Wedding Invite Treachery: the Art of the Mandatory RSVP

So you’ve set the date, maybe even embarked upon the epic journey that is wedding planning – and now you need to sort out those all-important wedding invitations. The significance of your invites cannot be underestimated – this is the biggest day of your life, the ultimate justification for exhibitionism and the only sure way to be reigning Queen of the World, if only for 24 short hours.

So, to summarise, your wedding invitations are going to have to be something special if you want that ceremony fit to burst with adoring onlookers – and we’ve got a couple of ideas. The time has come to get conceptual – there’s only one right answer to ‘Are you attending?’ and with our help, you’ll be making an offer they can’t refuse.

Guilt Trip


One of the greatest persuasive tools at your disposal is the guilt trip. This can take a number of forms, ranging from ‘If you’re not coming, the wedding’s off’ to our personal favourite – leveraging the cuteness of children. If there’s the slightest doubt in your mind that some of your invitees will attend your big day, see how they fare against an invite penned by an innocent child.

Whether this is yours or a family member’s child, or a child you’ve hired for these purposes, have them write the wedding invitation in red crayon, preferably with imperfect spelling and grammar, supplemented by childlike doodles of the couple standing in front of one of those houses with the smoking chimneys. Any invitee would have to be morally bankrupt to refuse such a request.

Scratch Card

This will prove spectacularly popular with guests who have an appetite for gambling, but – to avoid having your bespoke wedding invitation thrown out with the junk mail – you should probably make your custom scratch card a little snazzier than is standard. If you’re looking for a slick, sexy aesthetic, try some luxury blacks and golds or go for a rustic, earthy palette on organic paper.

As far as the ‘scratch’ element is concerned, this can be a great way to promote your wedding’s many assets. The three scratch boxes might, for example, reveal ‘exquisite entertainment’, ‘fine refreshments’ and ‘banging tunes’ – simple and irresistible.

Scavenger Hunt


If you find yourself perpetually frustrated at how few opportunities there are for good old-fashioned piracy, you might want to arrange some basic scavenger hunts for your guests, leading them to your elusive wedding invite – marked, of course, by the letter X. This is only worth your time if you’re having an intimate ceremony with a select number of guests, otherwise the wedding invite scavenger hunt can quickly spiral out of control.

Send them a piece of paper in the post containing instructions on their next destination and, of course, make sure that they’ll find their next instructions upon arrival. Make sure none of the destinations involve mortal danger, and that all are within a reasonable distance – otherwise the benefits of your innovative invitation system will no longer outweigh the fundamental drawbacks.


The concept is straightforward enough – an invite within an invite within an invite within an invite. This is probably your most cost-effective and least time-consuming of the options available – simply print your invite on a small piece of card inside of a small envelope, which is placed in a slightly larger envelope, which is then placed and a larger envelope still, etc.

This will add some element of mystery to the proceedings and can provide an awesome anti-climax if you think outside the envelope and have your guests start with a parcel, gradually working their way down to the final envelope to find your lovely invitation therein.

Ransom Note


Those of you with a flair for the dramatic, unpersuaded by our more tame suggestions, might want to get a little sinister and take the ransom note route. What better way to turn your invitees into attendees than to pose a threat, should they dare consider not attending?

You will need the following things: magazine headlines, scissors and PVA glue (fake blood is an optional extra if you’re going for legitimate mental instability). Simply compose the text for your invite using cut-up scraps from magazines, ideally posing a subtle but very real threat to the recipient. If they believe there will be extreme and devastating consequences for neglecting to RSVP. They’ll be massively relieved when they show up on the big day and the venue is anything but an abandoned warehouse adjacent to a meat factory.

P.S. Have a good one.