Wedding RSVPs: How To Get Guests to RSVP
The countdown to your wedding just. got. real. Which likely means you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the mail to show up on the daily. 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%… therefore the pressure is on. Your venue will need a final head count and your unfinished seating chart is likely haunting you.
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. So, at what point is it okay – and necessary – to reach out and remind them? Here’s how to help avoid tardy RSVPs in the first place, and what to do if you have some, which you probably will.
When Should Wedding RSVPs Be Returned?
Your RSVP deadline should fall three or four weeks from when your guests receive your wedding invitations and two to three weeks before your wedding date. 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 (or a week if you can spare it!) for the post office to pick up the cards and deliver them to you.
Following 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. No need to look like bridezilla. If you hit your RSVP deadline and find you’re missing names, start thinking about reaching out preferably by phone. Sure, texting is easier (and might be the best way to get a response from younger guests), but when it comes to etiquette, a phone call is the way to go.
It can be stressful or uncomfortable making those calls but don’t let that shine through. 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. If you don’t hear back from them by a certain date (a week before your wedding), you’ll unfortunately have to assume they’re not attending. 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. Is your dad’s second cousin dragging their feet? A little nudge from your parents might be all that is needed.
Increase Your RSVP Rate
One way to avoid doing the RSVP dance in the first place, give your guests options on your invitations! 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.
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