Your Guide to Wedding RSVPs

Everything You Need to Know About Collecting Wedding RSVPs

The countdown to your wedding just. got. real. Which likely means you’re sitting on the edge of your seat as you eagerly await wedding RSVPs.

Here’s the deal: on average 80% of your guests will attend your wedding. Of the invitations you mail, 90% are likely to respond, meaning you will need to contact the remaining 10% to follow up on wedding RSVPs… therefore the pressure is on.

Take a few breaths and remember, your guests aren’t trying to stress you out. While you’re anxiously waiting by the mailbox, it is easy for RSVPs to slip people’s minds. In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • When should RSVPs be returned?
  • How to avoid late wedding RSVPs in the first place?
  • At what point is it okay – and necessary – to reach out and remind them?
  • What to do if you’re still awaiting RSVPs after your deadline?


blush wedding invitation suite with rsvp card

When Should Wedding RSVPs Be Returned?

Your RSVP deadline should fall three or four weeks after your guests receive your wedding invitations and at least three weeks before your wedding date. This time frame gives guests enough time to RSVP, while also leaving you enough time to contact those who haven’t RSVP’d.

You will need wedding RSVPs to:

  • Give your venue your final head count.
  • Give the caterer an accurate meal count.
  • Order wedding favors.
  • Finally finish that seating chart that’s been haunting you.

How to Avoid Late Wedding RSVPs

The key to getting guests to RSVP? Give them options, and make it as simple as possible! The more ways your guests can say yes or no to the wedding, the better for you, right?

While mail-in cards are still the traditional choice, not everyone uses the mail as they once did. It may be worth including a phone number, email address or wedding website, so guests have an alternate way to respond. If you decide to stick with mail-in cards, make them easy to fill out and make sure the return envelope is pre-stamped.

When to Follow Up With Guests About RSVPs

When you’re following up with guests on their RSVPs for your wedding, timing is key. You don’t want to start bugging your guests too early. For example, if your RSVP deadline is September 3rd, don’t start making phone calls on September 4th. Chances are a lot of cards went into the mail right as the deadline hit, so allow three or four days for the cards to make it through the mail.

A few days after your deadline has passed, you can start thinking about reaching out to guests. When it comes to etiquette, a phone call is best, but texting might be best to get a response from younger guests.

It can be stressful or uncomfortable making those calls. Stay cool, calm and collected and just say you’re just checking in to make sure they received the invitation, and you really hope they can make it, but completely understand if not. Your guests will likely understand and feel bad about neglecting their response card and you’ll feel so much better after touching base with them.

As for relatives who haven’t RSVP’d, it might be best to consult with your parents or your fiance’s parents before you make the call. They may have better luck getting in touch with those relatives.

What To Do If You’re Still Awaiting RSVPs

Your final head count is usually due between one week and two weeks before your wedding. If you don’t hear back from guests by a certain date (a week before your wedding), you’ll unfortunately have to assume they’re not attending.

white and greenery invitation with rsvp card

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