A Very Interesting Take On The RSVP Card

by admin on April 10, 2013

Reddit user Herm0 posed a photo Sunday of his sister’s RSVP card for her upcoming nuptials. The card pokes fun at how her guests might react to the invitation — check it out below:

 

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie April 10, 2013 at 5:16 am

This must be the most epic RSVP card ever! I might steal this idea for myself. :)

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Cherrypipp April 10, 2013 at 6:58 am

Amusing to a degree, but ultimately in bad taste. It presumes the invitees might have bad manners, which in and of itself is bad manners. I’d politely decline.

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Bint April 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

I thought that. The originality is funny, but without that first-time originality, it’s not very polite.

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clairedelune April 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

For that matter, you could make the argument that the *existence* of RSVP cards assumes bad manners on the part of the guests, since it implies that they don’t know enough to respond without having stationery and a stamp provided. But might as well just take this in the lighthearted spirit in which it was clearly intended–it seems a shame to decline an invitation just because of this.

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Kimstu April 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

You’re right, although if I received such an RSVP card from a couple I liked, I’d just chuckle and check the “Gladly Attend” box.

The fill-in-the-blank for “Number of Guests Attending” is risky, though; as many bridal couples have found, many recipients interpret that as “How many are there in your party?” rather than as “How many of the individuals specifically included in this wedding invitation will be able to be present?” When you address an invitation to two people and they blithely respond that the “number of guests attending” will be 4, things can get sticky.

Which is one reason I personally think that reply cards ought to have no preprinted text on them. It’s nice to provide your invitees with an addressed stamped card to reply to your invitation, but they should be trusted to figure out for themselves what they need to write on the card. Filling out questionnaires is not a very festive activity.

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gellchom April 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I agree with this. We always just include a stamped envelope with a card that is mostly blank and says something like, “We look forward to celebrating with you. Please reply by [date]” or even just “Please reply by [date].” Every single guest for every single event knew exactly what to do with that card: they told us who was coming and to which events (if there was more than one involved). It also avoids that pointless “M_____” that so many of us dislike, too. So many honorifics and titles don’t start with “M” — Dr., Rev., Col., Fr., Sen., Hon., Rabbi — I’m sure you can think of dozens more. And those whose honorifics do start with “M” can surely write their own “M” — if they even give themselves honorifics.

A plus is that people are more likely to write you nice little notes, too.

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AthenaC April 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I disagree. I think the couple is poking fun at themselves, implying that there would be something undesirable about their company that would cause people to either “resentfully attend” or “enthusiastically decline.”

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Mary April 10, 2013 at 7:33 am

Very cute and I like the song request option!

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Ange April 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Me too! I think I’m going to steal that idea for my upcoming wedding invitation mailout.

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Bint April 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I thought that was a pretty standard thing in wedding invitations these days? I’ve seen it loads.

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Lo April 10, 2013 at 7:36 am

I like this so much! It’s funny for a large audience without being mean-spirited and it’s incredibly useful to have a song suggestion. This couple seems like the type you’d want as friends!

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bloo April 10, 2013 at 9:16 am

I think it’s hilarious and my guess is that it will resort in a higher number of responses to RSVP than a standard card!

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Amanda A April 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

I always make a joke about this when I have an RSVP card to a wedding. Something along the line of “what if I want to regretfully attend the wedding?” I think it’s really funny that they did that.

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WildIrishRose April 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hilarious!

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Sarah Jane April 10, 2013 at 9:48 am

I think it’s cute. Likely reflects the personality of the happy couple and sets the tone for a fun wedding.

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Wendy B. April 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

I love it! Shows that the couple has a sense of humor.

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Gellchom April 10, 2013 at 10:25 am

It is cute, but I think I agree with Cherrypipp, because the basis of the joke is presumed possible rudeness or bad will on the recipients’ part. If you’re going to make a joke, make it at your own expense, not your guests’.

The line about the music doesn’t have that element. I think that one is fine. I like it.

