photo by Boston wedding photographer Mark Andrew

The thorny issue of RSVP is one that tends to rear its ugly head most forcibly when it comes to weddings. Inevitably, every wedding has a handful of guests who fail to drop that RSVP card in the mail. It doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to check a box and place the (already stamped!) envelope just outside the door but getting people to RSVP is becoming harder and harder. Whether an honest mistake or lack of decorum, here are three ways to handle guests who don’t RSVP in a timely manner.

  • Consider including an alternate way for guests to RSVP. In this day and age, more people are familiar with the internet than they are the postal mail. If you have a wedding website, consider creating a separate piece with the website info on it to include in the invitation and allowing guests to RSVP via the website.
  • Call them! You should never assume when it comes to the head count so once the “RSVP by” date has passed, grab your master guest list and start calling guests who failed to RSVP. If you’re already swamped, enlist the help of your bridesmaids or family members to assist you.
  • When in doubt, set a place! If you are unable to reach the guest (or if calling is not an option), assume they will be attending and set a place and have food for them. It’s much better to have extra food and a few extra seats than a handful of neglected guests awkwardly standing around unsure where to sit.