With how connected we all our to the internet, it is no wonder that brides are turning to it to aid in systematizing their planning process. With the rise of technology in the wedding field has come the rise of etiquette changes and questions. For instance, is it okay to ask your guests to RSVP online? Is that tacky? And how do guests feel about it?
As a planner, I see both sides of the argument. I understand the bride's desire to save postage (considering that an average of 4 stamps is used per guest throughout the wedding planning process.) Online RSVPs certainly save the bride from purchasing one of those stamps, which is no small amount. Not to mention how it removes the need to keep track of all your returned RSVP cards.
However, I have also seen the amount of stress a bride experiences caused by guests not RSVPing online. I have seen brides two weeks before their wedding completely unsure of how many guests they are expecting because virtually no one RSVPed. In those moments brides normally wish that they had paid for traditional RSVP cards which have a much higher response rate.
I always remind my brides of one important fact when they're stressing about RSVPs:
Once your RSVP date has passed you are 100% within etiquette to call all the guests that haven't RSVPed and request their response.
This is doable when we're talking a small grouping, and often unnecessary when the number of guests that haven't responded is small enough that it won't effect your bottom line. However, when the majority of your guests haven't RSVPed, it can be almost impossible.
For this reason, I am still a firm believer in traditional paper RSVPs. Paper gives guests something tangible that reminds them they need to RSVP. It also allows you to easily communicate how many people are invited (and even list their names if, for example, you are inviting the parents but not their children.) Plus, paper RSVP cards make the entire invitation experience feel more luxurious for your guests, which can set the tone for and help them anticipate your wedding day.
Still feel the need to go with online RSVPs? Here are the best tips for success:
- Don't include the RSVP information on your wedding invite where it can get lost amid the other important info. Provide it on its own sheet of paper (preferably no smaller than a postcard) with a clear URL and instructions.
- Make it as easy and uncomplicated for your guests as possible! Perhaps consider assigning a bitly link to the URL so that guests aren't daunted by typing in something super long. You could even route all RSVPs to a wedding specific email address.
- Be prepared for phone and in-person RSVPs! Some people will take this route as "the same" as RSVPing online. Talk with your parents and his regarding how to handle and track these RSVPs. Don't assume the person will also RSVP online!
- Set the RSVP deadline a little further out from your day than necessary. Especially if numbers are an important factor in your wedding budget, you need to give yourself time to track down all the people who haven't responded. When the time comes divide the list up between yourself, your mother and his mother and conquer it as a team!
How do you prefer to see wedding RSVPs handled?