A Brief Guide to Online Wedding RSVP Netiquette

The new frontier of the online wedding RSVP has brought with it something that’s much more of a wedding tradition – the rules of good etiquette as both a guest and a host of a wedding. While the general idea of the wedding RSVP hasn’t changed much with the move to the web, as with anything else in digital communications, there’s a whole new set of rules and social faux pas to be anticipated with the move to an online wedding RSVP. From your wedding RSVP’s wording to the do’s and don’ts of responding, we decided to put together a handy little guide for both hosts and guests to make the online RSVP experience that much easier for everyone.

Five Tips for the Wedding Hosts:

1. Think Carefully About the Info You Need – Your RSVP can make your life a whole lot easier, or can be the source of frustration when you realize later on all the questions you could have gotten answered right away. Regardless of whether you send paper or online invitations, the RSVP form is key. From meal preferences to attendance at secondary events, make sure you come up with a detailed lists of the info you’ll need from all guests, to make the most of your digital RSVP.

2. Be Polite But Clear With Your Wording – While this seems silly, your wedding RSVP wording can go a long way toward saving you a ton of hassle down the road. Be clear to your guests when the RSVP needs to be returned, what they need to know, and what answers you’ll need from them.

3. The Earlier The Better! – This almost goes without saying, but the sooner you can get your event info out and start collecting responses, the easier and more efficient your planning process will be. You can see RSVPify’s guest count and RSVP timeline calculator. So as soon as you’ve covered steps 1 and 2 here, get to this one!

4. Be Patient, But Not Too Patient – It’s common knowledge that people will forget, intentionally or unintentionally, to respond to an online wedding RSVP at times. Whether it’s a technically-challenged family member or a forgetful friend, be sure to leave some lag time to wait for responses.  Our RSVPify Wedding Response Calculator is a great tool to help you when planning for delayed responses!

5. Follow Up Clearly, But Not Too Frequently – After a month or so, it’s more than acceptable to start following up with some of those MIA RSVPs. Be sure to be polite (these are your friends and family), but reminding them politely that you need this info to, ummm, host your event is always a nice touch too.

Four Tips for the Wedding Guests:

1. Be Accurate and Honest – Despite all the funny movies about wedding crashing, no one really wants to see an unexpected attendee or unwanted guest. Make sure to confirm if you’re bringing a date and provide the most accurate info possible when responding.

2. Ummm….Respond! – Hosts also don’t want their wedding to be a mystery movie, where the surprise of your attendance is unveiled for us at the last minute. While RSVPs are often easy things to put out of mind at times, do your hosts a favor and respond ASAP! They’ll love you more for it, and it takes literally 2 minutes. Respond to their paper and/or online invitations as soon as you know whether or not you can make it!

3. Think About Dietary Considerations Ahead Of Time – Many hosts will include choices of meal preference in their online RSVPs – if you are a picky eater or deal with various allergies, take the time now to let your hosts know. They’ll appreciate it and are probably happy to accommodate if they know that much sooner!

4. Don’t RSVP for Guests Not Invited – While your host’s online RSVP configuration may well make it difficult — if not impossible — to RSVP for more guests than were invited, some RSVP forms may be a bit more flexible. Unless you’re fairly certain there was a mistake, chances are you weren’t offered a +1 because space is tight — or your children weren’t included on the invitation because the reception is by and large an adult-only affair.