What Was The One Thing You Enjoyed The Least While Wedding Planning?
Getting Our Guests to RSVP to Our Wedding Invitation.
And there’s nothing wrong about this; one would think that people will respond in no time… you’re inviting them to YOUR WEDDING! So you send out the invitations and get excited to see the responses coming in. You wait… and wait… only to see nothing happening.
It usually goes like this… your guests receive your lovely-pretty-stunningly beautiful wedding invitation, think to themselves “sure we’ll go”, then leave the invitation somewhere – coz’ there’s plenty of time until the wedding – and simply forget about the fact that yes, a response IS expected!
Here are 5 easy ways to help prevent your guests from ignoring your wedding invitation:
1. BE SUPER SPECIFIC
All too often, wedding invitations include way too much information.
A wedding invitation should really just list the following: Who (that’s you and your honey), What (you’re getting married!), When (your wedding date) and Where (your wedding venue and a starting time).
An indication of the ambiance/style of your wedding, and a dress code must also be indicated on the invitation, so that your guests know what to expect / what to wear. Any other information does not belong to the invitation.
Most importantly, let your guests know exactly HOW to RSVP and what the deadline is.
i.e.: “Please email your RSVP response to [email protected] by June 15”
If you are including a RSVP card with your wedding invitation for your guests to respond by snail mail, allow at least two extra weeks before the real date you’ll want to have your responses in. In this case, make sure you also include a pre-addressed envelope that is stamped with sufficient postage with the RSVP card.
2. GIVE RSVP OPTIONS
Not everyone likes to communicate the same way… Millennials text, while your grand-parents will probably prefer to mail in their RSVP card, or call. Give your guests at least two options to RSVP, usually text or email. They’ll feel good that they can respond in the manner that they prefer.
3. BE ORGANIZED, OR DELEGATE
If you are not using the organizational skills (and professional tools) of a Wedding Planner to capture your RSVPs and follow-up with who has and who hasn’t replied yet, make sure that you keep it organized as soon as RSVPs start to come in.
The easiest way to do this is to start a spreadsheet of all your wedding guests (listed individually, not as a family), and to enter their responses right away when you receive them, so that you do not forget anyone or follow-up with someone who has already responded back to you.
If you are including a RSVP card with your wedding invitation for your guest to respond by snail mail, number each one in a corner of the card and write down in your spreadsheet list what number goes with which guests. You’d be surprised at the number of people responding without noting their names on the RSVP card! Having those numbers will help you identify immediately who the guests are.
As noted above, most guests will simply forget that they must RSVP to your wedding invitation if you don’t remind them.
A gentle way to remind them that they have not yet responded and that the RSVP deadline is coming up is to send an email. You can absolutely do mass email (you can cci all of the guests so that they can’t identify each other) or send a mass text message to them. Well, you can actually do both, give them OPTIONS!
Having either an email address or a cell phone number for every single guest is essential when you build your guests list – I know that’s big work -, as this is how you’ll be able to easily reach out to them as the deadline will be approaching.
5. FOLLOW-UP, AGAIN
Ideally you’ll want to set a RSVP deadline to be at least 2 weeks before your catering numbers are due. Don’t wait until the day before those numbers are due to start picking up the phone and call.
If some of your guests haven’t responded to your gentle email or text reminders (I’d usually need to send 2 or 3 of them to get the most part of the guests to respond) call them ON THE DAY that was indicated as the deadline on your invitation.
This will save you the stress of having a deadline yourself (the caterer) and not being able to give him accurate numbers.
Expect some guests to drop out at the last minute (those you’ll be charged for by your caterer no matter what) and for some others to call at the last minute asking if they can still come. You may very well have guests showing up on the day even though they responded they would not attend. Be mentally and logistically prepared for this to happen so that it’s less stressful when it does!
Easier yet, get me to handle your RSVP list! Not only will it save you tons of time, but it’ll also be so much easier to then design and update your floorplan & table seating chart as updates come in!
Do you need help handling your RSVPs? Ask me!
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Photo Credit: AngelM