How to (Politely) Nudge Your Guests into RSVP-ing!
Whether you've been planning your wedding for weeks, months, or years, you've been putting your all into it; making sure it is going to be a day to remember, not only for you and your partner, but for your guests as well!
But there is one thing which is a little outside your control -The RSVPs. Once you have sent out your wedding invitations, it's so exciting to watch those “Yes!” RSVPs roll in. But, sometimes, getting people to RSVP on time can feel like a bit of an impossible task, whether you send invitations on paper or electronically, or a mixture of both.
If you sent traditional invitations, then RSVP cards were part of your invitation suite. RSVP cards—and the postmarked envelopes that they come with–make it easy for guests to say reply. However, that doesn't mean that they won't forget. They can be super-excited to receive your beautifully-designed invitation, and really intend to reply straight away, but then life gets in the way and they just forget or, perhaps, genuinely think they have replied!
Even if you have sent your invitations digitally, it still can be so easy for your guests to forget to let you know if they are going to be attending or not - we all have those mountains of emails to get through, don't we?
Sometimes, some of your guests may think that you 'know' they're coming, and may not realise why they need to send an actual response. They don't know how crucial an idea of numbers is to the organisation of a wedding! You'll need at least a close estimate of guest numbers to make a lot of decisions: from the venue, to the catering, to the florist who will create centrepieces for each table. And that's not to mention the seating plan, which you can't even begin to arrange without knowing for sure who is able to come, and who isn't.
So, in today’s blog, I am going to be giving you some top tips from other couples to help ensure you get your RSVPs promptly.
Make it Easy
Sounds obvious, but it's true: the easier it is to RSVP; the more people will do it on time.
That doesn't mean that everyone will, but it will certainly help. Even if you are sending out paper invitations, consider using an online provider like RSVPify to collect your responses.
For most of us, signing onto a website is by far the quickest and easiest way to reply to anything! rsvpify.com, or similar website, is as quick and easy as it gets for your guests. It also simplifies things for you as you won't have to keep track of responses yourself. And, of course, you can still send physical invitations to those friends and relatives who are not computer-savvy.
If you will be receiving physical RSVPs via cards, it's a good idea to track responses digitally in a spreadsheet. Simply make a column with all your guests’ names and then note yes or no, depending on their answer.
Tell Your Guests How They Can RSVP
The main thing to remember here is not to overcomplicate things. Keep it simple and spell it out to your guests.
Put your RSVP deadline date directly on your RSVP card or e-card, and tell your guests exactly how to reply, whether that is in the post or online. Give them enough time to work out whether they can come, but not so much time that they completely forget.
Usually, wedding invitations are sent in the post about 4-5 months before the wedding date. This gives enough time for the invitations to reach your guests, for them to work out any logistics and planning (travel etc.), and to return their RSVP card within the requested timeline (usually by two months before the wedding date).
Send a Gentle Reminder
Before the RSVP deadline has arrived, you can (and should) send some kind of reminder to those who haven't yet replied.
Don't worry that you are being overbearing - you're not! Your guests have every intention of letting you know of their attendance, but they are only human. Life has a habit of getting in the way and people forget. It is much easier to remind people before a deadline than afterwards, and many will be grateful for the nudge.
So about two weeks before the deadline, you can begin sending out little polite reminders to anyone you've yet to hear from. You can be gentle and kind whilst still firmly asking for the RSVPs by a certain date, and here are a few ways you could word your reminder:
Be Excited!: Our big day is so close now, and we're are so excited, we could burst!
Just a little reminder to RSVP by the [XYZ] deadline, to let us know if you'll be able to join in the fun!
Note: you can be excited and firm at the same time!
Update Everyone on the Planning: We've been busy bees with all the wedding planning and wanted to share some great news with you. We've been able to confirm our favourite local band to play all the best tunes which has made us even more excited to see you all. Get ready to throw some moves on the dance floor with us by RSVPing by [XYZ].
Note: Sharing some details about the day will make your guests even more excited, and helps soften the tone of the reminder.
A Straightforward Reminder: The two-week countdown to the deadline for responses has begun! As we prepare to make the final arrangements, we will need to have the exact headcount so please remember the RSVPs are due by [XYZ].
Note: By using words like ‘final’ and ‘exact’ you are telling your guests that it is really important that they reply on time.
Be Safe, Not Sorry: Plan for Missed RSVPs.
Even if, somehow, you do magically get all your guests to RSVP on time, things happen, and there is a good chance that someone will have to change their plans at the last minute.
For your own peace of mind, allow for a couple of last-minute additions in the numbers that you give your caterer, venue, or planner. That way, when Uncle Albert calls you the day before your wedding give you the good news that he can now make it, it won't cause you any last-minute headaches!
Planning for a few extras is always a good idea, and if the extra plates are not needed, we all have that friend/relative who will happily eat an additional portion!