Wedding Venue Dallas TX | How to politely track down RSVPs

The invitations are out and the response cards have been slowly trickling in… but the date is getting closer and you need an accurate head count to ensure every detail is picture-perfect. How do you politely track down RSVPs in a manner that doesn’t offend guests, but does help you wrap up wedding planning logistics?

First of all, make your work easy on the front end. If possible, send invitations on time (or even a bit early if you’re expecting a fair amount of out-of-town guests). Typically your Save the Date should be sent about 4–6 months prior to the wedding. Then, formal invitations should follow between 6 and 8 weeks before the big day. Staying on track with this general timetable will make sure guests have enough advance notice to put your day on their calendar, make travel plans, and secure accommodations.

Next, make sure your reply card has a “due date.” Ask guests to please respond by the 20th of July or to Let us know if you can make it by July 20th so we can save you a seat! This sets a clear response date so people aren’t inclined to wait until the last minute.

When your “reply by” date has come and gone, give guests a few days of leeway before you start making calls. Many guests may have dropped their envelope in the mail on the exact “reply by” date.

After that, pick up the phone to make phone calls to any guests who have not yet RSVP-ed. Texts or emails may seem appealingly easy, but we think this is definitely a time to have a real conversation.

Be as polite as you can over the phone… don’t reveal your stress or sound exasperated about the late reply. Instead, follow up by asking if they received their invitation and expressing your hope that they can attend the wedding. Then ask if they have had a chance to look at the calendar—but don’t force them into an answer right at that moment. It is okay to give a hard deadline: “I hate to push you for a response, but our caterer needs a final head count by Wednesday. Do you think you could give me a call back by then? We hope you can join us!”

Finally, be flexible. Know that someone may show up unexpectedly… others will cancel last minute. Roll with the punches and don’t let bumps in the road overwhelm your special day!

One last thing to consider… While there are mixed opinions on this modern trend, online RSVPs are at least worth consideration. Many couples prefer a customized, printed reply card matching their invitation suite. On the flip side, automatically tracking responses through your wedding website will definitely be a time-saver for you, if you choose to go this route. They’re especially helpful in a pinch if you have a very short engagement, and they can cut major costs if budget is a concern (those reply cards, envelopes, and stamps add up!). However, keep your crowd in mind—if you have a fair number of elderly guests, don’t ask Gram and Gramps to navigate the web to tell you they’re coming. Online RSVPs aren’t right for everyone, but don’t nix them without at least considering the idea.

Remember this process when the tables are turned and you are now a guest. RSVP-ing promptly makes life so much easier for your hostess. When you receive an invitation, don’t put off your response; check the calendar immediately, and give a reply as soon as possible. This will help your hostess immensely, and will also express your enthusiasm for your friend’s special occasion!

Need any more etiquette help? Feel free to reach out. Our wedding venue Dallas TX has seen quite a few weddings come through our doors, and we’d love to lend our expertise to yours. Good luck tracking down your RSVPs!