When you send out your wedding invitations, you probably don’t just want to wait until the day of the event see if your guests will show up. For an event with as much advanced planning as a wedding, asking invitees to let you know if they will be attending through RSVPs is customary. It may seem obvious that you want your guest count to be as accurate as possible when it comes to finalizing orders. There are other benefits of having your guests respond to your invitation, however. You can ask guests if they have a dietary restriction or if they plan to bring a plus-one, for example. And how you ask wedding RSVP questions can affect how soon you’ll get responses and be able to finalize your guest list. To get you started, here are a few things to remember when it comes to wedding RSVP cards.
Wedding RSVP card options
You want to make the process of responding as easy as possible for your invitees. Sending paper and digital RSVP cards gives people the option to respond in the way they are most comfortable with.
With paper cards, make sure they are pre-addressed and the postage is paid. This makes responding as simple as filling in the card and dropping it in the mail. Any extra steps your guests have to take will likely just lead to more delays. Even if you are using paper RSVP cards, it’s also a good idea to include your email address and the link to your wedding website. Giving people more options on how to RSVP can only help get them in faster!
Combining your digital RSVPs with a guest list management tool can really come in handy. Joy’s guest list tool automatically creates columns for your wedding RSVP questions and fills them in when invitees respond. It also allows you to see your RSVP rate and current guest count at a glance. Even if you have guests who prefer to respond by paper mail, you can easily add in their responses and have everything in one place.
There are really just two things that an RSVP card must have: the RSVP deadline and a place for invitees to indicate whether they plan to attend or not. If you’re allowing single guests to bring plus-ones, it’s also essential to include a way to them to indicate if they will. We usually recommend adding other relevant questions, but if your main goal is to keep it simple, you can go with just these two or three things. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure that your RSVP card is easy to read and understand. You don’t want your loved ones accidentally marking “not attending” because the design isn’t clear! In keeping with the spirit of giving your guests options for responding, we also highly recommend that you include your email address and a link to your wedding website.
As for your RSVP deadline, you should set it for two weeks before you really need responses. This gives you time to contact invitees who have forgotten to respond and to check, double-check, and triple-check your final guest count. You won’t want to end up panicking at the last minute because your cousin forgot to respond and is away on vacation the week you need to have your final guest list!
Of course, you also need to have a way for invitees to indicate whether they will attend with a simple yes or no. If you are allowing plus-ones, it can be a good idea to make that a yes or no question as well. If you do allow plus-ones, you have to be prepared for the possibility that all of your single guests will bring someone else along.
Other wedding RSVP questions
Digital RSVPs make it particularly easy to ask all the relevant questions, since you don’t have to worry about fitting it all on a physical card. However, you still don’t want to send all of your guests a questionnaire that takes them 15 minutes to fill out. Remember, making it easy for your guests to respond is key. From the questions below, you’ll want to choose which ones are most relevant to your wedding. If your really do need to include a lot of questions, make as many of them multiple-choice as you can.
You can use your digital wedding RSVP card as a way to get everyone’s address for sending paper invites, or use this info to send paper thank you notes after the wedding.
It can be a good idea to have a phone number for all of your guests to contact them in case of last-minute changes to the schedule or location, for example.
Dietary restrictions or allergies
It’s a great idea to include this question to better accommodate guests at meal time.
You can ask your guests whether they need help finding a hotel. If a lot of guests are traveling for the wedding, it’s a great gesture to provide accommodations (if your budget permits) or at least give suggestions for good places to stay near the venue.
This will be specific to your wedding and can include a lot of things. If there’s a shuttle from the airport to their hotel or from their hotel to your venue, for example, you may want to have guests indicate whether they have need of it.
Their relationship status
Though being relegated to a singles table may not be something your guests want, you can still use this information when creating your seating chart to have tables with a healthy mix of singles and couples.
There are plenty of other things you could ask, such as what song they want to hear at the reception. If you have a Joy wedding site, the RSVP question tool will give you lots of creative suggestions!
Reminding invitees to respond
In a perfect world, everyone you invite to your wedding would read your invitation and respond right away. And even if in reality things aren’t so perfect, many of your guests might do that! But the obligations of daily life and the constant barrage of communications through email, text, and social media, can make it easy to get distracted. The people that you invite definitely mean to let you know ASAP, it’s just that sometimes life gets in the way. Keeping this in mind can help you manage your expectations and focus on what’s important.
If you’re worried that some invitees may have missed your invitation somehow, Joy allows you to see whether guests have viewed the email. You may have an invitee who receives hundreds of emails a day, and it’s possible they just didn’t see it. If someone has viewed the email but has yet to respond, they may just be taking some time to make sure they are able to make it. In most cases, it’s best to wait until the RSVP deadline you indicated before using other methods to ask guests for a response.
Once the deadline has arrived and you really need a final guest count, it’s time to send some polite reminders. For some, this can be fraught with worries of offending potential guests. While it’s always important to be polite, you have every right to reach out to someone to confirm whether or not they will be attending. And in the real world, stuff happens. An RSVP card could have gotten lost in the mail, or someone may just not have realized they didn’t click send on that email reply. To make the process easier, Joy provides templates for reminder emails to help you with wording.
Know who will be there and plan for them
Your wedding RSVP card is a vital part of your guest communication plan. Carefully planning the questions you want to ask and how guests can respond will only make things easier once it’s time to finalize your guest list. That way you can spend less time worrying about who will show up and more time planing a party that your guests will love!
Get Started – Manage Wedding RSVPs
Joy makes it easy to customize the questions your guests answer when they RSVP to your wedding. While we provide plenty of great suggestions for RSVP questions, you can also create as many custom questions as you need.
Customize your wedding RSVP questions and manage responses: