedding, you could send a quick WhatsApp message like the one above.
Hopefully, you aren’t too late, and your friend will tell you that you can still come.
However, if you find yourself in this position, let it be a lesson for the next time!
How to reply to a wedding invitation if not attending
There are plenty of good reasons why you might not be planning to attend a wedding.
It could be because you’re struggling financially, and the wedding is in some far away country and will be an expensive affair.
It might be because you have another wedding that you have already agreed to attend on the same weekend.
It might even just be that you don’t feel particularly close to the couple getting married and would rather not take a day off work and spend unnecessary cash on people you don’t know that well.
Whatever the case may be, it can feel awkward to have to turn down an invitation to someone’s wedding.
However, as long as you do it tactfully, you should not feel bad about saying you can’t attend.
While the couple’s special day is important, your wants, needs, financial situation, and comfort level are just as important. Do what’s best for you.
Here is a run-through of ways you could respond to a wedding invitation if you aren’t attending.
If you need more guidance, check out this guide on how to write an apology letter for not attending an event.
14. Ms. Mary Mulligan and Mr. Jack Barrows regret that they cannot accept the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Heatherington for Sunday, 17th October at 2:00 pm.
This is the proper formulation for a formal letter saying that you are unable to attend a wedding hosted by the bride’s parents.
Not much more to it. Write this nicely on a piece of good stationary and send it off.
No need to provide a reason for why you cannot make it if the invitation is of a highly formal nature.
15. Mr. Jack Barrows gladly accepts the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Heatherington for Sunday, 17th October at 2:00 pm. Ms. Mary Mulligan regrets that she will not be able to attend.
This is how to respond to a formal wedding invitation if one person on the invitation is able to attend and the other is not. This split response makes clear who will and who will not be attending the wedding in question.
If you receive a highly formal wedding invitation and only one party to invitation can attend, this is way to respond.
16. Dear Seamus and Otegha, Thanks so much for inviting us to your wedding. Unfortunately, we will not be able to join on you on your special day. We will certainly be thinking of you and wish you every happiness for this exciting new stage of your lives. Best wishes, Lara Candle and David Ali
You do not have to feel bad for not being able to make it to someone’s wedding.
The only thing that matters is that you let them know in good time and send them well wishes.
This informal response lets the bride and groom know that you can’t make it but that you will be thinking of them.
Case closed. You are under no obligation to say why you cannot attend––after all, you may just not want to pay to attend an overseas wedding. Or, you may not want to spend the day with someone you know will be at the wedding.
Whatever the case, saying no is your prerogative and the only thing that matters is that you do so politely.
17. Dear Jemima and Kirke, We are so sad that we won’t be able to spend this special day with you! Unfortunately, we are away in Japan for Kirke’s brother’s wedding. We will be thinking of you and will be with you in spirit on June 2nd!
Just because you don’t have to tell a couple why you can’t attend their wedding, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Perhaps you want to make clear that if it weren’t for pre-existing plans, you would have loved to come.
This sample answer features an explanation for the invitees’ absence.
My apologies, I am not going to be able to make it. I would have loved to be there to celebrate with you, but I am out of the country that weekend.
This is simple and to the point. Nothing more to say and there is no need to be too labored about the fact that you can’t make it.
How to reply to a marriage invitation in a funny way
Why all the serious pomp and circumstance? Weddings are supposed to be a fun celebration of love!
Particularly if your friends have a good sense of humor and will want the celebration of their love to be reflective of their light-hearted approach to life, they will surely appreciate a funny response to their wedding invitation.
18. I could have sworn you guys were already married. Just kidding, can’t wait. Mary and I will be there on Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 pm.
This is a funny response to send to a wedding invitation from two people who behave like an old married couple, or to a couple who have been together for years or decades.
If people tend to assume this couple is already married, they will surely get a chuckle out of your witty response.
19. Really?!? She actually said “Yes”?! Jeremy, you’re punching way above your weight. Thanks for doing us all a favor and taking him off our hands, Hannah! Can’t wait to be with you on your special day.
This is a funny response for the groom’s friend to send to the engaged couple.
By faking disbelief that the groom-to-be’s fiancé has actually agreed to marry him, you can rib your friend a little while also complimenting his choice of future wife.
In any case, it is no standard wedding invitation response and will be sure to stand out among all the sincere and well-meaning good wishes.
20. You two!!! The fact that you even think you have to ask me is mildly offensive. Is there any world in which I wouldn’t come?! Can’t wait to watch you try on dresses Julia, eat cake with you, etc. My ride or die, I will be by your side through all the difficult prep, etc. And don’t worry Johnny, when things get tough, I’ve got your back 😉
This is a great response to send if you are fairly certain you are going to be the maid of honor.
No need to be formal, you’re talking to your best friend and her future husband. You can joke that it is offensive that they even have to ask you.
Then you can also let your bestie’s fiancé know that, at the end of the day, you’ve got his back.
While you are of course saying this in a lighthearted way, it reflects approval on a deeper level and is sure to be appreciated.
21. I mean, I will come, but not for you. Definitely for the open bar. Only for the bar. And I won’t cry. I joke. Can’t wait to watch you two tie the knot (glass in hand)!!
This is a funny response to send. But only if you are one hundred percent sure the bride and groom will know you are joking and find it funny.
It would be terrible to offend them at this stressful time, and the wedding would be awkward, to say the least.
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