R.S.V.P.s should be pretty easy, right? You invite someone to your wedding and they tell you whether or not they can attend. Simple! However, when you’re working on the scale of a typical wedding guest list, things can start to get a little crazy.
Because we’re all for making your life easier, here are some easy tips for making sure your RSVP experience is as hassle-free as possible!
1.Include a deadline. In a perfect world, your potential guests would all fill out and send back their RSVP cards the very same day they received the invitations in the mail. In reality, it may be quite a while before you see some of those cards returning to the fold. While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee a speedy response, you can help prevent late ones by giving your guests an RSVP deadline. A good rule of thumb for setting a deadline is to find out when your final headcount is due for your caterer and subtract two weeks. That will give you a nice buffer between deadlines so you don’t have to scramble around at the last minute trying to get responses from forgetful friends and family.
2.Take out the guesswork. No offense to your guests, but chances are that at least some of them have a somewhat avant-garde approach to penmanship. There’s nothing worse than getting an RSVP card back from an eager guest only to be unable to read the name they’ve cheerfully scrawled in the space provided. This problem is actually so common, that wedding planners have come up with an ingenious system to combat it. All you have to do is assign a number to each of the guests on your guest list and pencil it lightly in some unobtrusive spot on the RSVP card. That way, if you have any trouble deciphering a guest’s response, you’ll have a handy key for figuring out which guest the card was sent to.
3.Make it foolproof. The easier you make it for your guests to return their RSVP cards to you, the more likely you’ll be to get them back in a timely manner. Providing them with an RSVP card envelope is great, but pre-addressing that envelope and slapping a stamp on there is even better! That way, all they have to do is write their name, check a box, and drop it in a mailbox. It’s a bit of extra work, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run!
4.Spreadsheets are your friend. Whatever your opinion on spreadsheets, they will most likely come in very, very handy during your wedding planning. One such way is in keeping track of your guests! A typical guest list spreadsheet would hold guests’ names, any plus ones, guest addresses, and the date invitations were sent. You can also have columns for entrée preference, RSVP response, gift and thank you note. Update the sheet as each new RSVP card comes in and all your data is in one convenient place.
5.Use online tools. Did you know that many wedding website providers now allow you to manage your RSVPs online? Guests can even input their RSVPs through your wedding website (using that phone they carry everywhere), which has the added bonus of cutting down on stationary and postage costs. If your wedsite doesn’t offer this feature, there are a number of free RSVP Management websites, such as anrsvp.com and FreeRSVP, that offer the same service. You may still have to send out a few RSVP cards for your less computer-savvy friends and family, but it will definitely make things easier!