{Etiquette} THE RSVP!

Confession Sunday: I work in the wedding industry, and I am the WORST RSVP-er. I receive a wedding or shower invitation, hang it on my fridge, and forget to mail in my response card. While this is very common, I am not proud of my late RSVP-ing habits. However, I DO respond, and I DO act accordingly to my response.  I feel much better now that my confession is out in the open, but now I have a slight bone to pick. Ladies, brides, people invited to weddings and showers everywhere, we must stop being hypocrites and follow some RSVP etiquette! 


 (Something Detailed)

Respond on time: Easier said than done, I know. There is a deadline on RSVP cards for a reason. Brides have to give a final guest count to their caterer around 2 weeks before the wedding. This is so unnecessary money isn’t being spent on food, dinnerware rentals, glassware, etc..the list goes on. Or, the bride may need to add more food or rentals to her event for additional guests.  Every guest that attends or doesn’t attend an event is money spent or saved. Example: If you have a situation where you invite 150 guests and only 80 RSVP-ed, then you’d probably only want to plan for 100-120 guests on the day of…and that could save money. I highly recommend checking your calendar as soon as you receive an invitation in the mail and sending it back as soon as you know your availability. I vow to start doing this myself.

PUT YOUR NAME ON THE RESPONSE CARD! This should be a no-brainer, but I have actually seen RSVP cards returned with NO NAME!!! I honestly don’t have a tip on how to resolve this issue…because there is typically a very large blank line for you to write your name(s).

Commit: Whatever you mark on that RSVP card, then plan on following through. Don’t say you aren’t coming and then act like you wanted to surprise the bride by unexpectedly showing up because your calendar opened up. That’s a partial surprise with a hint of rude. Don’t say you are coming and then decide not to go at the last minute. Guess what, she spent money on you to be there. I totally understand that sometimes life happens.  If that’s the case, shoot the bride or fiancé a text, email, or give them a call to inform them that you won’t be able to make it due to {life happening reason here}.

Example: We received 44 RSVP’s from brides for a Spring Bride Mixer this month. Only 24 brides showed up. Only 3 of the 44 brides contacted us to let us know they couldn’t make it (thank you, polite ladies). Since we had 44 RSVP’s (with a guest count total of 88 with a +1), we planned for 70% to attend the event (which is average attendance for weddings/events). Barely half showed up….This isn’t just rude and disappointing, but we and the vendors involved put a lot of time, energy, and resources into doing that mixer for 44 brides and their guests. We based our rentals, catering, alcohol, and desserts off of a guest count of 88 people….

+ 1’s: This can be a tricky area when it comes to RSVP-ing. When brides are trying to control their guest list, they will typically address the envelope to the exact person that’s invited. Example: I live with my sister and her boyfriend. We received a wedding invitation addressed to Ashley and Joanna Harrison and Kenston Ezell. Because I did not receive my own invitation, I understood that I don’t have a +1. If it is known that you are in a serious, long term relationship, then usually you are safe adding a +1 to your RSVP. However, never assume that it’s okay to RSVP for you, a random date, or kids. If you have questions about a +1, reach out to the couple and ask!

We hear brides complain about their guests not responding, but you can’t continue complaining when or if you are doing the exact same thing. RSVP-ing to events comes down to being considerate and respectful of the host or hostess.


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