What To Do When Guests Haven't RSVP'd In Time
Updated: Mar 11
"The deadline for returning RSVP's was several days ago & about 25% have not even responded!" This is one of the top frustrations of couples planning a wedding. Guests were who invited who did not RSVP by the deadline. Now, these couples wonder why people couldn't bother to respond and how they should handle it.
In defense of those who didn't RSVP, most likely they forgot; people are busy. Don't take it personally. Believe it or not, you'd be surprised how many get lost in the mail (generally because invites are different sizes). So, it's not uncommon to possibly have a few (literally) who did not get it. Of course, there are always those who simply can't get their stuff together to give you a solid answer.
First off -- STOP asking them questions & simply tell them what WILL happen. This is what I advise all of my couples who reach out to me asking what to do. A simple statement such as:
"We have to finalize our head count for our caterers (or venue) this week, and since I have not received an RSVP from you, we've marked you down as 'unable to attend.' If I don't hear back from you, I'll presume that is OK. Hope all is well"
That's it! Here's the thing: You're not asking them to do anything! Because you're not asking them to let you know whether or not they're coming. You simply told them what will happen if they ignore the message.
This is where you'll get the "OMG, I forgot. I'm so sorry" responses and you may also get a couple of those who truly never received an invite because it got lost in the mail I mentioned earlier.
Although the thin-skinned people on your list might find it rude or offensive, the fact is, it is NOT! You're not being rude. You're not making threats. Nor are you playing games or twisting things to get an answer. You're just being straightforward and letting them know what's happening.
You're a few weeks away from your wedding and you're way too-busy to be chasing these people down for an answer. You've already marked them as "not coming." It's up to THEM to call you to let you know otherwise.
And those that never bothered to get back to you either way, they probably aren't going to make it anyway. So, you made your live (and theirs) easier. Now, if they show up, there are other way to handle that. That might be another blog...because, shockingly, this is happening more than it should (it shouldn't happen at all!). :)