Is there anything more useless than the “Maybe” option on Facebook? Your guests might as well not respond at all. It’s bad enough when you’re planning a party of 20 friends, but multiply that by a factor of 5, 10, or more for a wedding, and today’s bride has some real challenges! Delayed, forgotten, or ignored RSVP’s can wreak havoc with ceremony and reception planning, adding stress to an already stressful process. So, how do you get more R’s from your RSVP’s?
Step 1: Make Them Fun!
Though the classic black script text against a white card is perfectly acceptable, consider the following RSVP’s from some of our designs:
They’re eye-catching and fun, incorporating the design of the whole suite while still serving their purpose. Even if these end up on the fridge for a couple of days, your guests are sure to see them. Some even include spaces for your guests to write notes (more on that below), and we’ve seen some Mad Libs-style games too. There’s a lot you can do with an RSVP, if you’re feeling whimsical.
Feeling a little more classical? Don’t worry, classical can be eye-catching too!
Whether you’re feeling whimsical or classical, having RSVP cards that stand out is a huge first step in getting more responses. Each time your guests see them, they’ll be reminded to drop you a line. It may seem simple, but simple is good! The Wrigley family built an empire from knowing where to put chewing gum in a grocery store: next to the register. By standing out in a place that is frequently and repeatedly seen, they discovered that people would buy more gum. You can put that same idea to work with your eye-catching RSVP’s. (Bet you never knew that chewing gum and RSVP’s had so much in common.)
Step 2: Make It Easy!
Meal choices? Timing? Notes? Stamps? There’s a lot that can go on an RSVP. You want to strike a balance between getting the information you need to plan your event while not overwhelming your guests with boxes to check. As you’re thinking about what goes on your RSVP, consider the details of your event: Buffet-style meals don’t really require recording meal preferences beforehand, for example.
Etiquette says that an RSVP date no later than 2 weeks before the wedding is appropriate, if invitations are mailed out 6 to 8 weeks before the event. If you’re sending invites out earlier, don’t be afraid to have an RSVP date that’s a little earlier, too. You want to create just enough time crunch to get them to respond, while giving you enough time to follow up on any that haven’t responded by the stated date.
When it comes to space for writing notes or doing games, your knowledge of your guests is key. You’re probably inviting a variety of people and personalities, some of whom you may be more distant relations than others. (Yes, your fiancée’s family are the weird ones. We understand.) Having a space to write a note to the bride and groom can result in some very sweet (and often funny!) responses, especially from guests that have to decline for travel or other reasons.
Some guests may feel obligated to write something, and that might cause them to delay their response because they “Don’t have anything to say right now.” So maybe, like the Wanderlust suite, you can use that space to send a message to them. It’s your call, and we’re happy to adjust designs to suit your preference.
The inclusion of stamps is something that varies from country to country. In the US, it’s generally considered polite to include a stamp on the RSVP; whereas in the UK and elsewhere, guests often provide their own stamp. We suggest erring on the side of simplicity and including postage on the RSVP. Yes, it may cost you a little bit more, but it’s one less thing standing in the way of your guests and the mailbox.
Step 3: Give Them Options!
“Wait,” we hear you say, “Wasn’t the last section about keeping it simple?” Yep! But the right options for responding can make RSVP’s simple. Consider adding a cell/mobile number for text RSVP’s, or including the address of your wedding website (if you have one) on the card.
Don’t give them TOO many options – you really don’t need to list your Insta, Tumblr, Twitter, or LinkedIn handles, and you don’t want your guests feeling like they have to sign up for something new. That’s especially important if you do have an online option for RSVP’s. A simple form with their name, number attending, and a Yes/No is far more likely to get a response than a 14-field form that requires them to create a name and password for a service they’ll probably never use again.
The Bottom Line is This: You know your guests and you know your event. We’ll help you turn that knowledge into an attractive, easy RSVP that gets more responses and lightens your stress as you plan your big day!