Seeing those RSVP holes on your wedding guest spreadsheet seemingly thumbing their nose at you can be very stressful. Yet you can take more control over your RSVPs than you might think. Here are some tips for getting RSVPs to your wedding invitations
This situation is not new. There is a long history of couples getting married feeling frustrated that their guests are leaving them hanging with a nail biting finish over whether they can attend. ‘Lets make it easier’, they thought, ‘and focus our guests mind’. Perhaps an RSVP deadline would help guests, they decided. Then it seemed a good idea to go one step further and include a stamped addressed envelope. Surely if people just had to mark off whether they were able to come and pop it in the post guests would do that. These ideas no doubt help, but they’re not a general panacea.
What to do about those who don’t RSVP?
The first thing you should do is try to reconnect with why you invited these people – perhaps a visualization exercise of the two of you as children rolling down the hill with abandon will help you feelings reframe from frustrated to nostalgic.
Either you or a member of your family should follow up with guests who haven’t responded about a week before your caterer needs numbers. You could do this by phone or by e-mail. Be polite and enthusiastic but be clear and to the point without lengthy explanations.
‘I hope you received the invitation to our wedding. We would be thrilled to have you there, but do understand if you can’t make it. Please let us know soonest as we have to give final numbers to the caterer by Tuesday. I’m afraid we won’t be able to change the numbers after Tuesday, so if we don’t hear from you by then we’ll be sorry you weren’t able to attend our wedding but look forward to catching up with you another time.’
If you’re feeling really kind you could do a second round of asking people to reply.
It’s important to make sure that your wedding guests understand that failing to RSVP means their ‘response’ will be regrets. It’s possible someone who hasn’t RSVPed will turn up, your caterer will usually be able to accommodate one or two extra people. Don’t get too stressed, it should all work out.
Interested in how to be a good guest? Here’s a blog post I wrote on RSVPing.
Do you have a thorny issue with wedding invitations? I’m here to help beyond design.