You have planned your wedding beautifully, but now you need to invite your guests to your wedding and you need to make sure that you receive RSVPs from your invitees and any other relevant information. But this is not something you have done before and you want to get right. So here are some of the top questions asked by couples regarding their invitations and RSVPs
1. How soon do we need to send out our invitations in order to get your RSVPs in time?
You don't need to send these out too early, however; you do want to give yourself enough time to collect all your RSVPs and take into account those who late RSVPs. The latest you want to send out your invitations is about 2 months before the wedding but if you want to get all the relevant information together and send it to the relevant parties you want to give yourself enough time (especially if you have a busy schedule). I suggest rather a 4-3 month point so as to give yourself ample time to receive the RSVPs and collate the information.
2. In terms of invitations what form should these be?
This really does depend on you and the tone you want to set for your wedding. Many of the stationery designers are happy to design online invitations as well as physical paper ones. If you opt for digital online ones you need to be very specific in how you want your guests to give you their answer and also the relevant information you want from, otherwise you can include this in the RSVP card you send if you send physical invitations.
3.What information should we include in the RSVP cards/ should we get from our guests?
This again depends on you but I suggest you make sure you specifically determine who is attending if they have said that they are (i.e. if you sent your invitation to the McGregor Family and there are 4 members of the family, you want to know if all 4 of the family members are attending).
Another thing to consider is dietaries (are there any dietaries you need to cater for).
If your menu is a choice menu (i.e. chicken or beef or veg) you need to ask them for their choice. If this is done by a RSVP card then all you need is to include the list on the card and they can tic the relevant choice.
4.How should they let you know their answer?
Depending on the format of your invitations will determine the format in which you receive your RSVPs. If you opt for physical paper invitations you can include an already addressed envelope and RSVP card which gives your guests all the details they need to fill in (see below an example from Pinterest). If you don't want to go this route you can always set up a special email which you use to receive your RSVP's or you can use an email address you already have. If you do choose to go down the route of emailed RSVP's make sure that you inform your guests what information you need to know from them i.e. who exactly is attending the wedding (try to get the specific names and correct spelling), what their dietaries are and if you have a meal choice (i.e. chicken or beef) what their choice is. They won't tell you unless you ask for it.
5. What if we don't want children at our wedding, how do we tactfully tell people "no children"?
This is of course one of those situations that requires a little bit of tact. This depends largely on who you classify as children (i.e. what age range) and how many of your guests have young children that they might bring to your wedding. The best way to go about this is before sending out your invitations, have a careful chat with some of your guests who you know have children to gauge how they feel about this, ultimately this is your wedding and you do pay per person when it comes to your catering. If you don't want children at your wedding you do need to inform your guests about this and the best way to do this is to either be a little blunt and put it in generic terms i.e. "this is a children free wedding" but you can be a little bit more tactful and if you are only inviting the parents you can put on your RSVP cards/ replies that they fill in how many of the number go invited guests are attending ie. __of 2 guests attending and they can either fill in 0/1/2 of 2 guests. Make it clear that they know to RSVP with this filled in. If you are worried about parents still bringing children even though you have gone with the option of __ of 2 guests attending which is still possible as there will be parents who assume that as they are children they will be easy to quickly make arrangements for, then you may need to be specific and put the note in saying " just to note this is a child free wedding". This way you avoid any unexpected surprises.
Still a little uncertain about your wedding invitations and RSVPs and have more questions to ask? Book an Inspiration Session with me and I can answer your specific questions and concerns when it comes to your wedding invitations.