Struggling with how to remind wedding guests to RSVP for your big day? Regardless of how clearly you communicate the RSVP deadline on your invitations, you're bound to have a few stragglers!
It's impossible to plan for the correct number of guests without a definitive yes or no from each one. We know that reminding guests about your RSVP deadline can feel awkward, so we've outlined the proper etiquette for following up so you can get your final headcount and move forward with planning your big day.
If your deadline has passed and you still haven’t received a yes or no from a guest, you shouldn’t definitively assume that they aren’t coming! Most guests don’t intentionally ignore the RSVP deadline, so following up is the best way to get the most accurate headcount. This will hopefully save you from last minute RSVPs via text, or worse, people showing up without ever RSVPing!
You shouldn’t start following up with guests immediately after your deadline. Leave some buffer time for RSVP cards that may still be making their way through the mail. Depending on how much time you have until the wedding, you should wait 1-2 weeks after your RSVP deadline to start following up with guests.
Giving that gentle RSVP reminder to guests depends on your relationship with them:
If the guest is someone you regularly see the person, you can simply bring it up the next time you see them.
If the guest is someone you know well but don’t see often, a simple text, call, or email will usually suffice.
If the guest is someone you don’t know well (perhaps a parent’s friend or a very distant relative), consider asking someone with a mutual connection to follow up with them for you.
First, when contacting guests about missing your RSVP deadline, be sure to ask how they’re doing before jumping right to the topic at hand! Gently let them know that the RSVP deadline has passed, and you were wondering if they had a chance to send their RSVP in yet. It can be helpful to mention that the venue and/or caterer needs a final estimate. Finally, Express that you hope that they’ll be able to come and would love to celebrate with them! Be sure to wish them well before ending the conversation.
If you have followed up with a guest and still haven’t received an RSVP from them, it’s okay to mark them as a “no”. If you have this issue with several guests, give your coordinator a heads up that X number of people didn’t respond just in case anyone makes a surprise appearance.
Attending a wedding after not RSVPing is absolutely not something that people should do, but if you have a large amount of “no responses” it can be helpful for your coordinator to have a heads up just in case.