Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: RSVPs

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

It’s time for our Wedding Wednesdays Q&A and today we’re talking about RSVPs:  I sent out my wedding invitations over a month ago and my RSVP date was 2 weeks ago.  I’m really worried because as of today, I only have responses from about 50% of my guests.  I’ve been calling and emailing them since the RSVP date asking for an answer, but I either haven’t heard back or they say they need more time.  My question is, how much time do I give them?  And is there something I should be doing to make them get back to me?  This is really starting to stress me out.

Getting people to respond to RSVPs can be hard , so I understand your frustration.  Unfortunately, not everyone is considerate and timely when it comes to a response, so it falls to you get one out of them.  And the longer you wait to have all the responses, the longer it will take for you to finish your seating chart.  And of course, if final counts are needed for things like the venue or catering, florist or rentals, then you want to have that with enough time to make the adjustments you need to make.  So, let’s get you set up with a plan and de-stressed.

First off, I’d give all the remaining guests a final deadline.  Send them an email or call them and tell them that you need to know either way by a week from now (if you have enough time for that, if you don’t, then make it 3-5 days instead of a week).  Also, stress to them that if you don’t hear from them, they will be considered a no and will not be counted in your totals.  Be respectful and nice about it, but be firm.  If they don’t understand or give you flak about it, just tell them that you need to know in order to finish planning the wedding and that you’d really appreciate it if they would get back to you by the set date.  One thing to note here is that if any of the hold outs are people who you are very close to and who are in a special situation (i.e. family situation, health situation, etc…), you can and should be lenient with them.  You can either include them in the total for now or leave them out of the total with the knowledge that you might have to delete or add them later.

Now, hopefully, as you reach out to these guests and give them that firm deadline, you’ll get some responses.  But, for the most part you’ll probably still be waiting.  As you wait for these people to get back to you, you should start working on your seating chart.  Group the people who you know are coming on to tables and then put in the names of the outstanding guests that you think have a high probability of coming.  This may sound counterintuitive since you don’t yet have a final count, but what this does is it allows you to have a draft that you can add to and delete from as you hear back.  So, by the time the deadline hits, you won’t have to work as hard or spend as much time on the seating chart and can immediately move on and work on things like the seating cards or place cards and giving final counts to your vendors.

Do you have a wedding planning question you need help with?  There is no such thing as a dumb question.  We’re here to help, so send it our way!

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