RSVP Etiquette: Are Postcards Tacky or Trendy?

In the world of wedding planning, the little RSVP card holds a big role. Traditionally, we’ve stuck with the routine of popping those response cards into envelopes. But as weddings change with the times, so do the ways we handle those all-important RSVPs.

Now, there’s a new player in the game: RSVP postcards. These small cards are a bit of a departure from the usual response card in an envelope. The big question is, does this break from tradition come off as tacky or is it just a trendy twist?

In this guide. we’re diving into the world of changing wedding customs. We’ll be taking a closer look at the do’s and don’ts, unraveling the perceptions around this modern RSVP approach. 

Are RSVP Postcards Truly Tacky?

Whether RSVP postcards are truly tacky depends entirely on the context and your personal perspective. They can be a fantastic, eco-friendly option for casual gatherings, but they might not be suitable for every situation. Here’s a breakdown of the “tacky” factor:

Reasons why postcards might be considered tacky:

  • Formal events: For formal occasions like weddings or black-tie galas, postcards can seem too casual and lack the necessary level of elegance. They might not convey the seriousness and importance of the event.
  • Limited information: Postcards often have limited space, making it difficult to include all the necessary information like dietary restrictions, plus ones, or detailed instructions. This can be confusing and frustrating for guests.
  • Potential for lost mailings: Postcards are more likely to get lost in the mail than envelopes, which can lead to missed RSVPs and inconvenience for both the host and guests.
  • Perceived lack of effort: Some guests might interpret postcards as a less personal or thoughtful gesture compared to traditional invitations with reply cards.

However, postcards can also be a great choice:

  • Informal events: For casual gatherings like backyard barbecues, picnics, or game nights, postcards are a perfect match. They’re fun, convenient, and add a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Budget-friendly: Postcards are significantly cheaper than traditional invitations and reply cards, making them a great option for budget-conscious hosts.
  • Eco-friendly: Postcards use less paper than traditional invitations, making them a more sustainable choice.
  • Creative potential: Some postcards offer space for guests to add personal touches or well wishes, which can be a fun way to personalize the experience.

Ultimately, the decision of whether postcards are tacky depends on your personal style and the specific context of your event. Consider the formality of the occasion, your budget, and your guest preferences. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and use a more traditional option for formal events.

The Rise of RSVP Postcards

For decades, the RSVP (Répondez s’il vous plaît) landscape was dominated by the classic duo: invitation with attached reply card. But times are changing, and a new contender has entered the ring – the RSVP postcard. More than just a miniature reply card, it’s a shift in style, convenience, and environmental awareness.

The Driving Forces

  • Cost-effectiveness: In an age of tightening budgets, postcards offer a budget-friendly alternative to traditional invitations and reply cards. For large gatherings, the savings can be significant, making them a popular choice for casual parties, family reunions, and community events.
  • Convenience: RSVP postcards streamline the process for both hosts and guests. No envelopes required, simply fill out the card and toss it in the mailbox. Guests save time, hosts save postage, and everyone wins.
  • Eco-consciousness: With growing environmental concerns, postcards offer a more sustainable option. Less paper means a smaller footprint, making them a responsible choice for eco-conscious hosts and guests.
  • Informal vibes: Postcards perfectly capture the relaxed atmosphere of casual gatherings. Their playful designs and compact size complement backyard barbecues, pool parties, and other casual get-togethers.
  • A splash of creativity: Forget generic reply cards! Postcard designs can be a canvas for artistic expression. Choose from a variety of pre-designed options or unleash your inner artist and create your own. Guests will appreciate the unique touch.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Formality mismatch: While charming for casual events, postcards may not suit formal occasions like weddings or galas. The lack of formality can clash with the elegance of such occasions.
  • Limited space: With their smaller size, postcards sacrifice space for additional information. Dietary restrictions, plus ones, and detailed instructions might need to be accommodated elsewhere.
  • Lost in the mail: The flimsy nature of postcards increases the risk of them getting lost in the mail. Consider the postal efficiency in your area before relying solely on postcards.
  • Perceived effort: Some guests might interpret postcards as a less personal gesture compared to traditional invitations. Balancing convenience with perceived effort is key.

The Verdict

RSVP postcards are not a universal replacement for traditional methods. They work best when the event’s vibe aligns with their casual and convenient nature. For budget-conscious hosts, eco-friendly individuals, and organizers of informal gatherings, postcards offer a compelling alternative. 

Just remember to choose a design that suits the occasion, provide clear instructions, and consider alternative methods for collecting RSVPs from guests who might prefer a more formal approach.

The Traditional RSVP Etiquette

Following traditional RSVP etiquette is important to help hosts plan and organize their events effectively. Here are some guidelines for both guests and hosts:

For Guests

  • Respond Promptly: Ideally, respond within a few days of receiving the invitation, especially if there is a specified RSVP date.
  • Use the Requested Method: Respond in the manner specified on the invitation (phone, email, online form, etc.).
  • Be Clear: Clearly indicate whether you will attend or not. If the invitation allows for additional comments, use this space to convey any dietary restrictions or special considerations.
  • Respect RSVP Deadlines: If there is an RSVP-by date, make sure to reply before that date. This helps the host plan for the event more efficiently.
  • Consider Plus-Ones: If the invitation does not explicitly state that you can bring a guest (a plus-one), assume it is only for you unless you confirm otherwise.

For Hosts

  • Include an RSVP Date: Specify a date by which you would like to receive responses. This helps you plan and make necessary arrangements.
  • Provide Clear Instructions: Clearly state how you would like guests to RSVP (via phone, email, online platform, etc.).
  • Offer Multiple RSVP Options: Provide different methods for guests to respond, making it convenient for them.
  • Be Specific with Plus-Ones: If the invitation does not automatically include a plus-one, explicitly state whether guests are allowed to bring someone with them.
  • Follow Up if Necessary: If you don’t receive responses by the specified date, it’s acceptable to follow up with a gentle reminder.
  • Accommodate Late Responses: Understand that some guests might not be able to respond by the RSVP date. Be flexible and accommodating to late responses whenever possible.


It’s clear that the choice between postcards being tacky or trendy ultimately depends on personal preferences and the nature of the event. While some may find them charming and convenient, others might prefer more traditional methods.

The key is to prioritize clear communication and make choices that align with the overall tone of your celebration. After all, etiquette is about thoughtful consideration, and whether you go with postcards or another method, the most important thing is that your guests feel welcome and informed.

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