How to Handle No Response to Wedding Invitations


There are only 5 weeks left for your wedding! You have emailed people, sent out the invitations and now are awaiting those RSVPs to give your caterer the final guest count. In such a case, what do you do when you get no response to wedding invitation? How do you chase down those RSVPs and handle those unexpected guests at your wedding? We give you the complete lowdown in such a situation.

How to Handle No Response to Wedding Invitations


Why Do You Need a Response to Your Wedding Invitation?

Once you have sent out the invites, you literally set the wheels of wedding planning into motion. Your guests’ RSVPs help you plan the following:

  • The size of your wedding – whether it will be an intimate wedding or a large gathering with over 100 guests.

  • The wedding venue – Your venue might have already been booked, but you can decide on the size of the banquet hall, indoor/outdoor ceremony, whether there is adequate parking, toilets, seating and dancing area for all guests.

  • The wedding caterer – He or she needs a final head count a couple of weeks before the wedding to arrange for adequate food and beverages.

  • Other vendors – Other vendors include vendors for wedding cakes, flowers, beverages, and photography etc. They also need a heads up about the total number of wedding guests to plan/buy/arrange things needed for the ceremony.

  • The stationery and favors – You will be able to order the right number of thank you cards, wedding favors and return gifts.

Getting no RSVPs from your guests sets all this out-of-balance. You cannot plan ahead nor can you complete your shopping. Getting no response to your wedding invitations can be a tricky situation causing many a bride to panic.


What to Do If You Get No Response to Wedding Invitation

When you get no response from your guests, the first thing you tend to think is how rude and inconsiderate people can be. However, there are myriad reasons why guests fail to RSVP: some forget, some think they will do it later, some are unsure of their availability and some may be going through a tough situation. Whatever the reason, hosts surely tend to feel hurt when they do not get RSVPS. Here is what you can do if this occurs:

  • Call up people who have not responded to your invites. People usually understand that you need to call to give the caterer and the venue an exact head count. Keep your tone polite and friendly.

    Here is what you can say to the guest:

    “Hey. Hope you are well. Did you receive my wedding invite? Since I haven’t heard from you, I thought I should call. My fiancé and I hope you can make it. I need to give a final number to my caterer by this Thursday, so could you please let us know if you will be attending?”

  • Use social media, especially Facebook which allows you to conveniently create a list of people who have not responded to your wedding invitation. The best part about using the Facebook is that no one needs to know who is or isn’t on the list. The status of the guests can also be made private, so others need not know how the individual has responded.

    You can do it like this:

    Create a list of people who have not responded to your wedding invitation and set a cheerful reminder to all those enlisted people about responding to the wedding invitations. In this way, people also have the flexibility to choose to respond by calling or emailing you.


Tips and Ideas to Get People to Respond to Your Wedding Invitation

  • Send the invitations on time

    Try to send the wedding invitations out on time-at least 8 weeks before the wedding. This gives guests a timeline of 4 weeks to respond. If you are having a destination wedding, send the invites out at least 4 and half months prior to the wedding day. This gives you adequate time to book the hotel and travel arrangements.

  • Set a deadline to RSVP

    Setting a deadline to RSVP is the best way to avoid getting no response to wedding invitations. A deadline helps you get a time buffer so you can proceed with the planning and avoid late minute rush. Ideally, you can set the deadline at least 4 weeks prior to the wedding day. Most guests will adhere to it and send their RSVPs, but for those who do not, it is best to call them to get a confirmation.

  •  Get your bridal party to help you make follow-up calls

    Your mother, bridesmaids and sister can make calls on your behalf to get the responses. Often people who fail to respond are from the extended family, so your parents are the best people to seek help from as they can gently remind busy guests to respond. In case of unresponsive friends, split the list between you and your to-be-better-half to make those calls.

  • Use the right words in your wedding invitations

    It all comes down to this tip. The wording of your wedding invitation RSVP card is extremely important to prevent getting no response to wedding invitations. Here is an example:

The Favor of Your Reply Is Expected By June 25th:

Accept with Pleasure________________

Decline with Regret _________________

Make sure the RSVP by date is prominent. You can also provide guests alternate ways to RSVP such as a wedding website, or email.


What to Do With Unexpected Guests

Despite these ideas and tips, many hosts still do not receive all the RSVPS of their wedding invitations. There are always many unexpected possibilities at your wedding day, such as, the guests who responded “yes” won’t be able to come last minute or the guests who didn’t RSVP show up anyway. Even more surprising is to see some unexpected guests come with a plus one or two! What are you supposed to do with so many unexpected possibilities? Here are some tips to deal with this situation:

  • Ask them to join you later for drinks and dance – You can politely tell the guests that they did not reply to your invite. Ask them to wait until the dinner is over and later join in for drinks and dancing. Keep it cool and classy and be friendly and polite.

  • Set some extra table places anyway – You have stayed on top of your RSVPs and even called all those people who did not get back. If you were unable to track those distant cousins who never bothered to return your messages, then it is best to set an extra table with a plus one for such guests.

  • Always keep an extra for the buffet – In most cases, buffet food is already a bit extra so you need not worry about one or two extra guests. To be on the safer side, ask the caterer to prepare for 10 extra over the expected number of guests to accommodate the unexpected ones.

Also talk to your venue coordinator about unexpected attendees; experienced ones know just what to do in such cases!