Wondering what gives when wedding guests don’t rsvp? We’ll tell you how to handle it! P.S. Make sure you subscribe for the latest.
Are you wondering what to do when wedding guests don’t rsvp? Should you just wait it out and hope they’ll call (they probably won’t), or leave a seat open just in case they show up on the big day? It is frustrating, isn’t it? And the last thing you want is an empty seat at your wedding or, worse, no seating for an unexpected guest who did not RSVP. What a conundrum. Today we’re tackling this tricky etiquette question submitted by Leah, who asks,
“Hi Emmaline, I’m wondering what to do about wedding guests who haven’t RSVPed yet to my wedding. My final head count is due in just three weeks and I’m still waiting on a handful of no responses. What should I do?”
What to Do When Wedding Guests Don’t RSVP
Good question, Leah! I think every couple ends up with at least a few no responses. Isn’t it a shame that, even with a simple yes or no card and a pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelope, some guests don’t send it in? While you are understandably fixated on your daily mailbox and counting up plus ones, your guests are busy with the usual day-to-day stuff. Life! Life happens. As the bride, don’t sweat it. It’s frustrating, yes, but there are some seriously easy ways to get your head count without stalking guests’ Facebook pages or knocking door-to-door. ;) And that’s why we’re here to help! Here’s how to handle guests who don’t RSVP for your wedding on time.
Follow up with guests who don’t rsvp
Call, email, or text — whatever you’re most comfortable with, and perhaps, the method of communication you usually use when speaking with the individual. If it is someone you don’t know very well (i.e. your dad’s co-worker, your mom’s friend, a cousin twice-removed), enlist some help. Perhaps your mom, dad, or beloved Maid of Honor can help reach out to those late-minute responders.
Don’t let wedding guests who don’t rsvp stress you out. (Hey, it happens!)
It’s rude, and frustrating, and probably the last thing you want to do right before the head count is due, but relax and let it go. Although the RSVP is pretty standard protocol for weddings, some guests disregard it. When wedding guests don’t rsvp, don’t take offense; wedding guests who don’t rsvp on time or by the desired date aren’t necessarily any less excited or delighted to be a part of your festivities.
Some wedding guests don’t rsvp because they need to wait until the last minute to make travel plans; others are still trying to confirm babysitting arrangements. For others, it could be their invitation got lost, misplaced in a stack of mail at home, or maybe it slid between the middle console of their car’s front seats on the way to the mailbox. (That seat gap is basically an abyss; I think I have like twelve dollars and eighty-five quarters, my old debit card, a french fry, and a parking pass lost in there somewhere. Anyone try one of these? Tell me if it works!) Hey, stuff happens!
Sidebar: how cute are these RSVPs?! By Smitten Paper Co.
Whatever the case, when wedding guests don’t rsvp try to remain calm and friendly when you call. Or email. Or text. Keep the conversation simple and to-the-point. Something along the lines of,
“HI! I hope you are well. I wanted to make sure you received our wedding invitation. We need to send in our final head count to the venue next week. We were wondering if you will be able to make it? Please let us know when you get a chance. Please call me back at _____, text, or email at _____. Thank you! We hope to see you there!”
So, what if you make the calls and leave messages and still… nothing?! Here’s what to do next.
What to Do When Wedding Guests Don’t RSVP and Also Don’t Respond to Attempts
So, what to do when wedding guests don’t rsvp AND don’t respond after contacting them? First of all, whatever, but that’s beside the point. ;) Well, you did what you could; chances are, he or she is not attending. It would be nice if they would tell you one way or another, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Don’t sweat it. Count them out but don’t take offense. You never know what someone has going on in his or her life.
How to Handle Guests Who Don’t RSVP and Then Show Up Anyway
Ah, the nerve! One of the biggest worries regarding what to do when wedding guests don’t rsvp is… what happens if guests just SHOW UP?! The truth is, it can happen, but it is very unlikely. I like to give guests the benefit of the doubt… you know, perhaps they just forgot, or maybe they thought they RSVPed but can’t remember and they randomly show up at the wedding. Here’s what to do: don’t make a big deal, just go with the flow. Many venues will have an allowance for a few unexpected guests (you’ll need to pay for them on the final bill, but at least they won’t feel unwelcomed), even at the very last minute. So, don’t sweat it. If you see someone looking around for an escort card to no avail, chances are they’re a no-responder (and you can ask your venue what to do if it happens).
P.S. It’s helpful to have a day-of coordinator in instances like this, as they can quickly seat guests and speak to the caterer so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Hope it helps!