I’m willing to bet that there are very few brides out there who haven’t experienced this issue. Everyone has a forgetful friend or a “fashionably late” relative so it’s inevitable that some guests won’t respond to your wedding invitation. But the fact of the matter is that your caterer needs to know how many people will be attending, you’ve got to start working on your seating chart, and you’re still missing responses!
Ideally, invitations should go in the mail eight weeks prior to your wedding. Many wedding experts will suggest that your RSVP date be set for three weeks prior to your wedding. My personal preference, and suggestion to all Dear LC brides, is that the RSVP date is four weeks prior to the wedding. This gives you a little extra room to breathe and deal with late responders before you need to give a final count to your reception venue. You have enough last minute things on your to-do list and I don’t think hunting down wayward relatives should be one them!
So what do you do if you’ve got a few guests who haven’t responded by your preferred date? If you’ve chosen a date that’s four weeks prior to your wedding, you’re in luck, because you’ve got a little extra wiggle room. Wait a day or two to ensure that responses aren’t still in transit. If you’re still waiting on people after a few days, it’s perfectly acceptable to reach out to those last remaining guests with a phone call.
Yes, it’s going to be a little awkward, but freaking out and turning into a bridezilla on the phone, demanding that they give you a response, isn’t going to make it any less so. If you know the person well, make a little small talk first. If not, you can get right down to it. Explain that you’re calling to ensure that they received the invitation to your wedding and that you haven’t heard from them, but you really hope they can make it (of course you do! You invited them, right?). You can also explain that you need to give a final count to the caterer so you just want to make sure you’ve got your numbers right. Be polite and friendly.
Nonconfrontational? Or just plain busy? (Hey! You’ve got a wedding to plan, people!) This task can be delegated to the mother-of-the-bride or maid of honor. Just be sure that they explain to the person (if they’re not familiar with them) that they’re calling on behalf of the couple (that’s you!).