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Wedding RSVPs: The Romanticized Version + Reality

16 December 2011

done by Andrea Joseph Illustrations "Flickr" (cc) 

I sent the invitation which includes the exciting and highly anticipated (upon return) RSVP card. And each day until the deadline we checked the mail collecting these little cards. I commemorated the first official RSVP from my maternal aunt. I even gave her a call to let her know she was the first! A few RSVPs would show up every day, here and there and then some stragglers up until the deadline. Then, nothing. We were left with 88 open invitations. That is in the 40-50% range of the total invitations that we sent. What's the deal?

Well, it turns out that many people haven't hosted an event of this magnitude and don't realize that payments need to be made which are directly impacted by the total number of guests. Every person needs a chair and a table to pull up to and a meal as well as plate, fork, knife, spoon, glass for water etc. But many of our un-RSVP'd were seasoned in the wedding business either themselves recently married or through grown children's nuptials. But the bottom line is you are going to have start asking. 

We began calling, emailing, facebook messaging, or having our parents ask relatives and close friends if they were coming to our wedding. The second confounding factor is that most people don't know how to say,"NO," and therefore the absence of a response is indicative of "no." For some that may be true but to me "NO" is a completely acceptable answer. I realize that people have things going on and especially in this hard economy travelling (during the winter) is not possible. I just wish people could just say what their position is. 

The online RSVP established through our wedding website was super helpful for collecting RSVPs. Wedding Channel has an easy interface and emails the bride and groom with the RSVP responses of their guests. Although we collected a bulk of RSVPs online, some people still did not respond there either. RSVP-ing online saves the trouble of having to write on a card, tuck it in an envelope, lick it shut and walk it to the mailbox (or a mailbox). 

The punchline of this little story is that despite the best efforts on the bride and groom's part to make the RSVP process easier on their guests, people often don't respond so be prepared to hunt down answers from these people. For us, we have 100% answers for our wedding after the badgering process. 'Cause honeybadger don't care!

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