One of the major frustrations I have heard from brides is getting their guests to RSVP. What’s with that anyway? ‘I’m getting married, you’re invited, why can’t you confirm (tell me) that you are going?” Seems simple enough.
Part of the problem might be the mindset. People don’t understand either what a RSVP is or why it’s important for the couple. So I suggest that you make it as simple for them as possible. Here are 3 ways to get your guests to RSVP and make your wedding planning less frustrating.
1. SHARE THE DEETS.
Let your guests know exactly how to RSVP and what your RSVP deadline is. So whether it is in the form of a reply card, an email address or on your wedding website, be clear on your invitation as to what you want them to do. And make sure to BOLD your “return by date”.
Tip: After talking to your caterer and venue in terms of a ‘must-know-your-numbers’ date, make your deadline on a Friday. It seems to be the perfect day for your guests to take a break from their busy week and upcoming weekend to look at their schedule, RSVP and move on.
2. GIVE THEM OPTIONS
Not everyone responds to the option of mailing back a Reply Card. I expect you have some friends who like to text or email? Make it easy for your guests to RSVP by giving them permission to in the manner that they prefer: online, email, and text messages are easiest for some, while mailing in an RSVP card might feel more comfortable for an older relative.
Tip: Before selecting your invitations, go over your guest list to see what way(s) your guests would be comfortable (and most likely) to respond. Don’t overdo the choices but make it as simple as possible. Take a moment and read this article on when to set a date for your RSVP as well as some words to use that might help.
3. STAY ORGANIZED.
Now that you’ve given people the way(s) to RSVP, avoid getting bogged down with their responses. As the RSVPs start to come in, make sure that you keep track of them in one place. That place may be a special RSVP service or a simple spreadsheet. The important thing is that you know both who has and who has not RSVPed, as well as what the responses are. As soon as you receive an RSVP, add it to the spreadsheet right away so that nothing gets misplaced or forgotten.
Tip: Keep a running check-in with your family members in case they have received some verbal responses. Your Uncle Peter might have told your dad he was coming figuring that was a sufficient response.
Your wedding guests have busy lives and probably get distracted like most of us. Not responding to your invitation is more of an oversight than a lack of manners. Some of your guests may need a gentle reminder that the RSVP deadline is coming up. Email is a great way to reach out to them.
If you need some advice on How to Manage your Guest List, check out this great download you can use.
As you work to put your guest list of who’s coming together, build in some buffer for the unexpected yay or nay. Expect one or two guests to drop out or not show up and one or two others to call at the last minute and ask whether they can still come. I’ve even known where a few have shown up uninvited and or never RSVPed. If you are mentally and logistically prepared for this to happen, it will be less stressful when it does!
At the end of the day, the most important thing is not to panic. There is no foolproof way of getting your guests to RSVP but these 3 ways should eliminate some of the headaches. Collecting RSVPs requires a patient and methodical approach. You will get there!
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