Getting people to RSVP to any type of event is a headache today. When it comes to your vow renewal, those RSVPs become very important. It’s not unusual to find your typically reliable friends and family slacking when it becomes RSVP time. Then there are the generally semi-flaky people who get even flakier about RSVPing. Finally, there are those people who don’t plan on attending that think no reply is a reply or worse, are coming and assume you should magically know that. It really doesn’t matter how easy you make RSVPing or what size your vow renewal is, you’re going to have guests you have to hound for an answer. Just to be clear, there are no tips and tricks that will ensure a 100% response rate, but these should help increase it.
Use Specific Wording
Surprisingly enough, many people do not understand what is expected of them when they receive an invitation that asks them to RSVP. They might not even know what RSVP means. Plus, they might not understand that a response is expected, even if they won’t be attending. Trade out the use of RSVP for wording such as, ‘The favor of your reply is requested by [insert date]’ to make your expectations clearer.
Get Creative with Your Request
A great call to action is often the motivation guests need to get them to RSVP. Get creative and include a participation element on your response card. Ask guests to share a favorite photo or memory along with their RSVP. You can also request that they place their song requests along with their RSVP.
Make the RSVP Time Frame Just Right
Invitations are typically sent six to eight weeks before a formal vow renewal with an RSVP deadline of three to four weeks out. For a more casual vow renewal, invitations are typically sent four to six weeks before the event with an RSVP deadline of two to three weeks out. If your guests are typically unreliable in RSVPing, you might want to shorten that RSVP deadline by a week or two.
Give Guest Multiple RSVP Options
The more ways you give guests the ability to tell you yes or no on whether or not they will be attending your vow renewal, the better. Since mail has rather gone out of vogue, your invitations should include a phone number and email address, or even a website, where guests can RSVP to. While mail-in cards are the traditional choice for a formal vow renewal, they simply don’t get the response rate you’re looking for anymore. If you feel like you must include them, make sure you include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Keep in Touch
Guests that are socially in contact with you between the time you send out your invitations and the RSVP due date arrives are naturally more likely to respond in a timely fashion. This can include in-person contact, social media sharing, and other electronic forms of communication.