We are finally in the home stretch and just a few weeks ago, we sent out over 100 invitations to our shebang. That’s a lot of RSVPs. It’s also a large – and unexpected – opportunity for confusion.
Though the internet assured me that each one of my guests would be ready, willing, and able to send in their RSVP via our wedding website (doubtful, y’all), we decided to go traditional with mailed RSVP cards. It’s a personal choice, and seeing how my friends can’t even respond to a regular ol’ email, I wasn’t letting my reception hinge on responsible use of the internet.
Should you decide that the mailed RSVP option is for you, don’t forget: STAMPS. Stamps, stamps, stamps. Stamp your fracking RSVPs or you’ll be headed to the post office to pay some postage because someone’s not going to notice. It’s just polite, guys. I’m into being polite, especially when it only costs about 40 bucks. And there are options here – like our Save the Dates, we chose postcard RSVPs instead of card-in-envelope to save on the aforementioned stamps.
Once you’ve made the decision to order (or design yourself!) cards, design is important. We ordered our invitations on minted.com, and the RSVP card that came with them did not include one very important element: number attending. We had to request the addition, which could have been easily overlooked. You can also add a line to distinguish between adults and children if you’re so inclined (we were not). Additionally, your catering company (or other food option) might want a count of entrees to prepare so you don’t need to order way too much food. You can add lines for that, too. And don’t forget to give your guests a ‘deadline’ for returning their RSVPs. Some will still return their cards after that date, but you’ll likely receive the majority before. Folks respond to due dates.
Which brings us to the most important knowledge I’m going to drop in this post: NUMBER YOUR RSVP CARDS. You probably have your list in an Excel spreadsheet already because you live in 2014. Take a few extra minutes and write the corresponding numbers on your RSVP cards. We’ve already received 2 “yes” cards without any trace of a name. I work with a girl who has received several “Mr. and Mrs. [Insert Name Here]” which would be fine, except they invited 10 Mr. and Mrs. [Insert Name Here]s because they are a family and families tend to have the same last name. Now they are scrambling to figure out which couple actually responded. This is a crisis that could have been easily averted had they numbered their cards. You might think you don’t need to do it – you do. Just do it.
When you do get those cards back, head back to your trusty Excel spreadsheet and check them off, including the number of guests. Make a note of any dietary restrictions you know of as well, and the entrees chosen (if you asked). It will be super easy to sort and decipher who will be getting a very polite phone call the week before the wedding.
In the end, you’ll end up with people at the wedding who didn’t RSVP. You’ll end up with people not at the wedding who did. Another girl I work with was confronted by her venue rep when she needed an additional table set up at her recent wedding. Ask someone (a friend, a family member, whatever) to be the contact person for that sort of issue and hope that they can handle it without your input, because everyone will be wanting your input that day and there’s only so much in you can put. Enjoy yourself, it’s your wedding.