Planning a wedding is like putting together a huge, complex puzzle: every detail must fit together perfectly to reveal the final masterpiece. You may be surprised to find that your wedding RSVP deadline — seemingly a minor piece of the picture as a whole — actually plays a crucial role in the wedding planning process.
As you establish a timeline and start to count down to your perfect day, you will likely have a lot of questions about the invitation and RSVP process: When should wedding invites be sent out? And when should wedding RSVPS be due? Does the RSVP date for a wedding change if it’s a destination wedding? Don’t worry: we’ll help you feel confident getting your guest count settled on time with our useful wedding RSVP guide.
The Timeline For Sending Out Save-The-Dates And RSVP Invitations
Sending out your save-the-dates and invitations are both extremely important steps in your wedding planning journey. These exciting pieces of mail are the first official announcement of your upcoming celebration, and give guests a teaser for your big day.
Save-the-date cards are typically sent out 6 to 8 months before the wedding, and alert guests to the official date of your wedding so they can mark their calendars and plan accordingly. For destination weddings or weddings that will host many out-of-town guests, consider erring on the side of caution and sending your save-the-dates 8-10 months before your big day to allow more time for travel plans to be made.
After your save-the-dates have set the stage, it’s time to send out the main act: your wedding invitations. Wedding invitations give your guests all the important details of your wedding day, including the venue, date, time, dress code, and any other pertinent information.
When do you send out wedding invitations with an RSVP card? Typically, wedding invitations (complete with RSVP cards) are sent out 6 to 8 weeks (2-3 months) before the wedding day. This shorter time frame is made possible by your save-the-dates, which have made your guests aware that they will be invited to your upcoming celebration. This allows you to provide more detailed information in your wedding invitations without giving your guests too much time to forget or misplace the invitation.
When sending out your wedding invitations, remember to include those all-important RSVP cards along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to make it easy for your guests to confirm their attendance. Alternatively, you can direct guests to an online RSVP system on your wedding website or other RSVP collection site for paperless tracking of responses.
Crafting The Perfect Wedding RSVP
Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter: your wedding RSVP cards. These unassuming pieces of stationery hold the key to a well-organized, smoothly-run event. A well-crafted RSVP card includes these essential components:
- The guest’s name
- Response options (attending/declining)
- Meal preferences & dietary requirements
- Number of additional guests (plus-ones)
- Guest contact information
The design should reflect the overall theme of your wedding while providing clear response instructions. Some couples also choose to include fun extras on their RSVP cards, such as song requests for the DJ or band.
When Should Guests RSVP By For A Wedding, And Why Does It Matter?
Major events like weddings call for RSVPs because of their size and level of planning required to pull off a successful event. Couples or wedding planners use RSVPs to determine their final guest count, which then informs details like seating arrangements, catering orders, and many others.
If timely RSVP responses are so important, when should wedding RSVPs be due to ensure the smoothest possible flow of decision making and final details? Generally, the RSVP deadline for a wedding is about 3-4 weeks before the wedding date. This timeframe strikes a balance between giving your guests enough time to respond and providing you with ample time to finalize various arrangements.
When Should Guests RSVP By For A Destination Wedding?
Destination weddings are exciting, but they also make the wedding planning process that much more complicated. When should guests RSVP by for a destination wedding? Should couples allow more or less RSVP time for such an event?
Since these gatherings often include a smaller group of close friends and family, the wedding RSVP timeline can be a bit more relaxed. The average RSVP deadline for a destination wedding is longer than that of a traditional wedding, usually around 6-8 weeks before the wedding date. This extended timeframe accounts for the fact that guests will need more time to make travel arrangements, such as booking flights and accommodations.
Given the intimate nature of destination weddings, it’s perfectly acceptable to be less formal with following up for responses. However, it’s still wise to bear in mind that your invitations should be sent out earlier to give guests enough time to make their travel plans, and set a reasonable RSVP due date accordingly. This will help to ensure you have a clear understanding of who will be joining you on your special day!
How To Gently Nudge Guests For Timely Responses
As your RSVP deadline approaches, you may find that some guests need a gentle reminder to submit their responses. Friendly reminders can be sent out through various channels — a heartfelt email, a playful social media post, or even a quick text message. Another effective approach is utilizing online RSVP platforms; these platforms not only simplify the process for you and your guests, but also increase response rates thanks to their convenience.
Handling Late RSVPs And Unexpected Responses
No matter how many proactive steps you take to ensure timely responses, there will undoubtedly be a few stragglers who are late with their RSVPs or throw in some unexpected requests or changes late in the game. It’s important to accept this as you start sending out your invitations, and to remain flexible as your RSVP deadline passes.
Leave some wiggle room in your arrangements to accommodate last-minute responses. Whether it’s a distant relative finally confirming their attendance or a friend bringing along an unexpected plus-one, embracing these changes gracefully will ultimately contribute to a stress-free wedding day.
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The Heritage Center of Brooklyn Center is the Twin Cities area’s premier wedding venue, and we would be delighted to help you host your dream wedding at our historic events center! Our experienced wedding coordinators will help you plan the perfect wedding day down to the last detail. Contact us today to learn more about hosting your wedding at the Heritage Center of Brooklyn Center!