There are so many questions that need to be answered around RSVPs.

“When do I collect them?” “How do I collect them?” “How do I stay organized?” “Do I really have to collect each guests meal if I want a plated meal?” “When do I need all my guests answered by?” “Can I do a website for RSVPs or do I have to send the printed card/envelope?”

Don’t you worry – everything answered below!

When to send the invitations out?

  • 8-10 weeks prior to the wedding, I always air on the side of, earlier never hurt anyone. If you have traveling guests, the sooner they know, the better!

When do you ask to have your RSVPs back by:

  • You need to provide the final to the Venue at 10-14 business days out; best to do 4 weeks prior to the event. Enough time to track humans down and get organized

I want a plated entree, do I have to ask guests what they want?

  • YES, you do. This is very important. The Venue needs meal counts and dietary restrictions at that 14 day out mark

Do I tell my guests on the invitations, exactly what the entree dishes entail?

For example: Short Rib with potato puree, grilled asparagus and drizzled with red wine reduction

No, please don’t do that. All the invitation needs to ask the guests is: “beef” “fish” “vegetarian”; the type of protein for the dish. The more information you give them, the more options they think they have. Unless there is a dietary restrictions and/or allergy, the Venue will not be customizing every plate. Don’t ask for too much, you will get more information than you bargained for!

If I am doing buffet or family style, do I need to collect meal types?

Nope! Only for plated meals do you need to ask and collect for this information!

Meal Indications and Coding:

  • the Escort Cards will need to have a code on them identifying what meal each guest will have.
  • Meal Indicator options: an icon (FISH Sticker = Fish), color (Beef in BLUE, Fish in PINK, Vegetarian in PURPLE_, or a letter (B = Beef, F = Fish, V = Vegetarian). There are more options out there, but those are the most common!
  • You do need ample time to get this sent to the printer (or do yourself) and get back in time for the big event. The weeks leading up to the wedding are crucial in this process which is why asking 4 weeks on the RSVP return, is a solid amount of time!

See below – a great example of a creative “meal indicator”. The tag on the left with the name on it, represented FISH for the white tag.

Collecting RSVPs, whats the best route?

  • There is the traditional generation that still loves to mail in the RSVP card and send you a cute note
  • Then there is the younger generation that drags their feet and find the online RSVP option more ideal
  • If you have the means to do both, go for it! I specify on “means” as its standard to include the envelopes and stamps to all RSVP cards. Thats a cost and responsibility of YOU (as the one sending these out)
  • If you’re a millennial and don’t have a strong opinion, just do the online option

As the RSVPs start rolling in, make sure to be organized! Have an excel sheet going with:

  • Guest Names (last to first) – *NOTE: Have your guests in order with how you want them to sit at the table
  • Table Number
  • Meal Indication
  • Any Dietary Restrictions

Helpful? Still have questions? Comment below and ask away!!


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