Late traditional RSVP

How Do You Handle Those Late Wedding RSVPs?

The Big Question of the Day: How Do You Handle Those Late Wedding RSVPs??

In the age of online wedding RSVPs, social media-driven guest lists, and a million different apps to help you organize and plan your wedding, there’s more reasons than ever to worry about the changing rules of wedding etiquette. If there’s one aspect of wedding planning that can drive any bride-to-be crazy, it’s the RSVP process as a whole. From making sure you’re inviting everyone, to making sure you’re NOT inviting others, and getting that all that info in a timely fashion, the wedding RSVP process continues to drive brides wild.

Speaking of timely information, dealing with late wedding RSVPs can be the most awkward and annoying part of the process. What happens when you’ve placed orders with your caterer and beverage contributor, organized your seating charts, and then find out that Aunt Emma’s two crazy friends from the animal shelter are planning on joining her as well. Before you tear your hair out over late wedding RSVPs and whether or not you should be the gracious host (“Of course it’s fine you’ve texted me the morning before my wedding!”) or the cruel dictator (“Deadlines must be followed!”), consider a few suggestions on how to handle the situation in a way that makes everyone happy:

  • Make a round of “check-in” calls before you make your orders and give caterers your final numbers – Sure, you’ve got a million other things to worry about while planning your wedding…but it beats a wedding-day surprise from your mom’s old hairdresser. A week before you give numbers to the caterer and other major steps, make a round of calls or emails to those guests who you suspect may still be planning to attend your wedding – but don’t plan to let you know about it. This way, you can prevent some frustrating surprises and give your guests the benefit of the doubt if they didn’t see their invitation or never received it initially. It can be as simple as asking “We just wanted to make sure we’ll get to see you at the wedding…didn’t get your RSVP yet…”. A friendly reminder to some forgetful friends.
  • Save the anger for after the honeymoon – Despite your best efforts, some guests may still decide to drop in unannounced. Sure, it’s frustrating…but is it worth worrying about on your special day? You are certainly justified for wanting to let someone know that this is an inconsiderate gesture – but why not save that for a dinner date and a laugh later on, instead of during the reception.
  • Consider a subtle warning in your wedding RSVP wording – While no one wants to seem pushy in their RSVP, a well-worded note in your RSVP itself reminding your guests that a timely RSVP helps make your planning easier is always an option as well. With digital RSVPs giving wedding planners more access to additional questions and notes for their guests, considering your wedding RSVP wording can also help smooth over some of these issues early in the process. We’d suggest going with a note like “We ask that guests do RSVP as soon as possible, to help us plan a good time for everyone!”. Something lighthearted, but honest as well.

There’s no easy way to fix the late wedding RSVP situation, but these are a few ways to minimize the potential headaches. With so much else on your plate when planning a wedding, why not help yourself avoid some of the smaller problems that can drive you crazy and distract you from the celebrations.


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