Ask the Expert: What Should I Do If Guests Don’t RSVP On Time?



Question: The RSVP date for my wedding is quickly approaching but I haven’t received as many response cards as I would’ve expected by now. What should I do if my guests don’t RSVP by the given date?

Answer: The first step is not to panic, says Christina Carnevale, owner and creative director of Conshohocken stationary and graphic design company Paper Rock Scissors. “Most venues need to know a preliminary count for your wedding two weeks in advance,” she says, adding that your RSVP date should be approximately three to four weeks prior to the Big Day, giving you an extra week or so to track down any last minute stragglers.

Nevertheless, if you’re a bit anxious to solidify your guest list, Carnevale has a few suggestions for how to precede. If all of your guests don’t respond by the deadline on the card, wait a few additional days to allow for RSVPs that were mailed on the actual due date. “If, after three to four days you still don’t have the RSVPs, call the guest and confirm if he/she is attending the wedding,” she says. “There are sometimes situations where a guest didn’t receive the invitation, so you want to make that call–don’t forget to ask what his/her entrée choice is, if you need it.”

For the RSVP cards that have arrived in your mailbox on time, Carnevale recommends holding onto them, even after marking the response on your guest list. Should there be a mistake down the road, ” it always helps to have the original documentation to review.”

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