Something I see all the time is people sighing/complaining/fretting because their RSVP date has come and gone, yet only 50 of the 200 people invited have RSVPed at all.
From the get-go, my partner, Clay, and I knew we had to avoid these kind of shenanigans happening, what with the timing of our wedding being that I'm a student and our wedding is so close to graduation. And because we know our family and friends, and it was totally going to happen.
Thankfully, I work with literary magazines around my campus, and they have a brilliant strategy about submissions: TWO DEADLINES.
Here's how it works…
- They send out the official announcement: “Hey! We're open for submissions! Email your stuff HERE by THIS DATE.”
- Then when that date is around the corner, they do a second announcement: “Hey, we're extending our deadline to THIS DATE TWO WEEKS LATER!”
Clay and I agreed that we should apply this to our RSVP attitude, based on a couple of factors including that our wedding is on a Monday and it could take more time for people to know if they can attend a Monday wedding, and we know our family and friends can be a tad absent-minded. We decided on a date that would be perfect and a supreme miracle if everybody actually RSVPed by. Then we decided on the date we would absolutely need to have all RSVPs by — no ifs, ands or oops I forgots. We didn't tell anybody about this date, and agreed that if people really didn't RSVP by the first date, we'd gently nudge people to do so and give them the second date as their new deadline.
Well, our RSVP date just passed and, SHOCKER, we're short a lot of RSVPs. So we started our little reminder campaign; did a Facebook status, told a few folks in person, and posted it all on our wedsite. It's working beautifully…
People are apologetic and getting us our RSVPs good and timely. And, best of all, Clay and I aren't stressed about how little response we've gotten. We prepped for it, and when that second date rolls by we'll also be fine because we gave everybody plenty of time and notice and now it's on them if they didn't RSVP either way.
Admittedly, this may not work for everybody. We invited a total of maybe 60 people, and the event is really informal. We don't have vendors to notify for table numbers or anything: the worst that will happen if somebody shows up sans RSVPing is that somebody won't get one of the cool favors we're making.
But, I found it a really good way to not be stressed about having to ask for RSVPs: if the deadline is later you don't have worry (yet) about the numbers, and your invited feel better that they still get to say yes or no, and aren't totally putting you out.