My Top 3 to Plan for and Discuss

I have been asked by brides, “What is one of the most difficult tasks in wedding planning?” For many, the list may contain 3 items and some may have 10, but what I see as a common one is the RSVP process. This includes the questions you are about to receive from guests and planning your response.

I can actually refer to many examples from my own wedding and from my 9 years of experience in wedding planning. A few included never receiving rsvps even though  the guest were called and emailed several times (and they arrived at the wedding!), more guests were included on the rsvp card “# of guests attending” then the envelope had addressed and making a decision  to allow children of guests to attend outside the immediate family.

So I have addressed these few below in hopes that it may be able to help you. My top 3 to Plan for and discuss prior to sending invites are:

  1. Determine if children are not allowed and then stick with your decision.  Do not include “Adult only reception” on the invitation. This is still not considered to be acceptable within the “world of wedding etiquette”. Once you determine that children are not allowed, agree on the response that you feel comfortable to say to anyone that asks for their child to join them at your wedding. Once this is agreed, let both sets of parents know what you both intend to say to guests that ask (and these guests may include some extended family as well or really good friends so be ready!) Remember if you say YES to one guest you will most likely need to say yes to another… and the guest list will keep growing!
  2. Decide if +1’s are allowed. When sending the invite, it is always best to invite a known single guest with a +1. Most guests like to come to a wedding with a date especially when they want to dance the night away! BUT we all know this additional guest is based off the budget. If a guest responds with 2 adults attending vs. the 1 that was actually invited on the rsvp, you will need to decide if you will allow.  If you cannot accommodate the +1, (due to space? Budget? etc) then you will need to let them know right away. If you or your fiancé do not want to take on this task, ask your parents to call them (sometimes it is much easier to have the “moms” do it vs. you calling) Just be prepared for the potential response of “1 not attending.”
  3. Determine your RSVP follow up plan and who will help you.  The rsvp date has passed and you have 5 rsvp’s you are waiting for to arrive so you can move on to deciding your seating chart.  Do not assume they are not coming.  Wait 1 week after the rsvp due date and then begin calling, emailing, texting, Facebooking, etc.  If it is family, delegate to your mom or sister and if it is his family let your soon to be mom-in-law do it for you.  I am a big believer that you need to contact a guest at least once, if not twice max, especially for the guests you know are procrastinators (and we all know who they are amongst our friends and family), so you can confirm an accurate # of guests attending. Remember you have to provide this final number to the reception location or caterer within their deadline. Since your reception is nearly 48% of the overall wedding budget (in many cases at 50%) accurate numbers are what you want!