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Wedding RSVPs: what is the right way?

Wedding RSVPs – what a nightmare. 300 invitees, and you need to call each one to make sure they are coming and how many are coming – because if you miss too many and give the event venue the wrong number, you may lose quite a bit of money on the extra tables.


So what is the best way to manage RSVPs? Here are a few tips that may be worth real money:


1.    Don’t go it alone: there is no reason you should be calling friends and family for RSVPs. It is hard work for just the two of you, and people may find it more difficult to decline if asked by you directly. If you want honest answers, you may want some else ask the question for you. You can pay a company whose business is calling the invitees on your behalf, or you may ask friends to do this for you. Trust us, it’s better this way.

2.    This is the advice we like to give on the technical aspects of wedding planning: make an evening of it. Invite your friends over, order pizza and get some wine, put some nice music on. This way everyone will have a pleasant experience.

3.    Preparations: make an Excel sheet with not only names, but also phone numbers and “who is who” details. For instance: Jane Doe > groom’s aunt > phone no., or: John Roe > David’s (groom) dad’s friend. Your friends or the RSVP company don’t know these people, so these details will help them know who is the person on the other end of the line, and it will make their conversation easier.

4.    Pay attention to details: prepare a note with a short conversation script, it will help your friends when making these calls. Add bullet points to the note, listing things you need to know, such as: are they coming alone or as couple? Are they bringing the kids? How many people will arrive in all? Don’t forget to ask at the end of the conversation to be updated of any changes. Explain that this is of essence, and that they should feel comfortable to inform you even at the last moment if they will be coming or not, as opposed to what they are planning right now.

5.    Don’t take it personally. Apart from the numerous phone calls that need to be done in the evenings, RSVPs have another dark side. This is when you will discover that your best friend from school will be traveling on that date, or that you cousin is coming with her baby in tow, despite the fact that you made it clear that you prefer an adults-only event. Remember that for most of your guests your most special night is just another event among many. Only few people are as excited about it as you and your closest family and friends are. If you keep this in mind, understanding that this is your wedding, and you want to celebrate it with people who truly want to be there and celebrate it with you, you will find it much easier to bear with no-shows or with various demands from your guests. No matter what, don’t let these things spoil your evening!

6.    Use the occasion to say things you need to say: if it is important to you that the chuppah will start on time, you should stress in your conversations that the time for chuppah is 20:30 sharp, and that you would appreciate that your guests be there on time. Or that the entire event will take place on a lawn, and so guests should opt for comfortable shoes instead of high heels. Don’t forget to specifically mention the date of the event, as more likely than not your distant relatives or parents’ friends from work are busy thinking about many other things.

7.    Phone and phone only: nowadays it seems almost silly to call for RSVPs – why not use WhatsApp or Facebook instead of calling everyone separately? Well yes, it may be a sisyphic task with which you may not want to burden your friends either – but there really is no way around it: a phone call does force the person on the other end to respond and to make a decision then and there. A text message, an email, or an RSVP website leave people with the option of taking their time to respond, or to avoid responding altogether. You don’t want to realize two days before the wedding that you have no idea who is coming and who is not.

8.    Not everyone will respond: keep in mind that some may not be available to answer your call on the day or time you call them. Mark their names in bright yellow, and try calling them again later that night, or the next day if there is still no answer. In any case, try calling in the afternoon or evening, but not too early (people do work), or too late (especially the older ones or those with young children).

9.    Exceptions: some parents will try to talk the couple out of calling their best friends (“Do you really think that John and Jane will not come?”), or you may think that there is no need to call your best friend from the army who was so excited to get the invitation you handed him – but don’t fall into that trap. Call everyone. There can be many surprises along the way, and avoiding a phone call is not worth your peace of mind on your wedding day.

10. So on how many guests should you count? Having received all the RSVPs, take at least 10% of the number that replied as attending. This is the number you should give to the event venue, and this is the number on which to base the sitting arrangements. 500 out of the 650 invited said they will be attending? Take 50 off, and tell the venue that you will be having 450 guests.

Wedding planning is not a simple matter, this is what we are here for: to help you save time and money.

Easywed, the wedding planners https://www.easywed.eu/

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