Post # 1
Ok, I have been racking my brain trying to come up with ways to get an accurate count for our Destination Wedding. As many of you know, people feel obligated to tell you that they will come to your wedding because they want to be polite. However, our wedding and reception is at the Wynn in Las Vegas, and politeness will cost us a fortune! We want people to be sure, so I comprised this letter to go on our website. Please tell me what you think of it. I will accept brutal honesty here. I would rather have my feeling hurt here than offend my guest. I just know how people can be and to not know who will be coming to my wedding for sure will drive me CRAZY! I would be much better if my wedding wasn’t a Destination Wedding. A few more or less people wouldn’t make a huge difference, but we have already had to change our venue because the waterfall at the Bellagio was too small to accomodate the preliminary “Yes, I am coming to your wedding” responses from the STD’s! I just don’t want to male accomadations for people who will not come to my wedding, and I want to take extra special care of those that do come. Please let me know if this letter does the job:
Our wedding venue requires a final count by April 1, 2012. In order for us to have an accurate final count, we need to be sure of who will be coming to our wedding. In order to be sure that you will be in attendance, we will require a commitment of $50.00 from you that will act as your place holder. Once you are in Vegas, we will happily return the money to you. Please try to understand that because this is a destination wedding, final numbers need to be accurate. In order to avoid the usual ”You know I’ll be there’s”, we need something that will more or less guarantee your presence. We both understand if you cannot make it; however, we need to avoid people saying that they will come simply because they believe it is what we want to hear. A final note is to stress that the money is not refundable if you choose to not come to Vegas. Once again, we are trying to avoid a lot of back and forth. We figure that if the money is non- refundable, everyone will be 100% sure that they will come before they commit to paying the money. Thank you so much for understanding, and we look forward to you helping us celebrate the beginning of our lives together.
Post # 3
@Bellagiobride: Honestly, it sounds kind of rude to demand $50 from everyone attending your wedding. As a guest, I would be offended and decline.
I think a letter stressing the importance of RSVP is okay, but charging money is over the line
Post # 4
I wouldn’t do it.
These are your loved ones, not strangers
Asking for an RSVP by some time in March is a better idea. People are expetected to RSVP accurately, and you’ll have time to follow up if you need to.
If you can’t trust them to actually show up or say they can’t, then don’t invite them
but I would be HORRIBLY offended if someone sent me a wedding invitation that came with a non-refundable deposit.
Post # 5
I agree with msfahrenhe it sounds rude to ask for money for people attending your wedding even with a note saying it will be given back.
Post # 6
I dont think its acceptable to require a down payment of $50 for a wedding. It just seems rude and inappropriate to me. I agree with msfarenheit the most you can do is stress the importance of receiving accurate RSVPs on time but thats about it.
Post # 7
No shows cost money regardless of it being a local or destination wedding. While it is rude to RSVP yes and now show up sometimes things do happen that are beyond a person’s control. Unfortunately that is just part of the party planning/wedding picture.
That being said I vote no, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending out a request for a down payment. If someone sent that to me I wouldn’t be offended but put off a bit. I don’t see any reason why stressing the importance of coming if you say you are wouldn’t be enough.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t ask for the money. I would call people and touch base with them expressing how important it is for the Destination Wedding to have accurate counts and maybe put a note on your website.
Another option would be to send your invitations very early and then closer to the date send some kind of travel pack to quests with all the time specific information?
Post # 11
Hm… I think it’s a bit too much to ask people to send you $50. I just don’t see people doing that, or reacting well to that. I know I wouldn’t.
What do you mean when you say it will cost you a fortune if people don’t show up–do you mean the dinner cost? Or are you paying for people’s lodging too? Why is the issue of no-shows affecting you more because it’s a destination wedding?
I would think that for a Destination Wedding, you’d have a very low no-show rate, since people will have to get plane tickets and such.
Post # 12
If I was your guest and choose to go (which I probably would not) I would tell you to keep the $50 as your gift. In other words give less than I otherwise would have.
I’m not sure how to say it tackfully, but maybe you can ask that your guest confirm that they have flights and hotel reservations?
Post # 13
I agree with the other posters, you can’t ask guests for money like this! have the rsvp date early enough that you have enough time to follow up with the ones dragging their feet
Post # 14
All I can say is that if I received an invitation with a request to send the couple $50 deposit… I wouldn’t go to that wedding no matter who it was.
Sorry if that’s harsh, but it’s the truth. :-
Post # 15
I think that’s rude, and if I received something like that I’d be pretty peeved. I mean, presumably you know these people right? So presumably they’d be upfront with you? I can’t imagine that anyone we’re inviting would say yes just for the sake of it, then decide nearer the time not to bother coming; if you genuinely believe some of your guests might do this, I would question why you’re inviting them.
That said I do understand your worries. But I would handle it very differently. I would personally phone people who have RSVP’d yes to double-check. Keep it light and breezy, something like ‘We’re so glad you can make it, just double-checking that you still can, as it’s costing us a lot of money so we’re really worried about people saying yes then not showing up; I hope you understand’. That way people know it is expensive, and know you are on a budget, and will hopefully take the hint if they are in two minds about coming, and give you a definite answer. Similarly, if they subsequently find they can’t make it, hopefully they’ll give you enough notice so you might be able to cancel their place/invite someone else.
Post # 16
I second that. Plus the letter sounds a little patronizing, like you don’t trust your guest’s word when they RSVP yes. It also sounds like a business transaction and you want your guests to sign some form of non-refundable contract to reserve the opportunity to have a presence at your wedding. What if someone falls ill? Can’t you just talk to everyone one-on-one and use your judgement on whether or not you feel they are serious about booking their flights, etc.?