Recently there was a viral story about a bride who sent an invoice to a couple who had RSVP’d to attend her wedding and reception but, at the last minute, were unable to. Whether you agree with her strategy (I don’t!) we can certainly understand her frustration. It’s very difficult to get an accurate guest count for your reception. You will probably have guests who told you they would be there who actually won’t make it and those will be offset by guests who never RSVP’d in the first place (“Oh, honey, you knew we wouldn’t miss your wedding!”)
So that we’re all on the same page . . . RSVP is an acronym for the french “repondez, s’il vous plait” and means “Respond, if you please.” It requests a response to an invititation whether you are attending or not but the “or not” part is not understood as well as it could be. I would advise something along the lines of “RSVP attending or not” just so you aren’t left wondering. We have brides who tell us they have RSVPs from 80 guests, for instance, but assume 100 will attend because they haven’t heard back from quite a few of their guests. Since at Thunderbird Chapel the only time the guest count matters is for the reception that can be quite an expensive omission for guests to make.
Best advice would be to give them a pretty tight deadline to respond on the theory that if the deadline to respond is a month away it’s pretty easy to set that invite aside and neglect to RSVP at all. If you give them a week then they are less likely to ignore it for the time being. Give them a couple of different ways to respond; phone call, text or email work well and don’t involve them finding paper, pen and postage! And then don’t worry about it. You did all you could do and it’s their upbringing that will determine whether they respond, not yours!
We are very flexible at Thunderbird Chapel and we understand the challenges you face determining your guest count. We suggest not padding your count for those who don’t respond because you’ll probably have positive responses who actually don’t show up. We can accommodate more or less than expected and it won’t phase us. The less you have to worry about the more you’ll enjoy the whole endeavor! And that’s the most important part.