RSVP cards – how do I manage them?

Should I send a RSVP card with my invite?

My short answer is YES!

Encouraging your guests to RSVP to your wedding or party can at times feel like an endless battle. Over the years hosts have endeavored to make it easy for guests to send their reply back, but still they arrive in dribs and drabs. If at all….

It is not unusual for me to receive phone calls from guests less than 24 hours before a wedding saying “we forgot to RSVP, can we still come?” – the answer is normally yes as quite often 24 hours before I have a few guests that drop out due to illness. Tends to even out in the end!

Wedding Invitations - Should you include RSVP's? We say yes!

How can you encourage guests to send the replies back?
One of the easiest ways is to include a RSVP card with your invitations, ensure this has a label with your address on it plus a stamp. The aim is to make the process of posting the card as easy as possible.

Have a deadline for which cards should be sent back, make sure this isn’t your “real” deadline, in other words give a date 2 weeks before your actual deadline. This is because some guests will always send the replies after the required date.

Think about giving an email address as an alternative to posting a card back or a mobile number. All my clients like to communicate with me in different ways so it stands to reason your guests will as well.


My system
I frequently act as the RSVP contact for my clients, the control freak in me prefers to do this as I can double check all information on the reply. I use a guest tracking spreadsheet which has all guests listed on it. I have the following columns as standard:

Guest Names
Invite sent
No. of adults
No. of children
Dietary requirements
Special notes

Depending on my client needs I might also add columns for crèche/transport/hotel


Over time I copy all the confirmed guests onto a new sheet and add 2 more columns
Place card/tag – i.e exactly how we want the name printed, nicknames, first names, surnames
Table plan – again confirmation on name plus the order the guests should be seated at the table

When I receive the RSVP I enter the info on my guest tracking spreadsheet, I take special note on the spellings of the names and correct any misspellings on my master sheet. Once done I put a little tick in the corner of the RSVP card so I know I have tracked it. Leading up to the wedding or party I check these details again and again just in case I missed something especially relating to dietary requests or allergies.


How can you make life easier for you?
I can guarantee for every event I’m managing the replies for, there will be those replies that have been sent back, but with no guest name noted. Or I have the name but no meal choices if applicable.

Think about numbering the RSVP cards before sending them (aligning this with your master sheet), that way if a card comes back with no name but has a number you can correlate it with your master list!


For help and advice planning your wedding or party please contact me to discuss how I can assist.

Emily & Jo & HipHip Hooray with photography by Ginny Marsh and Simon Carr


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