How to Get Your Guests to RSVP on Time

    Once you’ve sent out the invitations, you’re in for one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning: finally getting to watch those “Yes!” RSVP’s roll in. But getting people to RSVP on time can feel like herding some very lazy cats. Whether you’re sending paper or electronic invitations, or a mix of both, here are some tips to getting your friends and family to reply on time.

    Make it easy

    Keep it simple, stupid. The easier it is to RSVP, the more people will do it on time. Even if you’re sending out paper invitations, consider using Joy to collect your RSVP’s.

    For most of us, signing onto a website is much easier than finding the stamps. Using Joy for your RSVP’s is as quick and easy as it gets for your guests. It also simplifies things for you, since you won’t have to do any of the tallying yourself.

    If you have relatives or friends who aren’t computer-savvy, you can make an exception for them specifically. For instance, send Grandma a paper invitation and RSVP card.

    Tell them exactly how to do so

    Spell it out for your guests. Put your RSVP date directly on your RSVP card or e-card, and tell your guests exactly how to reply, whether that’s in the mail or online. If you’re using Joy, simply direct your invitees to your website URL and invite code (if applicable). Joy will guide them from there.

    Learn how to set up RSVP questions with Joy.

    Give them an appropriate amount of time

    Give your guests enough time to figure out if they can come, but not so much time that they completely put it off. A month to two months is a good amount of time for your invitees to manage their schedules and figure out if the babysitter is free. (If you’re having a destination wedding or a wedding over the holidays, your guests might need a little more time.)

    Follow up

    A friendly nudge can go a long way in helping you get your replies on time. Schedule yourself a reminder to follow up with guests about a week before the RSVP date. Say something like “We’re getting so excited for the big day, and we really hope you can be there! If you haven’t already, please let us know if you can make it by {your reply date}.”

    Even if you sent out formal paper invitations, it’s totally acceptable to text your friends to give them a little reminder.

    Prepare for last minute changes

    Even if you magically get all of your guests to RSVP on time, things happen, and there’s a good chance someone will have to change their answer last-minute. For your sanity, pad the numbers you give the caterer or the planner. That way, when Uncle Edward calls the day before the reception to tell you, good news, he actually can make it, you won’t have to seat him in the kitchen.

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