We know how exciting it is to plan a wedding. And we know the rush you get when you officially send out your invitations. And then we also know the utter frustration you feel when some people JUST. DON’T. RSVP.
Ok, they’re not jerks. (tell yourself that) They are just busy. You’ve been there. You’ve gotten an invitation before and you may have let the deadline slip. But you received the invite and it went to the place where all things go to be forgotten: the mail pile. And it just sat there. You felt bad, but it certainly didn’t keep you up at night.
Well, now you’re the bride. You’re planning a wedding and you’ve sent out 125 invitations. Your RSVP date is just 5 days away and you’ve only received 10 response cards, and one of them was your incredibly-excited Mom, so that doesn’t even technically count.
If you’ve already sent out your RSVPs, these tips won’t help you (just being honest here). Head down to the bottom of this post for some ways to tackle getting responses once you’ve sent them out.
But if you haven’t sent out your wedding invitations yet, we’re going to teach you three ways to get a quick response for wedding RSVPs.
01. Give guests the option to RSVP online
Uh-oh. We just heard the *gasp* of a million etiquette-junkies.
Yes, the “proper” and “traditional” way to respond to a formal invitation is to reply with the pre-stamped, foiled engraved RSVP card that was so neatly tucked into your inner envelope.
BUT… our current world traditions are changing. And while not everyone agrees, we feel that it’s 1000% ok to allow your guests to RSVP online.
Note: We don’t recommend making it the only way for guests to RSVP. Nana and those less tech-savvy friends may have a hard time with this. So give people options. If you’re going to accept online RSVPs, be sure to also include an RSVP card or maybe just a phone number to call/text.
There are some great paid and free options out there that allow you to set up a beautiful website (and you know we love wedding websites) that allows you to track your RSVPs. Each site offers different options, so be sure to pick one that works best for you. Plus wedding websites also allow you to include all sorts of juicy information that’ll keep you sane and your guests “in the loop”.
Free option: WeddingWire
Free option: MyWedding.com
Paid option: Riley & Grey
Riley & Grey is our top-pick for the paid department because of their beautiful designs. Plus, you can get invitations to match creating a brilliantly cohesive look for your wedding. And “everyone” says that your wedding stationery sets the tone as your first impression for the wedding. So, ya know, no pressure.
Paid option: RSVPify
02. Give your Wedding RSVPs a little personality and spunk
Anytime you can infuse some humor, snark, whimsy or whatever your personality IS, into your wedding day, we’re fans. One of the easiest ways to get people to PAY ATTENTION is to give them something unexpected. When you have an RSVP card that falls outside of the lines of “___ Attending / ____ Regretfully Declines”, people will stop to look.
Here are two great examples from Etsy shop owner, PapelLindo:
03. Don’t give guests TOO much time to respond
There is a fine line between sending out your wedding invitations too early and too late.
As long as you’ve sent out Save-The-Dates and have given out-of-town guests enough time to make travel arrangements, we highly recommend sending out your invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding, with an RSVP date of 4 weeks before the wedding.
Note: This timeframe means ACTUALLY sticking them in the mail. Be sure to factor in at least 3-4 months of choosing, writing, designing, printing, shipping, assembling and addressing BEFORE stuffing them into the nearest mailbox.
Another note: Your RSVP date should give you 7-10 days to track down any unanswered RSVPs BEFORE having to give any type of final count to your caterer, venue, rental company and any other guest-list dependent service. Before printing anything, be sure to double check that you’re giving yourself enough time to give them an answer.
So the psychology behind sending an RSVP date without too much time to respond is that dreaded mail pile we mentioned earlier. When you receive something that isn’t urgent, it tends to get put to the side. You might come back to it, you might not. When you receive something urgent, you tend to act on it in the moment, vs. waiting.
If you’ve sent out Save-The-Dates, most of your guests have already decided if they’re coming or not. Give them a short window to RSVP and you may see that more guests respond as soon as they get your invite vs. waiting until closer to the deadline.
If you’ve already sent out your invites:
These tips won’t help you. But, we can tell you that it is 100% acceptable to call/email/message/text/bug anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d once your RSVP date has passed. The polite thing to do is assume their RSVP was “lost in the mail” (never assume or accuse) and check to see if they’re coming.
It’s considered to be in bad taste to complain about people not responding on your Facebook wall, but we feel that a gentle reminder to close friends and family isn’t a bad thing if you spin it in a delightful/excited/innocent sort-of way.
It’s important to remember that people have a life outside of your upcoming wedding (we know… what?!?!) and that they truly may have just forgotten to RSVP. Try not to hold grudges and focus on the good. Like your wedding cake.