Wedding Planning

5 Proven Tips for Getting Wedding Guests to RSVP

how to get wedding guests to RSVP

It’s no secret that late RSVPs are one of the biggest complaints from any couple planning a wedding!

Chasing down RSVPs not only takes up precious wedding planning time, but also prevents you from finalising critical details like your seating chart and supplier invoices. And let’s be honest – the last thing you want to be doing in the weeks leading up to your wedding is hounding your guests and feeling like a bridezilla.

While late RSVPs can be a serious headache, don’t panic. We’ve compiled some tried and tested hacks that can dramatically improve your RSVP response rate. Keep reading for 5 tips to help your wedding guests RSVP on time, without losing your sanity in the process!

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Photo by Justine Wright Photo

Go Digital

Wedding invitations and RSVP cards have traditionally been sent through the post, but in today’s modern world, digital invitations have become more popular than ever.

Not only are paperless invitations super easy to create (and friendlier on the environment!), they can also simplify the RSVP process and prompt quicker responses from your guests. Instead of procrastinating over a trip to the post office, digital RSVPs allow your guests to respond in just the click of a button via your wedding website.

Remember, people are busy – by making the RSVP process as streamlined as possible, you’ll notice a major improvement in your response rate.

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Photo by Sanaz Photography

Be Specific

Another way to boost your RSVP response rate is to be as direct and specific as possible in your requests. It sounds obvious, but make sure your invitations clearly outline exactly what you need from guests and when you need it.

Whether you’ve opted for digital or traditional invitations, your guests should be able to easily understand the next steps they need to take. Most importantly, your RSVP due date should be immediately obvious – don’t hide it in small font amongst a pile of other information!

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Photo by Oliver Fly

Inject Some Personality

One of our favourite RSVP hacks is to actually get your guests excited about responding! Inject some fun, humour and personality into your RSVPs to grab the attention of your guests and make them smile. They’ll be much more inclined to get back to you sooner if they’re genuinely looking forward to crafting their response.

Some ideas to personalise your RSVPs could include:

  • Swapping standard response options to something more playful, if this reflects your personality. Instead of the traditional “yes, will attend” or “no, can’t attend”, why not give guests the option to reply with an enthusiastic “heck yes!” or “see you on the dance floor!”.
  • Include question prompts for guests to complete with their RSVP. For example: a song request to get them dancing, or their best piece of marriage advice.
  • Include a cheeky reminder about the importance of getting back to you before the due date (again, if this reflects your personality!). A playful note like “Ps: If you don’t RSVP by the 10th May, please bring a sandwich and something to sit on” can be a tongue-in-cheek way to prompt a quick response.

If you can make your guests laugh and get them excited about filling out their RSVP, it’s likely they’ll respond much sooner! Check out our RSVP templates and wording examples as a helpful guide.

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Photo by Brett Heidebrecht

Nail Your Timing

When it comes to RSVPs, timing is everything. If you leave it too late, you’ll be scrambling to get responses back in time. But if you send them too early, there’s no sense of urgency and your guests are more likely to procrastinate.

As a general rule, the sweet spot for sending your invitations is around 6-8 weeks before the day, with RSVPs due 3-4 weeks before the wedding. For destination weddings, you might want to push the deadline forward to around 6-8 weeks before the day, so you can finalise things like hotel reservations and transport.

Giving yourself a “buffer” can be another way to reduce RSVP-related stress and encourage quicker responses. When it comes to setting an RSVP deadline, add 1-2 weeks from the actual date you need to provide a final headcount to your suppliers. Giving yourself some padding around the RSVP deadline will (hopefully) have guests replying sooner than expected, while also buying you some extra time to follow up those last-minute stragglers.

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Photo by Amanda Castle

Set Automated Reminders

If you’ve opted for digital invitations, you can also track your responses and set automated reminders to gently follow up guests on your behalf! This takes away any emotion or awkwardness, while also saving you a bunch of time and stress. Chances are, a gentle reminder is all that’s needed to snap your guests into action.

Finally? While it can be frustrating, remember that your guests aren’t intentionally trying to inconvenience you! It’s more likely they’ve innocently forgotten, or have simply assumed their attendance is a no-brainer. So keep calm, take a breath, and go in with a plan of attack – because once those RSVPs are sorted, you can finally chill out and move forward with the pampering. Good luck!