The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That's why we launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week's question below!
— FMrsM (@abiwonkenobi) August 20, 2013
Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Find out what she had to say below:
Having just mailed my own wedding invitations on Friday, I thought this was an appropriate question to tackle today. Yes, the RSVP card return envelope should have postage on it. It’s not that conferring the expense of a 49-cent stamp on guests is likely to be a big deal. It’s more about convenience, and the idea that the hosts are fully taking care of their guest. There’s also a more practical reason. Guest RSVPs, especially for weddings, are notoriously late in arriving, or absent altogether. It’s one of the biggest complaints I hear from brides and grooms as they plan their weddings. A reply envelope with (correct) postage is one small step that will help the hosts get what they want: a timely reply.
In fact, the entire idea of a reply card exists today because guests got so lax about sending a reply on their own stationery or note cards (how it was originally done) that hosts took to including the RSVP cards a generation or two ago to “helpfully prompt” guests to do what they should have done anyway—send a reply. Including a stamp completes the gesture.
When planning to mail invitations, start checking your local post office a few weeks in advance to see what stamps they have on hand. Not all stamps are available or in stock at every post office, as I found out early last week when I began assembling my own invitations for mailing. I was on the hunt for those pretty vintage seed packet stamps, and they seemed to be sold out everywhere. Luckily, I was able to order what I needed online in time, instead.
If you do receive a reply envelope without a stamp, don’t bother bringing it up with the couple or hosts. Chalk it up to an innocent mistake and head to the post office to send your reply before the due date.