I would caution you that just because you haven’t seen something before doesn’t mean your guests haven’t. No matter how clever someone seems the first time — in fact, maybe all the more so the more clever it is — it clanks the next time. I have seen several times response cards with lines whose first letters spell the honoree’s name as well as “Double desserts for a prompt reply!” Same principle as a clever outgoing voice mail message – no matter how amusing the first time, by the tenth … Not so much.

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Jay April 10, 2013 at 10:44 am

Awesome.

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Cat April 10, 2013 at 11:15 am

They forgot one, “Will attend with five extra people you did not invite and then none of us will show up at your expensive reception.”
I would take this in good fun and not be offended. An offensive card would be one that reads, “You are not invited to join us on this happy occasion, because a) We don’t like you, b) You are too cheap to give us a really expensive gift/help pay for our wedding, c) Someone else in our wedding party used to date you and doesn’t want you there, d) No reason, we just enjoy insulting you and then we can act like you have no sense of humor. Ha, Ha.”

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Sarah Jane April 11, 2013 at 12:12 am

Or how about one that reads, “If your invitation is marked, you may arrive at 6pm for the dinner reception. If your invitation is not marked, you are welcome to join us at 8 pm for the POST-dinner reception.”

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Corine April 10, 2013 at 11:28 am

I think this is very fun, and definitely sets the mood for an upbeat, lighthearted wedding. And if anyone is offended by this RSVP, then it’s likely they will be offended at some point during the wedding or reception as well. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong to be offended by this, I just think it does an excellent job of expressing the personality of the couple, and setting the mood for the event, which gives guests an idea of if it’s an event they wish to take part in or not.

I, personally, think it’s absolutely fantastic, especially if the couple is very much in tune to their ‘target audience’.

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inNM April 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’ll laugh at it, and while I can see how each of those circumstances would fit people I know, I think in the end, I wouldn’t use it.

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Mae April 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I think this is hilarious.

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Cherry April 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I like this, but I’d only send this out if I was having a small wedding and was certain everyone who received it would take it the way it was intended…

Knowing my friends, they’d all probably tick “Resentfully attend” and think they were the only ones… XD

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Michelle C. Young April 12, 2013 at 2:04 am

So much of this stuff boils down to “Know Your Audience.”

That is the first, prime, and ultimate rule for humor. If your audience is the kind that would appreciate it, then feel free to use it. If your audience includes those who look at this as a pre-emptive strike against bad manners (or worse, an accusation of bad manners on the part of the guests), then do not use it.

For a small gathering, within a group of people who would appreciate the humor, go ahead. For a larger group, or even a more varied group, go with the safe formal traditions.

Or, if you REALLY know your audience, give the cards a personal touch. Send the traditional formal invitations sans RSVP card to the high-sticklers, a “formal” card to the less sticky of the sticklers, and this card to some of the others. In fact, for a few of them, you might even check a box, in advance, and include a note. For example, “Come on, we both know you’re only coming to get Aunt Molly off your back, so I took the liberty of marking it for you.”

I do love the song request, though.

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StephM April 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I was actually wondering about this the other day – would different styles of invitations imply some sort of A-list B-list? Imagine if Aunt Ethel, who received a traditional invite, overheard your mother discussing how funny hers was. I could see it getting a little awkward.

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Kiki April 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I think it’s cute as an idea, but I wouldn’t implement it as I find it more than a little passive-aggressive. I do like the song suggestions, though. That was a great addition!

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TylerBelle April 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm

How clever! It sure gets your attention, and I’d think cause guests to more seriously consider their reply. Plus the song choice request is awesome.

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Angel April 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I like the song suggestion idea. Other than that I wouldn’t put all those options. Please, I can barely get people to respond with just two options on the card. Don’t want to confuse anybody.

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Shoegal April 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I think this is cute. I would have done that for my own if I’d have thought of it. The last response is generally the one most used. Wedding RSVP have stamped, address envelopes but it is usually just way to hard to respond for some people.

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NostalgicGal April 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Oh this made my day!

