You’ve put together, stuffed, addressed, and sent out your wedding invitations. Now you’re sitting back drinking your much needed glass of wine asking “now what?” only to realize you’re in the calm before the storm. The last few weeks before the big day are filled with a lot of little, finer details. One of the not so little details though that it seems to have everything else revolving around it is your guest list.
The whole RSVP thing has lost its touch.
I don’t know whether people have just gotten lazier or frankly don’t care. But, if you’re a guest reading this, I can’t say enough how important it is for you to submit your RSVP card. You probably assume that we should read your mind and know whether you are coming or not. However, it’s physically impossible to remember all of the things to remember as brides planning a wedding – especially when they’ve got 200 other guests to keep track of. Every guest makes a difference when it comes to tables and all that goes with them such as the caterer, favors, etc. That difference often means money.
Long story short, send back your RSVP card.
I get it, life happens and not even Beyonce is perfect. Sometimes you just either lose or forget to send in your special little card. As a guest make sure that you at least contact the bride’s family to verbally RSVP. I don’t know if I can speak for all brides, but this is perfectly acceptable (especially if you want to call and catch up while congratulating me on the biggest day since Beyonce broke away from Destiny’s Child). Trust me, it’s better than leaving them in the dark and your attendance or absence being a complete surprise and the topic of next year’s Thanksgiving dinner.
I recommend that every bride has an excel workbook for their wedding’s guest list. To keep track of attendance numbers as well as which of our guests we should be expecting, I have additional columns indicating “RSVP Received?”, “Attending?”, and “How many Attending?”. These columns can be easily filled out as RSVP cards start coming in. You don’t have to have an executive admin level of organization. But, every bride needs a method of keeping track of wedding day attendance.
I don’t always get RSVP cards returned but, when I do, I have no idea who they belong to.
As a bride, it’s proper to address the RSVP envelope and include a stamp in order to make it convenient for your guests to respond. However, it’s surprising how many people will return their RSVP card without writing their names or a return address on them. I think it goes back to the whole reading minds thing. I really wish I could do that! Not only is it almost impossible to figure out who sent it in, but it makes keeping track of attendance for possibly something such as seating chart purposes extremely difficult.
It’s super easy to create a system on keeping track of RSVP cards!
There are a lot of different and creative ways to mark and keep track of RSVP cards, but here are three simple and fool proof ways to stay organized:
Filling out the Return Address as you Address the RSVP envelopes
This only creates more work for the bride. However, I feel like it really is the 100% fool proof way of ensuring that each RSVP card received is recognized to belong to someone. It fixes silly mistakes like guests not writing their names. Plus, this also avoids problems of not being able to read handwriting. As a bride if you don’t want to endure this extra work alone, get your ladies in formation with a wine night and enlist the help of the bridesmaids. There’s not much you could ask them to do that couldn’t be justified with Chipotle and bottles of wine.
Fill out the name line on the RSVP card itself
Like I mentioned above with addressing envelopes, this really only creates more work for the bride. However, you writing their name in for them is another 100% fool proof way to ensure that you can both read and know who the card belongs to. Here’s another opportunity to shamelessly bribe your bridesmaids into helping with Chipotle and wine. I’d suggest going easy on the wine though. (or you may still have trouble recognizing who the card belongs to!)
Number your RSVP cards
This requires slightly more organization than the option above. Although this may not be preferred for brides with very elegant or formal invitations, it is also a really great way to ensure each RSVP card belongs to a specific someone. Write a number next to each household on your guest list. Next, write a small number on the bottom or back of each card. As RSVP cards get returned, coordinate each number with the guest’s party on your spreadsheet. How easy is that?!
I’ve also seen crazy things on Pinterest that have something to do with invisible ink and black-light type things. In my opinion, that it just too complicated for my own good. When it comes to staying organized, it’s all about keeping it simple and ultimately finding a system that works for you.
Keeping track of your RSVPs is a great way to stay organized and on top of your final count that you have to submit to your caterer, venue, and rental companies. There will be plenty of RSVPs that will not be received. But, as much as this may frustrate or stress you out, you can rest assured with your glass of wine and spreadsheet that you know exactly who to confirm with.