Next up: RSVP wording and responses. Once you’ve decided on the tone, content, and design of your wedding invitations, it’s time to think about how to make it easy for your guests to RSVP.
Wedding invitation wording and RSVP wording come from years of tradition, but there are many modern and personalized ways for you to express yourself, just as with your wedding save the date. After all, the way you phrase your invitation and RSVP questions will convey the same amount of personality as the wedding invitation design, so take this opportunity to make them your own!
If you’re mailing printed invitations, RSVP response cards are a separate inclusion and should be sent with a pre-addressed, stamped envelope. Traditionally appropriate? Yes. But that’s a lot of pieces to keep track of. To save time, money, and make life easier for guests, many modern couples are opting for email wedding invitations and collecting wedding RSVPs online. Whether you are going the traditional route by sending your wedding invitations in the mail or embracing a paperless approach, we hope that this guide will help to make the process easy for you.
What to ask for in your wedding RSVP
At the very minimum, your RSVP wording should ask guests their names, their attendance status, how many will be attending (if plus ones and families are an option), and a gently worded (but very clear) RSVP deadline. The last one has its intricacies, but we’ll get to that later.
In addition to the very general information and depending on your wedding plans, it may be appropriate to ask guests for meal preferences, any song requests (for fun), or space for a personal message where guests can wish you the best ahead of time. If you have multiple events that not all guests are invited to, such as a rehearsal dinner, it is best to include a separate RSVP for guests invited in order to avoid any hurt feelings.
For more info, see our cheat sheet below or pop over to our complete guide to wedding RSVP wording.
Options for collecting RSVPs
Your invitations have been sent out! Congratulations! You deserve a long lunch or maybe even a pre-wedding honeymoon. Now you’ve gotta get those responses organized so you can finalize the rest of your plans.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is this: be very specific and very, very clear about your RSVP deadline. Let guests know how to RSVP and the exact date you need to hear back from them. Give yourself some cushion with this date so that you won’t face any unnecessary drama when people don’t respond right away.
If you’re comfortable with it, it’s great to give your guests options for responding. Do you know your grandmother will be all about the snail mail? Then plan for that. Do your college friends prefer to text? That works, too! Let guests know clearly and concisely how you’d like to hear back from them. Most of them will oblige, and we have more tips for getting those RSVPs back.
How to reel in those final wedding RSVPs
In an ideal universe, guests will be so considerate that they will all send their RSVPs back to you within the week. In reality, they all have jobs and families and hair appointments to manage, too. This is why it’s important to include an RSVP deadline in your invitation.
When designating an RSVP deadline, be sure it lines up with your catering headcount deadline and gives you plenty of time to make a seating chart. Ideally, you will know exactly how many people will be attending three weeks before the wedding. Going paperless will make it easier for guests to reply to your invitation, particularly if they live in faraway places. As your RSVP deadline gets closer, don’t be afraid to send out kind, gentle reminders for guests to RSVP.
When getting in touch with guests to collect RSVPs, it’s important to keep your approach appropriate to individual guests. You know your friends and family better than anyone, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Just keep it simple and direct with a call, text or email depending on what you think they might prefer. For more tips about collecting wedding RSVPs, visit our handy guide.