Kindly reply. It seems like a simple enough request from your guests, right? I talk to many customers on a daily basis who ask me, how in the world do you get people to RSVP these days? It seems like the busy nature of our society has made some of us forget our manners when considering whether or not to attend an event. I sadly admit I’ve been the culprit of a non-rsvp once or twice before, and it always makes me feel horrible!
That being said, what is the best way to get your guests to RSVP? Depending on the formality of your event, a reply card can be one of the easiest ways for your guests to reply. You will only want to use a reply card on a formal event, (like a wedding, business event or a special event), where you need a head count, meal choices, etc. When you send a response card with an invitation, it should list the request for the reply along with a reply-by date and choices as to whether or not the guest is attending. All the guest will have to do is check off their attendance and fill in their name. Remember to pre-stamp and pre-address the return envelope for the reply card, too. Your guests should only have to fill in their information and then place it into their mailbox.
If you are hosting an informal event, be it a children’s party, a bridal shower or a family gathering, listing your RSVP information on your party invitation is acceptable. A name and phone number used to be the only thing listed for RSVP’s, however it is now widely acceptable to place your email address along with your phone number as an alternate way to RSVP. This is very helpful for those who may not have time to phone the host during the day due to work, or allow someone to RSVP to a host they are not acquainted with, which may make them a bit uncomfortable to call. Giving more than one option for RSVP is usually preferred. If you are having a very casual event and prefer not to be bombarded with phone calls and emails about party attendance, you may want to ask for “Regrets only” in which only the guests that cannot attend will contact the host. Remember, this may be slightly troublesome if you only have a few regrets and then many people still don’t attend your event. It’s a risky RSVP option, but you’re welcome to do that if you choose to do so.
The next time you receive an invitation with a request to reply, do your host the courtesy of sending your reply promptly, whether it’s by phone, email, text or mail. This helps the host plan their event, food and activities accordingly. And nobody wants to be “that” person at the party that shows up and doesn’t RSVP.