Post # 1
With our RSVP deadline quickly approaching and nearly half of our RSVPs still outstanding, I have a new appreciation for how terrible people are at RSVP’ing.
What percentage of your guests still hadn’t RSVP’ed by the deadline? Fill out the poll below, and if you like please also include in a post the number of guests you had, how far out you sent the invites, and how far out the deadline was from the wedding. If we get enough data and I feel like procrastinating something else one day maybe I’ll do an analysis to try to figure out the optimal timing to increase one’s RSVP yield!
Post # 2
We had about 65 out of 200 no RSVPs by the deadline. About 15 more came in after the deadline and we reached out to some as well. Some never RSVPd. It’s very frustrating and we had to up our food numbers after we had already turned them in. We had guest RSVP through our wedding website or by calling either of our mothers.
wedding is May 12 this year
RSVP deadline was April 14
RSVPs went out on March 25
Post # 3
Out of 117 we only had 2 or 3 not RSVP but I just sent them a quick Facebook message asking if they were planning on coming and got quick replies from all of them.
Most of our RSVPs came right away or right next to the deadline, not a lot in the middle.
Post # 4
Our original RSVP deadline was May 1. We pushed it back to May 7. We are still missing 23 RSVPs (that doesn’t include the plus 1s). We have sent reminders and have started reaching out personally to non-respondents. Our wedding is a month away, so we purposely set the RSVP deadline early in order to give us a cushion to chase down the non-respondents.
Post # 5
A lot of people will RSVP the day before or the day of the deadline, in my experience (ours was 3 weeks before the wedding). I think I also sent a few emails the day after to round up people. There were about 4 (out of 100) who truly did not know until the week before the wedding if they’d be able to make it – one family dealing with work and childcare, who didn’t make it, and a couple friends of my parents where the wife was waiting on a new kidney and if it came through obviously they’d be at the hospital doing that instead 🙂 Luckily she got her kidney, about a week after the wedding, and they were able to come celebrate with us.
Trickier for our count was the fact that we sent invites “to be polite” to a large number of my husband’s cousins who his mom told us to invite “even though they wouldn’t come”. Which is great, except I still felt the need to chase down confirmation rather than risk a surprise guest we didn’t have enough chairs for!
My main advice is to wait until your actual deadline to follow up with people. You set the deadline, they’re not late until they’re late 🙂
Post # 6
Out of 145 we only had maybe 3 or 4 not RSVP by the date, and some of the cases were due to their invitation getting lost in the mail. We just followed up with them via email or phone and they responded.
I think it really helped that we had a couple of really simple ways to RSVP – they could either just email us or RSVP on the website (probably 95% used the website). It depends on your group, but I think we would have had a lot more late replies if RSVP’s had been done by snail mail. Going to the post office just isn’t part of people’s general routine so it can get pushed aside/forgotten pretty easily.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2018- Stan Hywet Gardens
RSVP’s give me nightmares. Our due date as 4/9 and we just received one last Friday lol
I had lots of people who did not return their RSVP’s and FH mom had to call about 45 people.
Most of the guests said, “You know we’re coming!” Um no. That’s why we gave you a pre-addressed stamped envelope and reply card so you can send it back to us.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
We had maybe a handful of guests that missed the RSVP deadline
Post # 9
that brings me to another question. I like that advice and am fine with waiting until the deadline, but how do you do that tactfully? I’m almost tempted to send a reminder a couple days ahead (as a mass email to those who haven’t yet rsvp’ed or who left some important fields on the online form blank, presumably with the intention to come back to those (which we said they could do)) just to avoid having to say “the deadline has passed, will you please let us know if you’re coming,” which feels more awkward to me than, “just a reminder that the RSVP deadline is coming up in a couple days so if you haven’t submitted your RSVP or left some fields blank, now would be a good time.”
Post # 10
Give them the time you allotted them. I would follow up a few days after the deadline. I set my deadline about a week before I really need numbers for that reason, so I have a week to gather any missing RSVP’s.
Post # 11
we had a 120 people. we sent invitations out 10 weeks in advance, with the deadline 2 weeks before the wedding. we only had a handful of people to call.
Post # 12
I was also tempted to send an email a couple of days before the deadline, but decided not to – I gave people a deadline, and just because I was antsy to finalize other plans didn’t seem like a good enough reason to bug people before the due date. To avoid getting ahead of myself, I drafted separate emails/texts to the individuals who hadn’t responded yet, so they’d be ready to send the day after the deadline. Just on my side – my husband’s mom was responsible for tracking down her relatives. Luckily, I was able to delete most of them. Our RSVP was online as well, and it turned out that one friend had already RSVP’d, gotten an error message, and forwarded the email to my fiance who had neglected to pass along the message to me.
I think the message was something like: Dear ___, we hope you’re doing well! We are rounding up a final headcount and meal choices for our wedding events, and can’t wait to see all our friends and family to celebrate. We haven’t received your RSVP yet; would you please let us know if you will or will not be joining us either with the form linked below or by replying to this email? (or if they left out a field, ask them to let you know what their meal preference is, etc.)
I think most people who haven’t planned a wedding recently don’t realize, or forget, how many vendors and decisions have to be dealt with in advance.
I just went back into an old email where I was complaining about this very issue, and actually, a week before our deadline, less than 50% of our guests had responded. We got a flurry of responses the couple days leading up to the deadline and a few more trickled in until a few days after.
I would send the message you suggested on the deadline, not before. If you prompt people on the deadline or the day after, and they still don’t respond, wait a week and send a follow-up saying that if you don’t hear from them, you will assume they can’t make it.
Post # 13
this is really helpful, thank you! I may try to steal your wording almost verbatim 🙂
Post # 14
So glad I could help! I think reaching out to people directly is the fastest way of getting the answers you need, even though it’s annoying that you may have to do that. Reasonable people won’t be irked that you followed up after the deadline, though they might feel embarrassed/guilty and that can make it awkward. I found that shifting the blame onto the venue and caterer for pressuring us for a final list (which was actually somewhat true but I also needed to know!) was helpful – they’re an easy third party “bad guy” for essentially calling out your prospective guests for being shitty at following etiquette 🙂
Post # 15
just two or three..
every single one was like “oh wait i didn’t realize it was due” (one even thought for some reason our wedding was July 2017 instead of 2016.. who sends an invite a 15 months in advance?!)
then “i think i can make it, can you give me another week to figure itout” (??? not really.. but whatever. Luckily our caterer was super chill actually.)
then “ah shoot i can’t make it” (no joke..)