Let’s face it; planning a wedding can be quite stressful and extremely time-consuming. From coordinating your bridal party, selecting your menu and choosing your perfect flowers, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating your big day. However, there is one task that many couples don’t plan for or may not even think of — getting all of your guests to RSVP! So, how do you prevent any RSVP issues? We at Bridal Spectacular have a few tips to help!
Make it Easier on Yourself
For some unknown reason, guests always seem to have difficulty RSVP’ing for a wedding. They are either “too busy,” didn’t know if they could make it or not, lost their response card, or flat-out forgot to mail it…sigh! So as the bride and groom, you need to do everything you can to get an accurate guest count and prevent any unnecessary headaches. Keep in mind the following:
- The easier you make it for your guests to respond, the sooner they will likely RSVP.
- Be sure to obtain current phone numbers and/or email addresses for all of your guests so you can easily follow-up.
- Despite the fact that you will send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your wedding invitations, some guests will still choose to RSVP another way. Be sure to keep track and update your RSVP spreadsheet regularly so you don’t forget to count anyone.
Give Your Guests Plenty of Time to Respond
Send out your save-the-dates (at least 6 months before the wedding) and wedding invitations (at least 2 months before) well in advance. Also be sure to include self-addressed, stamped envelopes with your response cards and let your guests know that RSVPs are due at least 4 weeks before the wedding date. This will help ensure you can get everything finalized on time with your venue and caterer.
Provide an Alternative Way to RSVP
Having an additional way for your guests to RSVP will make your life much easier! If you create a wedding website (which is highly recommended) there is usually an option to RSVP directly on the site. Another option is to create a Facebook Event and let guests know they can RSVP there as well. To make it even easier for your guests, be sure to include the wedding website and/or Facebook Event URL with your wedding invitations so they don’t have to search for it.
A couple weeks after you mail your invitations, call and/or send a group email to your guests to confirm that they received the invite (this way that can’t use the excuse that never received an invitation!). If you don’t have a guest’s email, be sure to request it when you call so you can use it in later follow-ups. Also take this opportunity to let them know the importance of receiving RSVPs on time and how it can affect your budget, seating and catering. Since this can be a pretty arduous task, don’t be afraid to ask a family member or bridal party member for assistance to help lighten your load!
Hopefully by now you have everyone’s email address, and if not, simply call and ask for it. About a week before the RSVP due date, send an email reminder to anyone who hasn’t responded yet. This will make it easier for some guests because they can quickly send a reply while checking their other messages. For those who can’t attend, it also might be more comfortable for them to inform you via email.
Similarly, some guests may think a response is not necessary if they aren’t planning to go. To help prevent this, just include a sentence in the email that asks guests to also let you know if they are unable to attend.
Create a Way to Track Responses
Staying organized and tracking your responses will help you tremendously! Simply create an Excel spreadsheet or Word chart to track your guest count and also their current contact information. Tip: this spreadsheet is also a great way to track your wedding gifts so you can send thank yous after the wedding!
Once the RSVP deadline has passed, take a look at which guests you still haven’t heard from and then give them one last follow-up call. To avoid any awkwardness, you can give them your email address and let them know they can just email their response once they have decided.
Although in an ideal world you shouldn’t have to track down your guests for a RSVP, but doing everything you can will save you a lot of headaches and issues on your wedding day!
For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, please visit http://www.bridalspectacular.com or follow us on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest. And, be sure to save-the-date to attend our Winter Bridal Show January 16 and 17 at Cashman Center!