M
Beginner October 2020

i want to make it clear I'm not chasing down Rsvp's

Melissa, on May 21, 2019 at 4:31 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 29
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I really don't want to have to chase down RSVP's and am sending paper invitations with addressed and stamped RSVP return envelopes so there's really no excuse for guests to not send RSVP's. I know it's something everyone has to do and I will make exceptions for really important family members, but I'm thinking of putting something like this at the bottom of my RSVP's: "If responses are not received by ____, your party will be marked as not attending."


(the top of the RSVP's will say something like: "Please send your response as soon as possible, no later than ____.)

I know it might be a little harsh, but I don't have to time to mess around with grown people who don't know how to put a stamped envelope in the mailbox. I get that people may have conflicts but if you can't commit 6 months in advance, then you probably won't be able to commit at all. We are also having a destination-ish wedding in New Hampshire and my family will be traveling from CA. It will be an intimate wedding of approx. 60 guests (inviting 76 of closest friends and family).

Thoughts? Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

29 Comments

  • K
    Dedicated September 2019
    Kelsey ·

    Personally, I wouldn't put that actually on the invitations or RSVP cards. Having them stamped and addressed should make it easy enough. I'm sure there will be a handful that don't reply in time, but if you put that statement on there, I think you run the risk of people just not replying if they won't be there, and then you'll end up chasing MORE of them than you would if you just leave it.

  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment

    Ah, I see. Good point. Thank you!

  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
    I mean, what if someone’s invite or rsvp got lost in the mail? When I married my first husband, one of our friends sent his RSVP but we didn’t get it until 8 weeks after the wedding. It was postmarked 4 weeks before the wedding and he lived in the same town as us. Also, I don’t know anyone who can guarantee attendance 6 months in advance for a wedding. A lot of employers don’t even approve time off 6 months in advance.
  • Summerbride77
    VIP July 2019
    Summerbride77 ·
    Unfortunately following up on RSVP’S is just part of the processes. It doesn't take long and there are a million reasons someone might forgot to send that card back or you may not receive the card (postal service does lose mail plenty often).

    As for not being able to commit six months is advance, that is completely understandable. We're having a destination(ish) wedding too (family and friends traveling from our home states to where we are currently living) and we just had a guest rsvp because their financial situation changed and they could now afford the trip. A lot can change for better or worse in 6 months. When are you playing to send out invites / set rsvp deadline?
  • Cristy
    Rockstar May 2020
    Cristy ·

    This is a tough one, for everyone. As much as we don't want to chase down no-responders, we have to have an accurate head count. But here's something for you to consider: what if some of your invitations were lost in the mail, and never received by the intended guests? What if the RSVP card is lost in the mail, and never makes it back to you? Wouldn't you feel terrible if someone did put their card in the mail to you, only to have it lost, and that has you thinking they just didn't respond? Then you count them as a no, since you don't want to chase anyone down, but they show up at the wedding, never knowing you didn't receive their RSVP. What then?

    As much as it sucks, this is why couples need to track every RSVP, and get a hard yes or no before giving the count to the venue.

  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    This just doesn’t work as sometimes it’s not the guest that screws up but the post office. We were missing an rsvp card from a guest that was a family of 4. We DID follow up, which was a lifesaver because they responded that of course they would be there and had put the card in the mail. We figured “yeah yeah you forgot but don’t want to admit it” but then of course factored them into our numbers and seating chart....which is good as they traveled 5 hours to attend our wedding and got a hotel for the weekend, it would’ve been mortifying to not have a seat for them ..... especially since lo and behold, 2 weeks AFTER our wedding had occurred, a very crinkly envelope appeared in our mailbox— their RSVP card. Upon investigation it had been clearly post-marked on the date 2 days BEFORE our original rsvp date. So, they had responded, and done so on time. It would’ve been horrible to not have a seat for them because a piece of mail didn’t get delivered properly by the post office
  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment

    That's true. It will only be close friends and family who are mostly already committed to going, but yeah that's a good point. Thank you!

  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment

    So true! You're right, I was trying to find an easy way but it looks like there isn't one. Thank you!

  • FutureMrsD
    Rockstar July 2019
    FutureMrsD ·

    We sent out RSVP cards that were stamped & addressed with every invite. The top said "RSVP by June 10, 2019". We put on the bottom "You can also RSVP on our wedding website www.xx.com". We sent out save the dates with our wedding website 8 months ago, and at that time had all the information up & our RSVP open for guests wanting to start planning early.

    I'm STILL anticipating having to chase down RSVPs. For me, it's better I spend the 10 days I allotted myself (before our final count is due) texting, calling, and Facebook messaging the people I didn't hear from, than having them show up the day of and have not enough seats, food, or alcohol. I know there are some people we won't be able to get a hold of, and some that will say yes and not go, or say no and show up.

    We sent our invites out a little less than 3 months out (about a month ago) and we currently have 20 days until our RSVP deadline. We currently have 84 "yes", 36 "no", and are waiting on 108 people (so around 44 households).