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AIP April 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

That’s hilarious! It might be lost on many guests, but brilliant for those you know with a good sense of humour.

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cathy April 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm

I love it.

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Kate April 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

I think it’s cute, but I’d omit ‘number of guests attending’ as that is just asking for trouble with some people. “Why yes, I will write in my three children, my next door neighbour and her partner of ten minutes!”

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Mer April 11, 2013 at 4:42 am

I think this falls in the category “know your audience”. If you have similar minded friends and relatives, I do think this might have a laughter or two within the invited guests. I have to admit that if a friend-couple (good, known to be able to take a joke back) would send this me and for some reason I could not attend, I would be terribly tempted to first mark the enthusiastically decline, mostly erase that and change to regretfully decline.

I was thinking about what somebody above said about about the filling number of guests attending and wondered, would people feel it insulting, if rsvp card would have “checkboxes” for each invited guests to mark if they are attending.
[ ] Jane Doe [ ] John Doe … etc
That would leave quite a little possibility for misunderstandings about who are invited. Could be also useful if it would have a line after the name for possible dietary restrictions. (It is common here to ask possible restrictions to be told when rsvp:ing so hosts can reserve suitable food.)

Also like the idea about the song-thing.

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Tanya April 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

For my RSVP cards, I had a line that I filled in that said “___ seats have been reserved for you,” and then I had meal choices with lines next to them to fill in the number of people selecting each meal. Also, the card had an RSVP code that people could use to go to our website and RSVP that way– the codes were also filled in by hand and corresponded to the party, so the website would show the number of people invited and reflect their meal choices.

Basically, no misunderstandings about how many people were invited, and if they used the card instead of the website, when got the cards back we could tell by the code which guest they were for.

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Michelle C. Young April 12, 2013 at 2:11 am

I love the thought about getting alerts for food restrictions. So many people just don’t consider it.

However, I don’t think putting those on the RSVP card are the best idea. I know it’s a whole lot of trouble and effort, but I do believe the hosts should CALL the guests, and ask directly. Why? Because it is the only way to ensure that you get the proper information for everyone. Plus, it gives you a chance to confirm exactly who is going to attend, as opposed to “Uncle Fred Plus One” or “Aunt Margery and Clan,” or “Grandma Bertha and her next door neighbor and the kid who waters her lawn.”

So many of the questions on this site could be solved or avoided entirely if people would just talk directly to each other. Yes, it is more work. But ask yourself, is it worth it? If you’re having 1000 guests, probably not. You have to balance the cost/benefit ratio. It all depends on your resources.

However, if you have the resources to do it, it will really help to avoid so many of the very issues that are listed on this card, alone, and a host of others, as well.

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Mer April 13, 2013 at 5:10 am

You are right. Alongside RSVP cards and suchlike, it is also quite common here to have the attending information gathered optionally by phone, meaning invitation states something like “please inform us if you are coming by [date] to [maid of honor/mothers of couple/couple itself] in number 1234567″. As common amount of wedding guests around here is +-100 people, and there are families in these, so amount of calls is not that large. And usually guests use this option if they want to enquire about gift wishes or ask something else.

I have to admit that perhaps due to the quite small weddings, it’s not that common to have +1 or avec invitations and I would have to admit that even with +1 invitation, people would be rather surprised if the invitee would take someone else than girlfriend/boyfriend. It’s not really usual to take friend or something like that as +1. :D That’s why I often get as first reaction here “whoa, somebody took friend as +1, how rude/weird” until I remember that maybe it’s just normal course of action in other places.

But yes, I think that calling to guests is also good way to work and I do think that often it might be useful to track those people who did not respond at all rather than stew in irritation while thinking if they will or won’t attend. Who knows, they might have just remembered the deadline wrong or something very innocent.

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Lex April 11, 2013 at 5:39 am

I’m with others that have said that this kind of card is really audience dependent. Personally I think it’s a bit rude – particularly the bit about ‘Not responding then ultimately attending’, but then context is everything. If you have that sort of family/friend relationship then it’s fine, but it’s not for everyone. If I sent something like that out people would be really offended. If I received something like that I’d roll my eyes. To me it comes across as a bit childish.

