One of the most important tools you’ll use while planning your wedding is your invitation and RSVP card. But getting timely responses from invitees can be difficult or frustrating. We’ve put together a short list of tips and tricks to keep in mind when creating your invitations and RSVPs.
Why Are Invitations Important?
Most of you probably feel like the answer to this question is a no brainer. Your guest count determines important factors like how many ceremony chairs are needed, the number of tables, and how much food your caterer prepares. Being off on this number on the low end can lead to awkward and tricky situations, like adding chairs last minute or running out of food. On the other hand, overestimating the number of guests can leave you with a much higher budget than necessary and an obscene amount of leftover desserts and favors.
How to Get Responses
Getting responses in a timely manner can be difficult, so here’s a few tips on how to encourage your invitees to respond.
1. Give Yourself Enough Time
If there’s anything wedding planners can agree on, it’s that invitations should be sent at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance and the RSVP date should be 3 to 4 weeks before the wedding. This gives guests plenty of time to check their schedules, make travel plans, hire a babysitter, etc. If you have a large number of guests traveling from further away, you may want to consider sending invitations 12 weeks in advance.
3. Make the Invitation Easy to Read
Remember: the invitation isn’t just a decoration. It's a tool. It should be easy to read. Otherwise, you risk invitees not reading the entire invitation. We’ve included one of our favorite examples of a combined invitation/RSVP with a breakdown of its parts below.
A simple way to think about how to organize your wedding invitation is to ask yourself who, what, when, where, and how. Who is sending the invitation? What is it for? Where and where will it be? How do they RSVP?
For more tips on how to design a wedding invitation, check out How to Choose Wedding Invitations. Worried about following proper etiquette? BRIDES made a list of 7 Wedding Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid.
4. Provide Clear Instructions
One section of the invitation should directly state when the RSVP date is and how guests are expected to RSVP. If you’re using a QR code or link, it should be easy to see on the invitation and clearly labeled. If you’ve included a RSVP card for invitees to mail in, say so.
5. Send Reminders
It may seem like a chore, but sending reminders drastically improves response rates. Planning to send reminders from the beginning makes it easier and less haphazard for you. The study Internet-based surveys: relevance, methodological considerations and troubleshooting strategies states that sending reminders once every 15 days was associated with higher response rates. Personalized reminders can also improve response rates if you have a small batch of slowpokes.
Not sure how to ask these questions? The Knot has a comprehensive list of wording options to look through.
If you're still looking for a venue to invite your friends and family to, then we'd love to show you around Four Oaks Manor!