For anyone who has ever planned an event that required RSVPs, you know how important getting that information is, and especially when it is for a wedding. Whether it is an intimate backyard wedding or a large ballroom wedding with hundreds of guests, it is nice to know who will be attending so that you can decide on seating arrangements, food preparations, and other important decisions. If this is your first time sending out RSVPs you may feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect of keeping track of those important little cards, but there is no reason to fret. We have 5 tips on keeping track of RSVPs so you can plan your wedding without going postal.
Creating a guest master list is quite possibly one of the best ways to keep track of the RSVPs that start trickling in through the mail. You can do this one of two ways: create a spreadsheet in a program like Excel or Google spreadsheets or use a guest list manager like this one from The Knot. If you want to do it the spreadsheet way, start by building your list with guests’ names, addresses, phone numbers, meal preference, yes/no response, and plus one info, if applicable. Next, notice that there is a number by each guests’ name and write that number on the RSVP card with either a pen/pencil or invisible ink marker (ink can only be seen under black light.) Numbering comes in handy when someone forgets to write his or her name or the writing is illegible. You can also use a pre-made spreadsheet template, like this one.
Like many things in life, the easier and more convenient something is, the better. Make it easy for your guests to respond so you do not have to make a ton of follow-up phone calls to retrieve the missing RSVP info. Include a pre-addressed envelope and proper postage so guests can easily fill out their information and drop it in the mail. You could also include an alternative way to RSVP, such as an email address.
Online RSVP tools like RSVPify, Wedding Wire, and Appy Couple make it easy for guests to reply and for you to collect the information you need. Tools like these allow you to build your guest list, collect mailing addresses, track guest info, and print out custom reports. Guests are directed to your wedding website or tracker link and asked to complete your customized RSVP online.
Even though it is easy to type in the information you collect, digital copies are not always reliable. If you are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you have a hard copy, dedicate a notebook to guest tracking and set it up just as you would in a spreadsheet.
The humble Google Docs is perfect for the bride or groom looking to create a simple online RSVP form. Offbeat Bride has an easy tutorial on how to do it. All it requires is choosing “Form” from the Google Drive menu and customizing it to suit your needs. You can embed the form in your wedding website or include a short URL on your paper invites.
Tracking RSVPs is no small feat, but it can be easy when you follow these tips. You will always know who is coming, who hasn’t replied yet, and what everyone’s preferences are. If you have any other tips on keeping track of wedding and event RSVPs, please let us know in the comments!