In my previous entry, RSVP’s = Death, I told you all about how many problems I am having and how this is normal and most brides go through this stress. Now, I will tell you how to make the RSVP process as stress free as possible. Notice how I said AS POSSIBLE, this is because not matter how many precautions you take, there will always be something that happens to screw it up. However, these tips are to try and help eliminate as many of those stressors as possible for you.
1. Create a Wedding Spreadsheet
Do this when you are doing your invitations so you can keep track once the RSVP responses start trickling in. Put the Guests Name, Response (yes/no), # of guests attending and meal preference (if applicable).
2. Number the RSVP cards
Put a number in the corner of each RSVP and then put the number on your spreadsheet corresponding with each guest name. You can also use an invisible ink pen if you would prefer guests not seeing the number.
3. Always have a few invitations for backups
Have a reserves list for people you will invite when some guests decline and have the invitations ready to go. Typically, 25 to 30 percent of guests will decline because of prior engagements. So, make sure you are prepared to fill in your budget, but don’t go overboard.
4. Give a specific date for guests to respond by
Some venues want a final head count 30 to 45 days in advance. So make sure you have the RSVP Response Date early enough to give the venue and appropriate vendors enough time.
5. Include proper postage
People are more inclined to send RSVP’s back if they already have a stamp and a pre-addressed return label on the envelopes. Otherwise they have to remember to buy a stamp, write out your address and send it in. I know it sounds like so much work… better to be safe than sorry. Also, make sure you have enough postage on your invitations! There is nothing worse than getting them all back and having to redo everything. So, go to the post office, weigh out an invitation and send them!
6. Add an extra line to your RSVP
It is hard enough trying to get your guests to send in your RSVP cards let alone get them to put their names on it. But trust me; add a line under the Accepts with Pleasure part, “_____ Number of guests attending.” This one line will help give you so much more of an accurate count of total guests attending.
7. Friendly email reminders
Notice how I said FRIENDLY? Now I better than anyone understand that when you spend as much money as you’re spending on a wedding, the slightest thing can royally upset you or downright piss you off. RSVP’s are the surest way to turn a stressed out bride-to-be into a Bridezilla. With that being said, try to breathe and send out friendly reminders to your friends and family that you will need their RSVP’s back to have an accurate count of how many people are planning to attend to make sure the caters will have enough food to feed everyone. One mention of food (free food) and see how many RSVP’s you get the next day.
8. Unwanted guests
People, especially family can be so presumptuous. However, we have to love them right? Well, okay maybe sometimes we don’t have to. Anyway, when you send an RSVP to a family of 4 and you get back a RSVP with 5 guests, it is completely, 100% in your right to call and find out who the extra person is. This is your wedding and you have every right to decide on the guest list. So, if you do not like that your cousin decided to bring her newest fling, then guess what? Tell her sorry, but there just isn’t enough room. If she has a problem with it, then I guess you have one more meal for your hungry fiancé.
9. Send out Save the Date Cards
Trust me, this goes along with RSVP cards and eliminating stress. If you send out Save the Dates, then you can drastically reduce the number of guests who Decline with Regret. I know they can seem like a waste of money, but take it from someone who regrets not using them! We will be missing two very important people from my fiancés side because they are leaving a few days before our wedding to go to another country. If we would have just sent them out and spent the extra cash, we would have them there at the wedding with us.
10. Perfect timing
Make sure you send your RSVP’s out within 2 to 3 months before the wedding. This allows people enough time to send them in and make sure they do not plan anything around your big day.
11. Don’t take it personal
If you aren’t receiving any RSVP’s try to remember not to take it personally. A lot of time people just assume you know they are coming or sending an RSVP is a formality and they do not think you want them back. Try to be as understanding as you can, to a point.
12. NAG, NAG, NAG… and NAG some more!
Now, I said don’t take it personal, to a point… but, weddings are pricey, the food is pricey, the chairs, tables and table settings are pricey. If you are paying for your own wedding, or even your family is paying for your wedding then you have the god given right to nag the hell out of every inconsiderate possible guest. It is not difficult, either you are able to come or you are not. So keep bugging your guests until you get a straight answer, even if that means you have a few less guests. Let’s face it, if someone can’t decide if they can make it to your wedding or not, then chances are you don’t want them there anyway and they are not as important as you both once thought.
13. Remember: It is your wedding!
After all is said and done, you can only try so hard! By the end of this wedding you will probably start to notice that most of your family is completely inconsiderate and you want to bite their heads off. So this is my final tip, if you have tried several times to get a response from that one (or two, or five) guest who just simply cannot find the time to send in the RSVP or give an oral response…. Well then guess what? They have nowhere to sit and get no food. It is as simple as that, it’s their fault they were so inconsiderate and there is nothing you can do about it. So, let it go, move on and tough luck for them. ❤