I did like the ‘Please list a song that will get you dancing’ though – that’s a lovely touch and shows how the B&G are considering the preferences of the guests in tailoring their reception music. I may definitely include something similar.

I also agree with a previous poster who observes that ticky boxes to confirm each invited guest means there can be no misunderstanding (genuine or otherwise) about who is invited. I, too, will be including a food preference option as I know many of my family are Vegetarian/Vegan/Lactose intolerant/Coeliac etc so this will be quite important.

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Michelle C. Young April 12, 2013 at 2:13 am

I like the individual checklists for planning purposes, and making sure that each guest has their needs met. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one in my family who appreciates such planning. If I sent my family members such a checklist, they would roll their eyes right out of their sockets!

And then I’d have to call them up to get all the details, myself, anyway.

So much is audience dependant, yep.

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gellchom April 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I wouldn’t send a checklist. People with serious food issues take the initiative themselves to tell the hosts, or else, if they prefer not to have to discuss it, just make their own arrangements. At most, add a small line saying something like, “Please inform us of any dietary restrictions.”

You can offer a choice of entrees, or just make sure that there is a vegetarian option available.

But don’t put options for vegetarian/vegan/lactose-intolerant/kosher/halal/gluten-free/allergies/salt-free and so forth on your response card. It will start to look less like a party invitation and more like a hospital admission form.

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Mer April 13, 2013 at 5:25 am

Yes, I don’t think that list of restrictions would be useful, there are so many different allergies. Just a polite question as you said, with option to write it down was my idea. I feel that as a host, it is my duty to make sure everyone can enjoy their stay. That’s why it should be upon me to ask about restrictions. In my experience many people feel uncomfortable to “throw” their restrictions in the face of the host. So they might not mention them at all. And if they are uncomfortable to state they have some restrictions, they don’t need to even if there is space for that.

Choice of entrees is nice possibility. With buffet it’s easy to offer multiple choices, however if there is one or two guests with serious allergy, I think I would ask the catering to do separate plates for those with similar but suitable food (compared to the buffet dishes). Guests do not always realize that it might be bad thing to take green salad with same utensils than the green salad with cashew nuts next to it.

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Lou April 11, 2013 at 6:12 am

*loves* this, although I can see how it might go down better with some people than others. And now I’m going through the guest list from my recent wedding trying to work out who would have ticked what – we had quite a few ‘will decline to respond but ultimately attend’, and I’d need to add an option for ‘will purport to attend until something more interesting comes up then bail with less than a week to go, when food and wine have already been ordered and paid for.’
I’m not bitter, I just haven’t regained my sense of humour yet. I’m assured that I’ll laugh about it one day!x

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gellchom April 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I don’t think anyone said it was “offensive.” Just not the very best type of joke for this use. Not awful, just not terrific. Look at the responses here: lots of posters love it, but some think it’s silly or not in such great taste. What proportion of your guest list are you okay with having that reaction to your wedding invitation?

For the record, I, too, don’t like response cards that give guests a choice like “Will attend with pleasure” or “Regretfully decline.” (I assume that the hosts of this event don’t, either, and that’s why they did this — I mean, that’s what they’re making fun of, right?) Don’t tell me how happy or disappointed I am about your event. Let ME tell YOU.

Yes, it’s a know your audience thing. But it is really easy to think about how your group of friends will totally get it and think it’s hilarious, because you’ve all rolled your eyes together at response cards as above — and forget that Grandma and some friends of the groom’s family you don’t even know are getting it, too.

This reminds me of when my friend and I had gotten so tired of seeing “original” dress codes that we fantasized about putting “Fancy-Schmantzy” or “Vulgar Attire” on our children’s b’nei mitzvah invitations. Our friends would have gotten the joke and thought it was funny, too. But we resisted the temptation, and I’m glad we did.

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Michelle C. Young April 12, 2013 at 2:20 am

Good for you for resisting temptation.