    Our RSVP date is a little earlier than normal, it's around 40 days out from our wedding date. I think every bride is different. I'd feel less stress being as close as possible to our final guest count (I need it for our bar, our caterer, our desserts, our favors, our welcome bags, our pamphlets/menus, our seating chart, our provided guest transportation, and our nanny at the venue for kids under 10). But if you don't want to chase down RSVPs and are okay with the unknown, that is totally fine too!

  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    Oh, dear. I’ve only just noticed the “if you can’t commit 6 months in advance, than you probably won’t be able to commit...” bit. That’s simply not true. Most people, in fact, can’t commit to something that far out, many jobs won’t allow for it and many peoples’ life circumstances have a few variables that make planning that far into the future difficult. To seek responses that far out often leads to peoples’ plans changing, or you’ll run into getting more “no”s than expected as they can’t commit so early . For example, my husband is in the process of changing jobs; we’re not sure what the vacation policy will be and how long his probation period might last. So, we couldn’t commit to traveling now, even if you were a very dear friend and we really wanted to go to your wedding — we’d have to say no since we can’t guarantee we’d be able travel...even though, 3 months from now we may see that it would be absolutely no problem for us to make it. We frequently book travel last minute due to the nature of my own job. I’ve also seen the opposite problem happen when someone I knew sent invites about 6 months before the wedding. They had a few people respond “yes” right away because they answered based on desire - of course they wanted to go! So “yes!” but they hadn’t looked into travel plans yet, and were a bit sticker shocked when they finally did (holiday weekend airfare). There was a brief period of panic and back and forth with people being uncertain if they could make it. I know of one family that ended up opting not to bring the kids afterall due to the expense, so changed from 4 yeses to 2 at the last minute, because they had originally responded prematurely. The standard timelines for invites are based on these sort of lived experience, tried and true timelines. I wouldn’t send an invite out more than 12 weeks before a wedding, and I wouldn’t ask for responses with more than 6 weeks left until the wedding. (With a local wedding the standard is about 8 weeks for invites with RSVPs due somewhere around 3-4 weeks before the event [varies depending on when each vendor needs numbers], with a destination wedding you can get away with sending them out a bit earlier)
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Haha, sadly for all of us, that tends to be true across the board 🤣 (if we could
    figure out The Secret to Easy Wedding planning, we could be millionaires!..or at least the whole thing would be a lot less stressful hahah)
  • Lizzy
    Super October 2019
    Lizzy ·
    Six months is really early, so that may play into RSVPs also
  • Rae
    Devoted July 2019
    Rae ·
    Adding that could come off rude and as others have pointed out doesn’t take into account possible mailing errors. I’ve sent rsvp cards but also included a line saying guests may rsvp on our website. I think the online rsvp’ing Helped a lot bc many were received within days of the invite being delivered. For the remaining few I’m awaiting, my site (which is through Zola) allows us to send a text or email reminder with a link to guests that haven’t responded. In that reminder message, I’ll let guests know that a non response will be taken as a no.
  • T
    Super June 2019
    Tiffany ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I’d recommend this approach so they have two ways to do it. We did only online and some people were too lazy/couldn’t figure out the website even tho it was very simple.
    Id say try to make the statement humorous like “if you don’t rsvp and show up plan to bring a chair and a sandwich.”
    Put in BOLD letters the RSVP no later than xx. Despite all that you will still probably have plenty to track down. Seems to be par for the course these days. I got so upset at so many who didn’t respond. Maybe make the response card a magnet?
    I will say that wanting commitment 6 mos in advance isn’t really reasonable. Many people change jobs, have variable schedules etc. life happens. That’s why sending out too early can be a problem.
  • Renee
    Expert April 2020
    Renee ·

    I agree with others who have said about not being able to commit 6 months in advance. I have 6 kids, we have busy lives, I have no idea what's happening this month, let alone 6 months from now. I'd be more likely to say no if I had to rsvp so soon. I can make a commitment but not that far in advance. I hope you don't put that wording on your invitations, it's harsh AND rude.

  • FutureMrsD
    Rockstar July 2019
    FutureMrsD ·
    View Quoted Comment

    To my surprise, way more people used the paper RSVPs than the online RSVP. We have had a few use it though, so it's been nice for those. A magnet would be more $ to send, and may stick to other things in the mail or to each other (I've heard at least).

  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment
    That’s true, I’m just planning it all the way from CA too so I’m trying to just stay ahead of everything since it’s so difficult to plan with the time difference, etc.
    It sounds like the consensus is 6 months is too soon to want responses back. Im also trying to work in chasing people down time though, especially with FH’s family they are not the best with communication and getting things done on time.
    Im thinking I’ll send out invitations 5 months ahead and ask for RSVP’s back 4 months ahead? That’s about as much as I’m willing to stretch time wise. That gives me an extra month to chase rsvps before the 90 day mark.
  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment
    That’s good to know! We’re going to do magnet save the dates but definitely paper rsvps since we have a lot of non tech savvy people in the family
  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Thanks for the ideas! I think bold lettering with that wording will be about as much as I can do, that sounds like the plan.
  • M
    Beginner October 2020
    Melissa ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Oh wow I didn’t think of that, I’d be devastated if something like that happened especially since all of our guests are very near and dear to us. Great point thank you!

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