By Riley & Grey|Wedding Planning|August 24, 2023

Why are your guests not sending their RSVPs in on time?

Image from @villabuonvisi

Are you a week ahead of your requested RSVP deadline with only 30% of the responses in hand? You’re not alone. During wedding planning, you set an ‘RSVP by’ date with enough time to get your caterer and other vendors an accurate headcount, accounting for some buffer time to chase down the final few who haven’t responded. But with so many tasks on your plate at this stage, an MIA guest can feel like a personal affront.

Know that while this is a frustrating part of planning an event, it’s completely common for invitees to get overwhelmed with life’s demands and procrastinate or forget. With some understanding, positive intent, and proactive planning, you can get what you need and not take it personally.

Send Invitations Early: Providing guests with ample time to make arrangements will encourage more timely responses. Sending invitations at least 8-12 weeks before the wedding allows them to consider their schedules.

Set a Clear Deadline: Make the RSVP deadline prominent on the invitation. This instills a sense of urgency and ensures that guests understand the importance of responding promptly.

Utilize Digital Tools: Online RSVP platforms are convenient and efficient, and calls Riley & Grey’s tools the best. Guests can respond with just a few clicks, eliminating the need for physical mail and potential delays.

Personalized Follow-Ups: Send friendly reminders as the deadline approaches. A personalized email or text message can serve as a gentle nudge for guests to respond. Here’s an example that helps avoid the issue of guests showing up without RSVPing:

“Hi, just a reminder that our RSVPs are due on [date] and we’d love to have you join us! If we don’t hear back by [date], we’ll assume you can’t make it and look forward to celebrating with you another time.”

Enlist back-up help: For the close family members or friends that have been asking how to support you, having them reach out on your behalf can speed up the RSVP process and relieve stress.

Make RSVPing Easy: Provide clear instructions for how to RSVP. If using an online platform like Riley & Grey, include the URL and any necessary passwords. For traditional physical RSVPs, include a pre-stamped and addressed response card.

Offer Multiple Response Options: Some guests might prefer to respond via phone, email, or in person. Cater to their preferences to ensure inclusivity.

Track Responses: Keep a master list of responses to stay organized, and follow up with those who haven't responded as the deadline approaches. Riley & Grey’s Guest Management allows you to gather as many details as you want, and gives you the option to communicate with guests further, all in one place.

Securing RSVPs in a timely manner is a common challenge faced by couples during the wedding planning process, and someone’s late response is likely not malicious. Even with all of the planning in place, you still may not hear from all guests. By being proactive and implementing some contingencies, you are more likely to avoid any major headaches and still have a fantastic wedding.