Even though it is still summer I do love a fall, or autumn wedding as...
As a wedding planner, I often tell my couples that their guests will be the hardest part of their wedding planning. When planning a celebration for such a large group of people somewhere along the line the guests are going to cause you problems.
For many people it is the age-old problem of trying to keep your guests happy once they are actually at your wedding, but what happens before they get there? The RSVP can cause headaches for a lot of brides and grooms and it is something that comes a lot with my own couples whose weddings I am planning……BUT why? Why is it so hard for a guest to tell the person who has invited them if they are or are not attending?
Not receiving an RSVP on time can have a knock on effect with so many things, the catering, the budget, the seating plan…even the opportunity of inviting other people to take the place of the guest who cannot attend!
Personally I don’t feel that a person really understands the stress an RSVP (or lack of it) causes until they have been in a situation like planning a wedding or a big party themselves.
Since I have been married I make sure that I RSVP to an invite as soon as possible, not only will I reply but I will go and get a card from a shop and send a personal RSVP. Why?
1) I want that person to know that I appreciate the invite
2) I want that person to know as soon as possible that I intend to attend their event so their numbers are correct and up to date.
But so many people don’t do this and I know it is driving a lot of my current brides and grooms (as well as you lot) mad!
When I was planning my own wedding the RSVP situation wasn’t too bad but I did only have 35 guests! However planning my 40th Birthday party was a different matter! With 180 people invited I didn’t expect them all to come, but I did expect them all to RSVP. I didn’t expect a card or a letter but a quick text, phone call or email would have been appreciated! You see I had catering to pay for, drinks to order, other guests to invite if there was room for more, all of these things weren’t possible without an RSVP!
I see the frustration that my brides and grooms go through a month before the wedding still chasing up people who haven’t replied.
Years ago it was traditional to send out the invitations 6 weeks before the wedding. These days as our lives have got busier things have changed. Some couple choose to send out a Save the Date card a year before the big day, this is especially useful for couples getting married abroad or expecting a lot of guest who will be traveling a long way.
I tell my couples to look at sending their invitations about 4-5 months before the wedding day, earlier if they can as people these days need as much notice as possible. BUT is this where the problem lies? People get so much notice that they don’t see the rush to send a reply and then they simply forget?
On the other hand is their just too much choice these days? Cards pre stamped put into the invitations, email addresses, phone, texts, Facebook groups, twitter….so many ways to RSVP, that so many people just don’t bother all together??
I give my couples a Guest List Check sheet when they book me to keep tabs on their guests. I used it myself for my Birthday party and something like that does help keep a check on people, but it doesn’t help them actually reply!
So how do we get over this problem?
• Try and explain to your guests why you need an RSVP. If they know that your budget will be effected or your catering will be messed up if they don’t reply then this may help
• Give them fewer options, maybe just a phone number and email
• Put a date in your diary to chase them up a couple of weeks before the RSVP due date, chances are they have put the invitation away and forgotten all about it.
So now I’m handing the blog over to you, I want to know……….
1) Your ideas for getting a prompt RSVP
2) Your own RSVP stories, are you having problems getting a reply? Or have you been the person not replying? Are you just in the process of sending out your invitations and worried about your guest not replying?
Whatever the situation I’d love to hear from you, as I’m sure there are many of you experiencing this problem at the moment.
Big Boho Love