It’s a common problem for anyone sending invitations. Once they leave your hands – no matter how well prepared, how beautifully presented – the derth of replies is invariably the thorn in your side.
How many ways do you have to say – please reply, RSVP (respondez s’il vous plait)? A simple yea, or nay will do. Even an sms ‘ja’ would result in a giddy dance of joy at having had a response. Yet, bar the few exceptions, people are generally rather tardy at replying.
What can you do? As with all things, it’s about setting boundaries. And here’s how you do it:
Make sure you’re blameless:
- Give plenty of reply options for response: phone number, cell number, email, BBM, whatsapp address and, for good measure, your website or FB page URL.
- Set a deadline – please RSVP by 20 Sept 2013 – in this way you’re being specific and there is no room for misunderstanding
- Make the date sooner rather than later – people put off a response if they have months in which to do so
- Be clear – in case people don’t know what RSVP means, use plain English; something like: please send a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response, or, please respond either way, so that I know if you are attending or not (in this way those who aren’t also realise they should let you know)
- Give a reason why you need a quick response – please respond by said date because the venue needs to have a headcount asap/my mother’s nerves won’t make it beyond that date/the special offer on our venue lapses thereafter
A few other little tricks, to stave off sitting around and waiting:
- Give them a call – phone everyone on your list, from whom you haven’t heard, two weeks after sending out the invites (family can help with this) just to make sure that they have indeed received your invitation
- Send email reminders thereafter – roughly once a month; this is a fun way to remind them whilst filling them in on little details – ‘just ordered the flowers for the tables – wow! And I haven’t had a response from everyone yet 🙂
- Be adaptable – some people may still not respond, allow an extra chair at the table, or phone them again
Happy Wedding Planning!