It’s a few weeks before your wedding day and everything is falling into place when you realize nearly one-third of your guests haven’t sent back their RSVPs.
First, don’t panic. Humans, by nature, are procrastinators (yes, even when it comes to the simplest of tasks).
But it’s important you receive an RSVP from everyone on your guest list and, unfortunately, something you need to prioritize as your special day draws near.
Don’t worry, though. We’ve compiled some great tips and tricks to get your wedding guests to RSVP in time to secure that final head count.
Why The RSVP Card Is Important
RSVPs are important to finalize your numbers. While this is needed mostly to let your caterer know how much food to prepare, there are other reasons why you need this information.
Seating chart: You use your finalized guest list to map out the seating chart at your reception.
Thank you notes: Many brides (and grooms) put the guest list into a spreadsheet to organize who gifted what so they can send out thoughtful (and accurate) thank you notes.
Ceremony setup: Some larger churches and other ceremony venues may block off areas based on the size of your party. You need an accurate number of guests so your wedding planner or the employees of the ceremony venue can set things up accordingly.
And, as mentioned, you never want to find yourself in a position where the caterer runs out of food because a bunch of unexpected guests showed up.
Was the RSVP Clear in Your Wedding Invitations?
If you landed on this article, you’re likely already (perhaps frantically) waiting to get your RSVPs back before your wedding planner or caterer calls you for the umpteenth time asking for a final count.
But for the proactive brides who know that some of their guests will procrastinate and want to avoid RSVP reminders altogether, make sure your wedding invitations clearly state the instructions for guests to RSVP to your wedding.
This could include physically mailing back the card, or allowing them to submit their RSVP electronically via email or your wedding website.
Remember: An effective wedding invitation with a clear RSVP date increases your chances of guests sending back their RSVPs on time.
Best Methods for RSVP Reminders
Sometimes, even a strong invitation won’t result in receiving a response from a couple of your guests.
When it comes time to remind guests to RSVP, you have a handful of options in how to communicate with them.
- Text message. While this may be the easiest way, it’s certainly not the best way for all of your guests. Reserve the text message for your closer friends and family.
- Email. You’ll likely use email for older family members who use that medium more frequently.
- Phone Call. For close friends and family, and loved ones who don’t use the Internet, a phone call is the best method for an RSVP reminder.
- In Person. Use the in-person method when you happen to run into someone. We wouldn’t recommend setting an in-person appointment with someone to figure out if they’re coming to your wedding or not.
- Social Media. Use social media at your discretion. If you have a close friend or family member who you regularly communicate with via Instagram or Facebook Messenger, then that would be an acceptable way to remind them to send in their RSVP.
5 RSVP Reminder Wording Ideas to Politely Prod Guests
Now that you know which guests haven’t sent in their RSVPs and the best way to communicate with them, what should you say to these people?
The perfect RSVP reminder wording can be a tricky balancing act. You don’t want to sound too pushy with your guests, but you also need to be firm to get an answer. There’s certainly an etiquette to it all.
Some people potentially procrastinate RSVPing because they feel bad that they can’t make your wedding. Be sure to reassure your guests that it’s OK if they can’t attend.
Remember, wedding season is a busy time of year, so it’s understandable if some of your guests have prior plans.
Here are some helpful examples that can inspire you when you get ready to send that reminder.
The Early Reminder RSVP Reminder Wording
Use this wording via email when you’re about four to six weeks out from the wedding.
Can you believe our wedding is only about a month away? We can’t wait to have everyone share in our happiness!
We wanted to remind you to RSVP — either via mail, email or online at our wedding website (include a link) — so we can have an accurate head count and enough food for everyone.
(Include menu here)
We hope all is well, and can’t wait to see you!
[Bride and Groom’s Name]
Lean On the Food Excuse to Remind
Let’s be honest, the most important reasons for getting all of your RSVPs is so you know how much food to have the caterer prepare for your reception. Use food as the driver to getting that RSVP.
We’re finalizing the details with our caterer and are wondering if you’ll be able to make it to our wedding or not. If so, please let us know your meal choice — either steak, chicken or the vegetarian option (include menu here). You can reply here or go to our website to fill out the form.
We hope to see you in a few weeks!
-[Bride and Groom’s Name]
‘Finalizing Details With Our Wedding Planner’
If you hired a wedding planner, feel free to use them as an excuse for sending an RSVP reminder.
Our wedding planner is finalizing some details and needs to know if you’re able to make it to our wedding or not.
You can let us know by replying to this message or through the form on our wedding website.
Thank you and hope we get to see you!
[Bride and Groom’s name]
The Short Text Message
For some of your guests, a short and sweet text is the best approach to getting that wedding RSVP. Feel free to include a link to your website if that helps.
Hi [guest]! Hope you’re doing well! We just wanted to make sure you received our invitation. I need to finalize our head count and are hoping you can make it! Let me know when you get a moment — and send over your food choices! Thanks!
The RSVP Deadline Is Coming Up!
Here’s an easy one to use via email or even text or social messaging.
The deadline to RSVP is quickly approaching and we haven’t heard from you! If you can let us know soon, that would be greatly appreciated! Make sure to include your food choices.
We hope to see you soon!
[Bride and Groom’s Name]
The Final RSVP Deadline
Your most direct approach to getting an answer is letting your guests know the RSVP deadline has arrived. This works best via email.
Can you believe our wedding is only four weeks away? We’ve now officially hit the RSVP deadline and need to know if you’re able to make it or not. Feel free to reply to this email with your response and a meal choice (meat or veggie!).
We hope to see you at our wedding!
[Bride and Groom]
RSVP Reminder Wording Tips & Tricks
Now that you have more than a couple of ideas, there are only a few things you should know when you’re trying to remind guests to RSVP the right way.
Avoid Impatience and Frustration
This might be common sense, but you need to be careful that no frustration comes across in your reminder message. We know that wedding planning can be stressful, but you need to stay composed for your guests.
More or less, keep it friendly and casual, and you should be fine.
‘So-and-So Is Coming’
Letting a guest know that a specific person is coming to your wedding may seem like a good idea to get their RSVP, but that ultimately diminishes the importance of your celebration.
Remember, they’re invited to celebrate you — not because someone else is invited.
By using any of the suggestions above (or some kind of iteration of what’s above), you can politely ask for a commitment from one of your prospective guests and expect more responses.
Replace ‘Want’ with ‘Need’
In our delicate balancing act of getting back those RSVP cards, we sometimes use language that isn’t quite firm enough.
Instead of saying “We want to know if you’re able to make our wedding,” use the word need.
“We need to know if you’re able to make our wedding,” sounds more direct and firm and gives a clear call to action that can keep your wedding planning activities moving right along.
Be Clear on the Wedding Invitations
This may be too late for some, but the best way to get people to RSVP is to be clear on the invitations.
A clear message of when to RSVP by on your invitations results in a better response rate. A good invitation can solve a lot of problems — and cut down on frantic phone calls — down the road.
Get Your Responses and Finalize Headcount Today
No one is going to know the amount of work you actually put into securing each and every last wedding RSVP, but they will certainly know if your caterer doesn’t have enough food.
While RSVPing for a party shouldn’t be hard, some people are always going to either forget or simply choose not to follow instructions.
Go with the flow and don’t let it ruin your special day.
Use the wording ideas above and you’ll be quickly on your way to finalizing that guest list.