Mastering the Art of RSVPs

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Invitations can come in any shape, size, color, pattern or format. The one universal element of an invitation is the four letters at the bottom—RSVP. For more formal events, a response card may be included to mail back to the host or hostess. It is also not unusual to see an email address or phone number to reply to. While many recipients fully intend to respond quickly, and have the best intentions in mind, response cards and invitations are sometimes misplaced or forgotten. Consider busy lifestyles, finding babysitters, forgetting to put it in your calendar, etc. Getting RSVPs in a timely fashion is an art and a science, and at Innovative Party Planners, we’ve developed several tricks to streamline the process.  

Why Won’t People Respond to Your RSVPs?

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While you might be tempted to think people who drag their feet in responding to an invitation never host parties, that isn’t the case. Some guests are forgetful and disorganized and lose response envelopes the moment that they are received, and the same thing might happen to their phone bills! Other guests are procrastinators. They have good intentions to get back to you, but they might be waiting to see if a conflicting event will pop up. Finally, there are also indecisive guests who are not sure whether or not they will attend (and might still be unsure the day of).  

What Happens When You Can’t Get a Response?

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Unfortunately, guests who neglect to RSVP in an expedient fashion can make wedding and event planning more stressful. How can you tell your caterer a head count without RSVPs? Will your floor plan be sufficient for the number of people coming? Thankfully, there are some tricks to increase the chances of hearing a response and finally get in touch with the non-responders.

  • Always allow enough time for a response, but not so much time that people think that they can get to it later. Eight weeks is often the perfect amount of time. Sending save-the-dates up to nine months out is perfectly appropriate.

  • Make the RSVP date obvious on the invitation. Some guests assume that you only need a reply if they will be attending, so make the deadline clear and state that you would like a response from everyone.

  • Offer a number of ways to respond to an RSVP. A wedding or party website, email address, telephone number and mailing address give guests a range of ways to respond.

  • Don’t be afraid to call delinquent guests to hear their decision if you haven’t heard. Many guests don’t realize how early you need to have your final head counts in and passing on that you need to know to tell your party planner or caterer can get an immediate RSVP. 

Work with Innovative Party Planners

Innovative Party Planners is your resource for event design and planning in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia. To learn more about our event planning services and how we can help make your event one of a kind, contact us by calling (410) 998-9999.

Brooke Cobb