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When planning an outdoor wedding, creating beautiful invitations is exciting. Love birds can’t wait to send them to their friends and family. Long thought-out decisions and enormous amounts of effort and time are put into building guest lists and personalizing invitations to make guests feel special and welcomed. Most couples never expect or prepare for the RSVP process to be difficult since it seems like a straightforward task.

Unfortunately, some invitees simply won’t RSVP in a timely manner. When your wedding vendors need to know how many guests are attending and you need a headcount to arrange your seating arrangements, you may start to feel overwhelmed by being unsure of how to handle guests who don’t RSVP. The first and most important step you should take is to relax and breathe because luckily, there are several ways you can respectfully handle non-repliers. Here are four strategies to help you through this process.

Provide Various Choices for RSVP responses

Traditional wedding invitations require a physical RSVP to be mailed in. While these work for many people, others may find it time-consuming or will forget the invitation is hanging up on their fridge. To avoid a lack of timely RSVPs, send your invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding and provide your guests with various choices to send their RSVP. A reply of yes or no can be easily delivered through the following methods:

  • Phone call
  • Text
  • Email
  • Social media
  • A website

Not only can this speed up the rate of responses, but if you’re sending out a lot of invitations, it can help you keep track of your invitations and avoid losing them in the mail. Using these methods can also make it easier to send out reminders, updates, or questions.

Give Your Guests Time

If you send your invitations at least six to eight weeks before your wedding date, then you should give your guest at least four to five weeks to RSVP. This should be an appropriate amount of time for guests to decide if they are able to attend your wedding and to consider travel plans. By following this schedule, you’ll have a few weeks before your wedding to reach out to non-repliers.

Keep in mind that your guests are probably busy with their lives as well. Don’t come out of the blue and start hollering at them for an answer. It could be possible they haven’t received the invite yet or you haven’t received their response.

Follow-up by Phone or Email

Once you’ve given enough time for guests to respond, gracefully follow up with your guests by phone or email. Giving your guest a call or text may be the best way to get a quicker response, but email can work just as well for guests that you know may prefer this form of communication. Use a friendly and easygoing tone, like this:

“Hello [Guest], we can’t believe how fast our wedding day is approaching! We are looking forward to seeing you here but have not received your RSVP. We would love to share our special day with you. Are you able to attend?”

If you have a lengthy guest list, ask your maid of honor or someone else to help you get through it. Also, if you need a response immediately, calmly mention that the venue and caterers need a final headcount.

Include a Must-Know-By Date

Clearly indicate on your invitations the date you sent the RSVP and a must-know-by date, also known as a deadline or drop-dead date. Ask all food caterers, vendors, and the venue when the latest you can confirm the number of guests. You should settle on a date that’s a few days before, and if a wedding guest does not reply by that specific date, then you can remove their name from the list and move on.

If there are guests you really want to attend and you want to give them a second chance to respond, you can use those next couple of days to reach out to them. Some guests may be younger and not recognize how critical an RSVP is, or some may still be wrapping up work schedules or transportation arrangements and may appreciate the extra time to finalize their plans.

Discover Your Happily Ever After at Windows on The Water

At Windows on the Water, we believe that planning your wedding should be as seamless as possible. Our experienced outdoor wedding planners strive to bring your wedding vision to life and can help you get through the process with little worry and confidence that everything you’ve dreamed of can happen without any obstacles. When you’re ready to tie the knot, choose Windows on the Water for your happily ever after in Central New Jersey.

Our gorgeous outdoor and tent wedding can safely accommodate 250 guests while following safety measures and providing an 86-acre wedding backdrop that will wow your guests. Years of experience in the New Jersey wedding industry give our team an edge and our services are trusted by hundreds of clients who we’ve helped execute the biggest day of their lives. Speak to our expert wedding staff by calling 609-208-9475 or completing a contact form to receive our Windows Wedding Packet containing menus, pricing, photos, and additional amenities and services that are available.