How to Make Digital Wedding RSVPs Clear and Easy for Your Guests

They streamline the process for you, but only if guests understand how to respond.

If there's one universally frustrating aspect of wedding planning, it's managing your guests RSVPs—your loved ones may forget to send them back or return them only to learn they were lost in the mail. Then there are the guests who give themselves an unintended plus-one, those who forget to select a meal choice, and, worse yet, those who leave off their own names entirely. Simply put, tracking down and deciphering your RSVPs can be tricky at best or head-spinning at worst.

Greg Vore

One way to simplify this process is by asking guests to RSVP digitally; there's no mail to worry about, you can save on return postage, and there's no messy handwriting to try and read. What's more, in our world of digital everything, guests are always connected, so it should stand to reason that your RSVPs would come in sooner, not later. But in order to have your digital wedding RSVPs be a success, you need to make the process clear and simple for your loved ones. Here's how to do just that.

Make it clear where guests need to go.

If you're opting for digital RSVPs, the very worst thing you can do is fail to provide clear instructions. Instead of a traditional RSVP card, include an enclosure that reads something like, "To RSVP, please visit our website:" And the work isn't done yet: On your website, make it clear where guests need to go in order to share their response. Headers like "RSVP" or "Reply" will help them find the correct page.

Outline the process with as much detail as possible.

Sure, it might seem incredibly obvious to you how to RSVP online, but for guests who have never done it before—or loved ones who are not as technologically savvy as you are—the process can be confusing. Provide as much information as possible to help guests RSVP quickly and efficiently. Most wedding websites have guests enter a last name for the entire group that was invited—say, a friend and her plus-one, or your cousin, her husband, and their kids—so if that's the case for yours, include a short prompt that explains how to pull up their information. Once they've done that, they should be able to RSVP by person or for the entire group, as well as add any dietary restrictions or mark their food preferences.

Make it clear who is invited.

While your guests should know who is invited based on who the invitation was addressed to, it's a good idea to make it clear as part of your digital RSVP, too. That means that should list "Mr. and Mrs. Jones" or "Karen and Jack Jones" on your wedding website instead of "the Jones Family," which would imply that kids are welcome. And if a guest was not given a plus-one, make sure there's no where for them to potentially add that information—if there's a space for guests, they may think they are allowed to bring a date even if the envelope didn't include a plus-one.

Consider a paper option.

If you are concerned that some of your wedding guests, such as your grandparents, may struggle with understanding how to RSVP digitally, consider having a smaller number of paper cards printed and send them to just those who would prefer the classic format. Managing just a few paper RSVPs would be simple.

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