As London wedding planners, there’s a very common grumble that crops up time and time again when planning a wedding, one that leaves couples pulling their hair out in fact – the dreaded RSVP situation, or should we say – lack thereof!
Yes, we know you sent save the dates out well in advance and we completely understand that the invitations you lovingly poured your heart and soul into designing landed on doorsteps with months to spare, you even included a self-addressed, stamped envelope…so why, oh why, have people STILL NOT RSVP’d?!
Guys, we get it. With weddings costing a small fortune these days, you not only want to know who will be sharing your big day, you need to be able to account for every person attending from a budgetary point of view as well. So, although we can’t promise that these tips will guarantee you will get responses from everybody, they should certainly help!
Clarity goes a long way
Sounds obvious, make it very clear as to what you are expecting people to do! Whilst ‘RSVP’ is the traditional request, using simpler language like “delighted to attend” / “unable to attend” next to a tick box makes it simple for younger guests who may not necessarily be familiar with RSVP. Include a line that says “Please respond by [date]” to give an added hint!
It sounds obvious, but make it very clear as to how you would like your guests to respond. Including a physical rsvp slip is a great idea but with the rise of wedding websites (that have online rsvp portals) and with some couples opting to save costs and create a wedding email account or a Facebook group (yes, really!), it can be quite confusing. Keep it clear for your guests and you will see your response rate rise!
Urgh – the frustration!
Let us break this down for you – there will ALWAYS be some people you need to chase, sorry! From the very closest of family members who naturally assume you know they are coming, through to those who have flat out forgotten or even some who (sorry again!) are waiting for a better offer to come along, having to nudge the odd guest to respond is sadly part and parcel when it comes to guest list management. Wait until the day after your RSVP deadline has passed and make direct contact with those who have failed to respond. Give them a couple of days leeway, but that is all.
Draw a line in the sand
If after you have followed the above advice, there are still stragglers, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Controversial, we know, but your caterers and venue will need final numbers and you don’t want to be left wondering whether people will unexpectedly turn up on the day. We advise a very simple message along the lines of “Really sorry that you are unable to attend our big day, we will ensure that lots of photos are taken so will share a few of these with you after the wedding. Look forward to seeing you after the wedding and our honeymoon and we can tell you all about it”. Keep it simple and clear but ensure there is no ambiguity!