Are You Coming? – What to Do When Your Guests Don’t RSVP

RSVP | What to do when gutsts don't RSVP

Sadly it’s not unusual when seemingly well informed people don’t RSVP to your wedding when the invitation clearly requests it.

Having an accurate number of expected guests is critical at weddings and other large events. You need this for:

  • your caterer for meal planning and preparation
  • for your rental company for accurate quantities of chairs, linens, etc.
  • for your florist for quantities of centerpieces
  • your bartender for accurate numbers of alcohol and other beverages
  • making a seating chart

You may wonder why some people don’t feel the need to reply. In reality it’s probably more of an “I’ll take care of that later” than an “I don’t have to.” It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday goings on, that filling in and sending back an RSVP gets forgotten.

Bride & Groom Q & A – When Guests RSVP More People Than Invited

Emily Post has said, “No one is obligated to accept an invitation or to explain their reasons for not accepting. However, when someone is kind enough to extend an invitation, one should be just as kind and reply to the invitation.”

Unfortunately not everyone gets it!

You’ve sent an RSVP card with the “reply by” date clearly on it, and have included a pre-addressed and stamped envelope. You’d think that it couldn’t be any easier, but lo and behold, you still haven’t heard from them by the time the return date that is on the card.

What do you do when your guests don’t RSVP??

Easy! You need to contact those people who have yet to reply and find out if they will be attending.

The simplest way is to make a phone call. All you have to say is, “Hi ______. We’re looking forward to seeing you at our wedding, but haven’t gotten your RSVP back yet. Will you be able to make it?” Also ask their desired menu selections if you are offering a choice of entree options.

Don’t say anything like, “You haven’t sent the RSVP card back,” because they may have, but it got lost in the mail. (Even if they haven’t mailed it back, you don’t want to put them on the defensive). There’s also an off chance that they never received your invitation in the first place. Again, it may have gotten lost in the mail, or the address you have for them is incorrect.

Anyway, stick to “We’re looking forward to celebrating with you. Will you be there?”

Make sure you get a definite yes or no, not a maybe. Your caterer needs definite numbers, not “maybes.”

If you feel that if you make the calls yourself that you will end up stuck in big conversations, enlist for help of others to make some phone calls for you. Family members, your bridesmaids, and your wedding planner can all call on your behalf.

If you are an invited guest, here are a few helpful hints for you to remember.

    • Reply as soon as possible. Don’t put the invitation in your “to do” pile unless you need to ask the availability of another person whose name may be on the invitation with yours.

How to Address Your Wedding Invitations to Guests with Titles

wedding invitation envelopeAddressing your invitations doesn’t seem like a difficult or confusing task.

If the people you are addressing the envelope to have the usual titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.) it is usually pretty simple (although a bit time consuming).

But what to do when one, or both, have “official” titles (ex. Lieutenant or Doctor) instead of the usual Mr. or Mrs.?

Here are 3 scenarios to help you crack the code:

1) For a couple with different last names, the woman is traditionally listed first (ex. Miss (or Ms.) Sarah Smith and Mr. Matthew Jones).

However, when one has a rank or other “official” title, their name will be listed first (Captain Matthew Jones and Ms. Sarah Smith, Doctor Sarah Smith and Mr. Matthew Jones).

2) For a couple with the same last name the person with a title other than Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. would be listed first. (Lieutenant and Mr. Susan and Marvin Brown, Doctor and Mrs. Michael Johnson and Lisa Davis).

3) For a couple who both have “official” titles there are a few “sub-rules”

  • are their last names the same or different?
  • are their titles both military, both civilian, or one is military and the other civilian?
  • are they being invited as a couple (meaning are you close to both) or is one the “and guest”

For a couple whose last names are different, and their titles are both military and civilian, the military title takes precedence over a civilian title, (Captain Linda Wilson and Doctor James Moore, Captain Charles Lewis and Doctor Sandra Allen).

If their last name is the same, the man is listed first (Doctor Daniel and Captain Nancy Clark).

Unless she is your invited guest and he is her “plus one,” then she is listed first (Doctor Karen Jones and Captain Paul Young).

Hope this helps in your wedding invitation addressing endeavors.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For help with your wedding invitations or other ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

3 Guest List SNAFU’s That Will Make You Go “AARRGGHHH” on Your Wedding Day (And What to Do About Them)

Wedding Guest List SNAFUs - Screaming BrideYou’ve got it all planned out. Your guest list is complete, invitations have been mailed out, and you’re anxiously awaiting for the RSVPS to be returned so you’ll know how many people to plan for. Sometimes things go awry. Here are 3 common guest list SNAFUs that can happen, and how to deal with them.

