Wedding season is upon us and couples are busy plugging away at their wedding checklists. If you’re about 8-10 weeks out from your wedding date, you’re getting ready to mail your invitations. This is one of the most exciting moments in wedding planning, because you are finally unveiling the first major wedding detail…this lovely little announcement that gives a little hint at the tone of your marriage day! Soon those RSVP’s will be rolling in and you’ll be moving on to the seating chart.
…And then your RSVP date comes and goes and you realize a rather large chunk of your “honored guests” haven’t bothered to reply in any way, shape or form. Not only did they not send back the self addressed stamped envelope (how hard is it to write your name, check a box and pop it in the mailbox?), they also didn’t call, text, email, Facebook, Tweet….to tell you one way or another if they are coming. Your guest count is due at the caterers in a hot second. Mass frustration ensues.
The first thing to realize is THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU! Sorry to be so in your face about it, but it’s true. It’s best to prepare yourself so you can fly over the frustration and rectify the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Not receiving RSVP’s is rather common. So just know that you are not the only one this is happening to. It’s not you, it’s them. Some people forget, lose part of the invite, just have no clue about their schedule, can’t find a date…the list goes on. Some excuses totally suck, but some are legitimate so it’s important to be understanding. We know it’s frustrating, and ironically, many of your guests do to. Waiting on RSVP’s, especially during those last few days before the due date, is torture. You know the venue and caterer are waiting to make rental and food orders. You’re wondering if you need to cancel or add a centerpiece from the floral designer (it sure would be nice to know if you could ditch a whole table and save $100 on flowers and linens right?) and how many favors you need to purchase. The RSVP due date is a huge stresser at a time when you’re literally trying to tackle everything at once.
So how do you deal with a guest that hasn’t RSVP’d? According to Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette 6th Edition, you immediately get on the phone and ring them up. Put on your best smile and be kind and polite so your wedding bliss can be felt through the phone. Simply mention that you hope they received your wedding invitation and that you were just calling to check on the status of their RSVP. If you get a voicemail, let them know the time you need to hear back.
In order to help alleviate some of the stress, just assume that at least a few of your guests will forget to RSVP. If the latest any of your vendors needs the final guest count is two weeks prior to your wedding, make your RSVP due date three weeks out. This will give you a full week to contact late repliers, but don’t wait. As soon as that due date hits, get on the phone. You could even start calling 1-2 days beforehand, because if you haven’t received the reply yet, it’s likely you won’t get one unless you call.
If you have a substantial list of non-RSVPers, elicit help from your parents and wedding party. Just make sure they are going to be gracious and kind to your tardy repliers! Remember, these people were on your guest list for a reason and the ultimate goal is to have them at your wedding!
Good luck and happy planning!