How to deal with guests who don't RSVP on time

It's so frustrating having to chase up guests who haven't RSVPd. I didn't think it would be so hard. What approach is best (and quickest!) to get our guests to RSVP?

Question Asked: 13/03/2024

Wedding Date: 9/08/2018

Most Helpful Response

Fine Invitations

(8) · Sydney, Australia Wide

Posted: 26/03/2024

Agreed, it is very frustrating not to have that definite response, especially as the RSVP date gets closer!

However, do bear in mind that some people are just not aware how much their delayed reply affects the planning process, and they think it is just as easy to respond more personally. We have often heard stories of guests just wanting to say "Yes, of course we're coming - wouldn't miss it for the world!" over dinner, by text or on the phone. As long as you're keeping track, and if your friendship with these people is more important than receiving a formal response, I'd recommend talking to them, rather than sending a reminder email or written message. No matter how gently you phrase an email, it can still sound like a niggle! When you're on the phone with them, or talking face-to-face, you can keep it light-hearted and get your response right away. It'll usually be an enthusiastic "Yes!", followed by more talk about the general planning and excitement. It's more personal, friendlier - and (most importantly) you'll get a quick answer!

Answered by: 4 Experts

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Pamela Mutsau - Calligraphy & Art

(0) · Australia Wide

Posted: 14/03/2024

This is indeed frustrating. I can imagine how this would put pressure on you, especially when needing to finalise all the details with your planner/venue/caterers.

One way I encourage my brides to approach this is by communicating the importance of them RSVPing on time (again - as a reminder). This reminder serves as a 'final warning'. For the people you really want to attend (e.g. close friends), a quick call to follow-up can help. It's important for you to feel valued and have people RSVP on time for your special day. :) Generally, people tend to want to do the right thing but may not due to a busy schedule or forgetfulness. Meeting them halfway may be the best and reminding with a text or call may be the best solution. Those who RSVPd and attend will make the day all the more sweeter on the day. I suggest making it clear that late RSVPs won't be accepted to avoid any confusion. You can always have a table of refreshments for everyone after the ceremony (e.g. finger food) so late RSVPers to the reception can still take part in the celebration. Above all, try to stay calm and not let it ruin your wedding excitement. 


(34) · Western Australia & Beyond

Posted: 14/03/2024

Chasing RSVP's can be one of the trickier parts of wedding planning!

It's completely understandable to feel frustrated when guests haven't RSVP'd on time. One approach that tends to be effective is sending out gentle reminders to those who haven't responded yet. A friendly message or call, expressing your excitement about the upcoming event and kindly reminding them of the RSVP deadline, often helps prompt a response.

Remember, while it can be a bit of a task, your guests likely have busy schedules too, so approaching them with warmth and understanding usually yields the best results. If you need any further assistance or advice on managing RSVPs, feel free to reach out. We're here to assist you every step of the way!

WalRay Invitations

(1) · Australia Wide

Posted: 14/03/2024

Hello! We understand it can be a stressful situation navigating those who do not RSVP. It is more common than you think!

My solution would be to write a message and send the same one via text, social media, or email to all your guests at once. Here's a compassionate message you can use to gently remind your guests to RSVP:

"Dear guests,

We hope you're doing well. As we're in the midst of busyness, we understand life can get hectic. We wanted to gently remind you that our RSVP deadline has passed on [RSVP Date]. Your response by [New Deadline] will help us finalize our plans and ensure everyone has a wonderful experience. Your presence means a lot to us, and we appreciate your assistance in confirming your attendance. In the event that we don't receive your response by the deadline, we'll kindly assume you're unable to attend. Thank you for your understanding.

Warm regards, [Your Names]"

For future brides looking to streamline the RSVP process:

  1.  Offer a QR code to your wedding website for easy responses- We offer FREE QR codes to your website, printed beautifully on your detail card part of your invitaiton suite. Providing a QR code to your wedding website is a modern and convenient way for guests to respond.
  2.  Include a gentle reminder on the RSVP card about the importance of timely responses.
  3.  Allow guests to RSVP by phone for added convenience.
  4.  Consider sending gentle reminders closer to the RSVP deadline to nudge those who may have forgotten to respond.
  5.  By implementing these proactive strategies, this will encourage RSVPs, streamline the process and most importantly brides can alleviate some of the stress associated with chasing up guests and focus more on enjoying the excitement of their wedding day!
  6.  Any more questions please feel free to reach out! Good luck!

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