I confess, I often indulge in fantasies of what I would LIKE to do, but then I restrain myself. I do keep those ideas, however, for use in future writing adventures. One of my favorite authors described her writing style as setting up the worst possible situation she could for her characters, and then watching them claw their way out (I paraphrase).

So, I’ll remember this. Perhaps I will use it for some dystopian future, where this IS the accepted, traditional, formal format. Bwaaahahahaha!!!! Seriously, can you picture the social life then? Oy. The future, where the “original” and “creative” people have taken power. And our poor eHellDame has been magically sent into the future, where she is tormented by friendly invitations to party.

Seriously, though, I wish more people would resist the temptation.

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Mer April 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

I would think it would be possible to add few options to friends if you think it would be worth it so that they can get a chuckle out of it. Like having the standard invitation with black tie, cross the word out and hand-write a little note “you know, forget that, come in Fancy-Schmantzy”.

Actually I think I would be thrilled to have an invitation with a little extra note just for me. It is of course extra work for sender, but you could vary them so everybody got something little. For grandma you can think something else, “put on your dancing shoes, we have [grandma's longtime favorite song] on playlist”. Of course these would make the invite much less formal and elegant but would add little bit more feeling or humor while you can control the message based on audience. And the message of the invitation would still be same for everyone.

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gellchom April 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I like that.

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Library Diva April 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm

A part of my job is obtaining and coordinating materials from others. When the due date is coming up, I often send a “friendly reminder.” When my colleagues have blown the due date, I often feel like sending a “hostile reminder” worded the exact same way. So the first time: “This is a friendly reminder that materials are due tomorrow. Thanks!” And the next time:” This is a hostile reminder that your materials are now overdue. When might I expect them? Thanks!” I’ve never done it, because as other posts have said, I “know my audience” here and it would probably get more complaints to my boss than laughs. But I do fantasize about it. And I think this RSVP card is funny.

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Michelle C. Young April 12, 2013 at 2:23 am

Library Diva, when I worked as a secretary, I had people marvel that I did not say mean or cross things to or about the people at work.

They had no idea what I fantasized, though. Also, I had one sounding board, who knew no one there. Every now and then, I’d send the “what I’d really like to say” emails to her, and get it out of my system, so I could go back to the “friendly” reminders.

This card looks like something the Secretary With a Crossbow (from Dilbert) would have put together after planning a wedding.

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Lex April 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Personally I plan to go for something fairly benign – Ms X Will/Will not be attending, Mr Y Will/Will not be attending or words to that effect. If a guest feels strongly enough about not being able to attend (perhaps because they are unwell but wish to pass on their regrets) then if they care enough about it, they’d send an additional card with a ‘Best Wishes’ message – I know I would. If they don’t care enough to do that then they don’t care enough to worry about the to-the-point message on the RSVP.

Everyone has 20:20 vision in hindsight and what seems funny and quirky at the time will be thought of differently at a different stage in life so I think it’s important to do what you want and not have reason to regret.

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Bint April 15, 2013 at 4:48 am

I didn’t have RSVPs. I just left it. Everyone RSVPd by cards, emails or phoning.

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June First April 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Whoa. I wish I had your guest list!
I called people who didn’t RSVP (and some thought I should have *known* since they verbally said they might not come it was a definite “no”. Despite their lack of an actual RSVP.)
I also had a few who RSVPed as “yes” and didn’t show.

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Michelle C. Young April 12, 2013 at 1:54 am

I LOVE this!

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SFL April 12, 2013 at 11:07 am

I think its great! It is probably a reflection of the personalities of the couple as well as “knowing your audience.” And I LOVE the dance song request.

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Stephanie April 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

This is way cute! We did something similar with our RSVPs:

Will be there with bells on
Will be there but I don’t do bells
Will be there, undecided about the bells
Won’t be there, heard about the bells
Won’t be there with or without the bells

My mother and MIL took this idea and ran with it, surprising us with a box full of bells at the ceremony for everyone to ring for our first kiss.

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Enna May 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

I thought it was funny.

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