RSVP | Everything you need to know

Requesting RSVPs when planning a wedding may seem like something everyone does, but we realize that is not always the case. We see couples all the time who have tons of wedding planning questions and are willing to take advice from anyone. It makes sense; you (usually) only plan a wedding once and are all ears for any helpful tips! One of our brides was given the advice that she didn’t need to collect RSVPs because she was serving food via a buffet so it didn’t matter if she knew who was coming. (Insert our horrified faces here!) Unfortunately, this information could not be further from the truth. So here is some RSVP advice from wedding pros! 

pc Taylor Ann Photography

pc Taylor Ann Photography

You absolutely must have your guests RSVP, regardless of what style of meal you are serving or any other wedding day factors. RSVPs are not only a necessity for a seating chart but they give you a final guest count.

RSVPs are necessary for a few main reasons…

  1. Catering: Your catering company will charge you per head and you don’t want to pay for more than you need.

  2. Cake: For the same reason as above. You want to have the correct size cake to serve your guests. No one wants to take home two extra tiers that no one ate. 

  3. Seating: You want to make sure that you have the correct amount of seats for your ceremony and reception so you can avoid any awkward situations like not enough seating or too many empty chairs.

  4. Vendors: Many vendors base their prices on your final guest count.

  5. Favors: No one wants to go home with 100 extra personalized koozies.

    It comes down to not wanting to pay more than you need to but also having enough of everything so your guests are comfortable. 

pc Amanda Summer Photography

pc Amanda Summer Photography

Traditional RSVP Cards

One way to collect your RSVPs is the traditional RSVP card enclosed in your wedding invitation. This is a super easy for your guests because all they have to do is fill in their names and drop the card in the mail. It makes the most sense for some couples but it is no longer the only way to collect your guest count.


-Traditional and expected


-Minimal effort required from guests


- More expensive for the couple (have to supply cards, return envelopes and stamps)

-Must keep track of and organize incoming RSVPs

Online RSVP

One way of collecting RSVPs that is quickly gaining traction is using a wedding website to collect RSVPs virtually. Guests can go online and fill out a short questionnaire to let you know if they are attending your big day. Some wedding websites even allow guests to choose a meal option and leave a note for the couple!


-Most cost effective (most wedding websites are free!)

-The website will keep track of the guest list automatically


-Less traditional 

-Some guests may have a hard time with technology 

Follow Up! 

People don’t RSVP. It is a sad reality of the world we live in. Sometimes people forget and sometimes they just do not realize how important it is. Either way, after your RSVP deadline date has passed, your work is just beginning. It is highly recommended you reach out to anyone who did not RSVP and confirm if they will be attending the wedding. (PSB Tip: This is a great job to delegate and let the MOB and MOG to make calls to their sides of the family so the list doesn’t feel so daunting!)

Your final guest count (based off of RSVPs) is one of the most simple, yet most important factors in your wedding day planning. Your final guest count determines so many different factors and is an important number for almost all of your vendors. Asking for RSVPs is not only expected, but totally necessary when planning your wedding!

Do you have any RSVP questions? Let us know below!