1. An invited guest shows up to your wedding who didn’t RSVP
One of the biggest headaches in planning a wedding is getting your invited guests to RSVP. Most people aren’t trying to be inconsiderate, they just forget.

But you’ve carefully counted all the “yes” responses and have planned accordingly – gave an accurate head count to the caterer, ordered enough chair covers and sashes, made enough favors … Having to accommodate unplanned people at the last minute just throws everything off.

Are You Coming? – What to Do When Your Guests Don’t RSVP

Don’t assume that just because someone didn’t RSVP it means that they are not coming. Instead, when that “Please respond by” date on your RSVP card comes and goes, you (with help from your fiancé, mom, your bridesmaids) need to contact the non-RSVPers and find out if they are planning to attend.

You may decide to have an extra table at your reception to accommodate any unexpected guests.

2. Someone RSVPs, but you didn’t invite them
Now this isn’t about them bringing someone because you put “and Guest” on their invitation, because that gives them the ok to bring one person, whoever they want.

I’m talking about when an invited guest takes it upon his or herself and invites someone else to your wedding.

Because they have RSVPed, this gives you time to figure out why they think they were invited (and who really invited them). Once this is determined, contact the over-zealous inviter, and, politely but firmly, explain to them that their “+ 1” is not on your guest list, and you cannot accommodate any additional people.

Again, you may choose to have an extra table to accommodate any unplanned extras.

3. Someone just shows up (and no RSVP either), who you didn’t even invite
You didn’t invite them. They didn’t RSVP. They just show up. Even though they probably aren’t intending to be wedding crashers, technically that’s what they are.

This issue is more prevalent since Facebook and other social media, since these methods of communication allow for many people have access to your wedding plans, not just those you’ve actually sent or plan to send an invitation to.

You have two options. You may decide to have an extra table to accommodate any extra guests. Or, you can have someone at your reception with a master list of who was invited and expected to attend. Anyone not on the list are politely and tactfully told that they weren’t expected and are not permitted to enter.

Good luck!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Do you have a question or wedding dilemma? Let me know. I’d be happy to help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

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How to Have Happy Guests at Your Wedding

wedding guests entrance signYes, it’s true – there wouldn’t be a wedding without you, the bride and groom. And while I believe that you should make choices based on what you like (it is YOUR wedding after all), it’s also important to make choices that will appeal to your guests. It’s important to have happy wedding guests. If they’re comfortable and taken care of, they’ll have a more fun and memorable time.

You and your groom are the reason, the guests of honor, for your reception. However, you are also the hosts (and this has nothing to do with who’s paying). As the hosts, you have the responsibility to give a party your guests will remember fondly.

Over the years we have incorporated different ideas to help our brides and grooms plan weddings with their guests in mind. I’m delighted to share some of these ideas.

• When creating your gift registry, include items that fit into everyone’s budget. Choose some lower priced as well as some bigger ticket items. Some guests may go in together to purchase a higher priced item.

• Make it easy for guests to get to your wedding — you don’t want anyone getting lost. If possible, make transportation arrangements for guests who can’t or don’t want to drive. If that doesn’t fit your budget, designate a cousin to drive grandma and grandpa. At the very least, include a detailed set of directions and map.

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

• You want a yummy reception menu, and by all means, pick selections that you like. But remember that many foods are universally disliked — like hot chili peppers, liver, and Brussels sprouts. They may be your personal favorites, but you’ll most likely have a lot left over – meaning you’ve paid for food that was uneaten, and your guests will have hungry tummies.

• Guests should be able to comfortably converse with each other at their tables. While you want centerpieces that are lovely and unique and representative of you, they shouldn’t be so big that your guests can’t see across the table.

• Your guests should feel appreciated for coming to your wedding. The easiest way to do this is to personally greet every guest. Here are some ways to do this. Receiving lines guarantee face-to-face time with every guest, but are time consuming (and awkward as guests feel they have to make small-talk with everyone in your bridal party). Releasing your own guests after the ceremony recessional also guarantees face-to-face time, and is quicker than a receiving line. You can also mingle with guests at your reception. Whatever method you choose make an effort to say “hello, thanks for coming, I hope you have a good time.”

• Play a wide range of music. Mix your favorite Top 40 or club music with some “golden oldies” for your parents and their friends. Even if you want a particular music genre, you can still mix it up by playing some slower songs along with some faster ones.

• Seat your single friends with people (other singles AND couples) who share the same interests. A table of all singles just because they’re singles isn’t the best arrangement.

These tips are easy to do, take very little time, and doesn’t cost you any more. But it will mean a lot to your guests.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more tips and ideas to personalize your day and make it uniquely yours, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: Ricky Corey | Dreamstime