“Everyone hates me, I have no friends!” It’s a week before the party and you haven’t received a single RSVP. Therefore, everyone hates you, you have no friends and no one wants to spend time with you, right? WRONG!!!! I’ve been there before. Then reality sets in, I calm down and I think, I haven’t pissed anyone off since I last saw them, they probably don’t hate me, and just like me they are probably busy. That’s WHY they haven’t responded. Here are five RSVP tips to help get your guests to respond.
RSVP TIP #1 – Set a Specific RSVP Date
When you create your invite, set a specific date for the RSVP. You need to give your guests a deadline. If you don’t set that boundary they could decide the day of the party “Oh I’ll just stop by with my family of 8, they will be ready for us”. And guess what, you AREN’T ready for them! Now, you are scrambling trying to make food for 12 become food for 20. So you need to include the RSVP date on your invite.
RSVP TIP #2 – Set the RSVP Date 2 Days PRIOR to the Actual Due Date
Setting the RSVP date 2 days before you actually need to know how many people are coming will help alleviate some stress. Let’s face it, we live in a time when people are always on the go, thinking about things they need to get done next and sometimes other people’s agendas are not first in their mind. I’m guilty! Having an earlier RSVP date is a great way to buffer the time. Especially if you have to give a final head count for catering. By setting an earlier date, those people who realize they missed the RSVP date can still RSVP and you look like the most gracious person because even though the RSVP date has passed you are so calm about them responding a day or two late. These extra two days also allow you to reach out to the invitees that you haven’t yet received an RSVP from yet.
RSVP TIP #3 – Remind Your Invitees to RSVP
As I said, people are always on the go, so they need a little help. You need to reach out to those who have not responded and give them a friendly reminder that you would like to know if they can attend. If you are doing a casual invite, such as evite or Facebook event as your communication, those 2 platforms give nudges. “Don’t forget to let Christie know if you can attend her event.” These are always great reminders for me. But if you are not using one of these platforms and you have sent out a formal invite, just send a quick email, text or better yet, pick up the phone and call your guests. You can do it a day or two prior to the RSVP date. If you have allowed a two day buffer for your RSVP, you can call the day after the due date and let them know you were wondering if they would be able to attend. Now you have your answer!
RSVP TIP #4 -Give Multiple RSVP Communication Options
We communicate in so many ways these days, emails, texting, social media and sometimes even a phone call. Therefore, give your invitees different choices for how to RSVP. You can include your email address and cell phone number on the invite. Let them know to either email you, call or text their response. That way, you have given them three choices for responding to you. Most everyone carries their phone with them all day long. When they have the invite available they will most likely have their phone and can quickly take one minute to respond.
RSVP TIP #5 – Regrets Only – This Has it’s Risks
This is really reserved for large events so that the coordinator doesn’t need to hear from all of the invitees. However, I do see this on many baby and bridal shower invitations. On the invite you write “Regrets Only” and then provide your phone number and email address. This tells the invitee you assume they will be there unless they call to tell you they cannot attend. This takes a to-do item off their list. They just know they can show up and don’t have to do anything between now and the party. Of course, you may still get people calling to say they will be attending, but hey that’s great too because you know they got the invite and will be attending. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that the person you invited will attend. Maybe they didn’t see the invitation or forgot to call you to tell you they wouldn’t be attending. It carries the risk that you think someone is going to attend but they forgot to tell you they won’t be attending.
BONUS RSVP TIPS – Give Subtle Hints/Reminders
Of all the RSVP tips, this isn’t the most solid form to get an RSVP, but it helps. I have noticed that when you use a Facebook event to invite guests, they are often reminded about the party when you post updates to the event. So if you have something to share you can write a post and the guest list will see that you have posted to the invite in their alerts. This reminds them about the party and gets them coming back to the invite to see the updates.
Connected but no Communication
It seems since social media and cell phones have taken over people are less likely to respond early to parties. We are constantly connected, but we don’t always communicate. I’m guilty. I read something on the run and forget to respond. Weeks can go by and suddenly, something reminds me that I forgot to respond! I know I’m not alone. Therefore, as the host it is your responsibility to follow up with your guests, if you want to know if they are coming. Usually your friends are not blowing you off or waiting for a “better offer” they are just busy. To help you get the RSVPs you need, just remember these tips: set a firm deadline to RSVP, give them a two day buffer (without them knowing), reach out to them, give them several ways to RSVP, or just assume they are coming and tell them to call if they are not coming.
Don’t Be THAT Guest!
We wouldn’t need these RSVP tips if everyone responded in a timely manner, therefore, next time you receive an invitation, take care of your RSVP immediately. They will be excited that you will be able to attend and it shows the host they are important to you. And if you can’t attend, that is ok. Just let them know you appreciate the invite, but will not be able to make the party. You don’t even need to give a reason why you can’t attend. Just be courteous and respond either way. It will be appreciated.
Good luck and I hope your next party is RSVP stress free from using these tips.
Need some help planning your gust list or invitations? I give some tips here Planning Your Party Location, Guest List and Invitations
Want to remember this? Post this article to your favorite Pinterest board.