The Art of RSVP

Hello Beautiful people,

The time has come for me to address the little delight that is RSVPs.

Now for those of you that don’t know, during my wedding planning, these little beasties almost drove me to drink. So much so, that I couldn’t even write a blog post about RSVPs. So I decided to ask the hilarious and superbly talented Emma from the Wedding Reporter to write something for you, to prevent you from being driven to; drink / insanity / paranoia/ lose your religion {insert appropriate equivalent here}, during your wedding planning.

After organising an event recently which also required RSVPs (the event was significantly less formal than a wedding I might add), I still found myself running into the same problem: Chasing people for responses. BORING.

And so I thought I would write a little something to help you and others understand and master the art of RSVP.

 What does RSVP even mean? 

RSVP is a French abbreviation and it means: Répondez S’il Vous Plait . In English it translates to: Please Respond.

Why are we using French abbreviations in invites? I have no idea. But it sounds rather suave doesn’t it. 😉

 Why do we need RSVPs for weddings? ♥

Weddings are usually hosted as a formal event –  not to be confused with a laid back: turn-up-and-bring who-you-like-and-a-bottle type parties.

Without an RSVP – everything in the planning process pretty much grinds to a halt. Any host needs to know guest numbers so that they can plan their event adequately. Without an understanding of numbers, couples cannot confirm final details with venues and suppliers.

Venues and suppliers often ask couples for their guest numbers way in advance. This is so they can ensure appropriate numbers of staff are available to cover an event and to ensure adequate space is available to meet capacity demands. Caterers need numbers so they can source and order food and drink. Couples need numbers confirmed in advance so they can ascertain their budget and future planning…. How many chairs? How many napkins? How much can I spend on my dress? How many favours? How many flowers (yes, really!)? How many tables? How many photographers? How many orders of service? Shall I go on?

Modern-Luton-Hoo-Winter-Wedding-Binky-Nixon-Photography-www.nubride.com_2657.jpgBinky Nixon Photography

 ♥ Why should we respond to RSVPs?  ♥

Courtesy- if someone is kind enough to invite us to an event, shouldn’t we  be kind enough to reply?

Manners – See above. :o)

To start with, a simple response prevents driving brides and grooms or their hosts to an early grave and it allows couples / the organiser to progress with their planning.

♥ What do couples need? 

Couples really need either of the following responses:

1. Yes I would like to accept

OR

2. No I would not.

Simple really isn’t it when you break it down. However, I’m sure lots of people will vouch for me on the following……..

No Response is NOT a response!!!!: Ignoring an invitation and giving no response at all is UNACCEPTABLE.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand our lives are busy and of course our lives don’t revolve around couples and their wedding plans.  PLUS we don’t all understand the etiquette of responding to a wedding invitation. It’s so easy to lose sight of an electronic invite or a paper invitation under a pile of bills or emails. That’s why I always recommend that if couples are concerned about response rates, to give a polite electronic reminder a week before the deadline and an equally polite telephone call after a deadline has passed. It’s also worth noting that no-one I know, not one person, enjoys being chased or ‘pestered’ for a response. And I can guarantee you couples don’t enjoy chasing people either. I certainly didn’t.

Unsurprisingly couples are not psychic…..not responding does not mean yes and it does not mean no.

I still find those who actively choose not to respond  at all slightly, well, weird. I mean why would you do that? It just does not seem logical.  To me, it’s like a friend or relative walking up to you in the street, saying hello and you completely ignoring them and walking past. Weird. I mean, it’s not like couples are inviting guests to a torture chamber in hell is it? (Well maybe some weddings, but this is not that kind of blog).  We are asking you to celebrate and share our journey to marriage with us. That to me is a great honour. Here I go on my high horse again…I digress…..

aac99914945fe6c3511a418c679a7fdaImage source: Somecards

In the world of weddings I think that  ‘MAYBE’  is an equally unhelpful response…..I wonder is it ok for me to tell you that “maybe” you might get fed on the day? No probably not.

 How to RSVP? 

Normally there are lots of ways to RSVP….gone are the days of envelope stuffing (as much as I love them and am still old school!) For ease and to maintain sanity, I would always recommend that guests are given a variety of ways to RSVP. Some RSVP options take a little as 15 seconds!

227361481158176509_qsbbPud3_cImage source: SomeCards

For example: Wedding websites, such as Getting Married / Wedding Site are a brilliant way to communicate with guests and collect RSVPs. Sites like eVite (you just click a link!), emails, RSVP response cards, telephone, text, Facebook and good old-fashioned post. Yet with all these wonderful technology devices – some, I’m afraid to say, still haven’t quite mastered the art of replying!

 I learnt from planning my own wedding how it feels to be left hanging on by guests. To be sent into a state of paranoia:  wondering if so-and-so has moved and didn’t get their invite, wondering if Royal Mail delivered the batch I posted on Sunday?

 I learnt that it’s not cool to leave couples hanging on while the invitee decides if they can be bothered to attend or not.

 I have learnt that no matter how easy I make it for guests to reply – I will always have to do some chasing.

 I have learnt that I don’t enjoy chasing and to delegate this task to someone else. For more tips on how to Round up your RSVPs have a look at Emma Woodhouse post for Nu Bride!

The art of an RSVP is quite simply communication!  It’s a two-way conversation! Guests – if there are elements in your life that make it difficult to commit in advance to an RSVP,  of course that is fine, just let couples know.

Seems so simple doesn’t it readers .

So the moral of the story to keep Bridezilla’s and Groom Gorilla’s at bay: Répondez S’il Vous Plait!

Any thoughts readers? How have you handled your RSVPs? :o)

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