Using an online wedding RSVP to help streamline planning for your wedding is a no-brainer. Since vendor orders, venue choice, seating charts, and more are naturally dictated by the size of your guest list, using a convenient and effective method for gathering attendance data from your invitees is a must for any couple in the throes of wedding planning. But like anything else in wedding planning, online wedding RSVP wording and layout is governed by etiquette both obvious and less-known.
So how should you handle your wedding RSVP wording? What elements need to be included, and what is more of a matter of preference or determined by the type of wedding you plan to have? Let’s cover some of the most important elements of online wedding RSVP etiquette to make setting up your wedding RSVP a stress-free process.
Unlike more casual events, weddings are governed by many years of accepted tradition and practices that depend considerably on the type of event you want. For the traditional “white wedding”, a degree of formality should be present in every planning decision you make, from the choice of a venue to the way you interact with your potential guests. This is where wedding RSVP wording becomes one of the first places you might easily send the wrong message.
Typically, your online wedding RSVP wording should include the following key pieces:
Choosing a deadline for wedding RSVP responses is more important than you might think. Not only do you need your responses back to build your guest lists and start finalizing attendance numbers with your venue and vendors, but giving too strict of a deadline may make it tougher for guests to commit to your event. While there isn’t a single golden date for requiring online wedding RSVPs to be returned, RSVPify data collected from thousands of weddings has shown that couples can expect 80% of their responses back by Week 7 after sending out their traditional or online invitations with RSVP attached. This means you should anticipate a roughly two month wait before having a truly clear idea of your guest list size. If you want to get a more specific estimate for your wedding, try this handy-dandy wedding RSVP response calculator for your specific date.
While you are certainly excited for your wedding, and most of your guests surely will be also, don’t be surprised if you end up dealing with a number of guests who don’t respond that might be greater than you expect. The first thing to remember is not to take it personally – people forget to respond, invitations get lost in the mail or inboxes, and sometimes people just haven’t figured out their own calendars yet.
To avoid any awkward situations, especially with friends or family, you as a couple should come up with a plan for following up with guests who haven’t responded with their online wedding RSVP yet. Consider waiting a week or so after your wedding RSVP deadline before reaching out again politely, either with a phone call or email, to confirm your guest received your wedding invitation and see if they have finalized their plans yet. Remember to give them the benefit of the doubt – there’s probably a perfectly reasonable expectation, and no one wants to receive the dreaded Bridezilla tag.
One final tip for avoiding social awkwardness is to only share your wedding RSVP responses with the people directly involved in planning. People may not be aware of the reasons for a guest’s lack of attendance or the context that you might know, which can lead to awkward conversations happening that you may not even be aware of. Why add any stress to a process that can already be stressful (though rewarding!) for any couple
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