Not until you plan a wedding yourself, do you realize the importance and power of that damn RSVP card. In the past, I would try to send them back in a timely manner, but was never in any rush. Now, I fill it out the day I get it and put it in the mail the next day. Because I now know there is a bride on the other end waiting with baited breath with what that answer will be.
Our wedding planner wanted to kill us when it came to the guest list. We were trying to squeeze everyone in and make everyone happy, although our venue could only fit a small number of people. Finally she said, "Do you guys realize people are going to have to eat outside if all of these people reply YES?"
So needless to say the process of receiving our RSVP's was full of anxiety, but we tried to have fun with it. We would take turns opening them and would place bets on Yes or No. And I'm not going to lie, when we got some much needed No's and extra room on the guest list, some celebratory dances did take place.
The reason the RSVP process is so hard is because it's completely beyond your control. But below are a few tips that may make your lives a bit easier.
1. NUMBER THE BACK OF YOUR RSVP CARDS
While it may seem logical that the first thing you do is write your name on the card, believe it or not, some people forget. They'll just mark two for chicken and then you are SOL.
Number the back of each card and keep a list of which guest corresponds with that card. That way if #5 comes back without a name, you know who the culprit is.
2. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
It is customary to send out wedding invitations two months prior to the wedding date. I begged our planner to send them out three months before because we had a lot riding on these RSVP's.
Our church only fit 100 people and we weren't sure if all of our LA friends were going to be able to come to the ceremony, or just the reception. It wasn't until a month before the wedding after we received our final count from family that we were able to invite them to both.
There wasn't much wiggle room and every seat mattered. But luckily since we sent invites out a bit earlier, we were able to adjust meals and seating before the deadline with the venue.
3. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Unlike us geniuses who were trying to squeeze ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag, leave some room in your seating chart for add-ons. People will bring plus ones even if they weren't given one and people may bring their kids even if the invite specifically said otherwise. I even received a text the day before from someone trying to get invited, Aca-Awkward, I know.
To make matters worse, I had a vision of long tables in a "U" around the dance floor for dinner. Yes, it would make for great atmosphere, but sure was one hell of a logistics nightmare. So anytime the number would fluctuate, I would have a slight panic attack and there would be a phone call leaving my planner with a headache.
So take it from us, who lost about five years of our lives due to this process, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and always send back your RSVP's immediately. NO REALLY. AS A PLEA FROM BRIDES AROUND THE WORLD - LIKE REALLY DO THAT. LIKE HARD.