Having guests reply to your wedding seems simple enough. Mail out your invitation, include your postage-paid RSVP card, sit back and wait. Right? Wrong.
In a world when Facebook invites are common and get-togethers can even be planned via Blackberry Messenger, an RSVP card may be a foreign object to some of your more web-savvy (less Emily Post-savvy) friends.
To solve the mystery of the missing response cards, you first have to understand the problem. There can be a few reasons why guests may not be replying…
- Some of your guests might think you know that they will be attending. A close friend – or perhaps even a member of the bridal party – may not feel the need to formally reply.
- Others may have a conflict, which they have known about since receiving their Save the Dates, and won’t be able to attend. They may think you are already aware of the situation and decline to send you formal notice.
- There is also the possibility that guests will only think to reply if attending – leaving you playing the guessing game when it comes to your final headcount!
You will want to make the wording on you RSVP card extremely clear, so that guests will know to fill in all of the details. You can use some of our sample wording and start with the basics…
It’s important for you to have a place to indicate their name. The traditional “M______________” may be confusing to some guests. Filling in “Me, Myself and I” rather than “Mr./Mrs./Ms…..” may seem far-fetched, but trust us – it has happened! It’s becoming common to see the more straightforward formatting of “Name _____________” to avoid that sort of situation. You can also number the back of your RSVP cards (although depending on the size of your guest list, this can become tedious), so in the event of a no-name RSVP card, you know which of your guests received it.
If you’re having a plated meal, adding your menu choices to the RSVP card will also encourage guests to reply – since it will be clear to them that not only do you need to set place settings, but the kitchen will need to know how many of each entrée to prepare!
If you are having a buffet meal, you won’t have this option. However, you can still request that guests indicate how many are attending, including their guests, as well as if they are unable to attend.
In this internet age, you may want to give your guests the option of responding to you via e-mail. You can include an e-mail address on the bottom of your RSVP card for this purpose. Yes, you can look at it as a waste of the beautiful wedding ring stamps you picked out and carefully placed on each envelope. Or, you can look at it as one less person to follow up with a few weeks before the big day!
Following up with your guests is key. No matter how simple your RSVP card – or how much you cross your fingers – there are always going to be guests who just don’t respond. You can divide your list amongst yourself, your fiancé, and your mothers – as is customary – and start making the rounds. A phone call or e-mail, or even a face-to-face conversation, will help you nail down the final count – and also make your guest feel important!
Now that you have your number, it’s time for the seating arrangements! Good luck!