I Want My, I Want My, I Want My…R.S.V.P!

Vintage Lace Response Card
Vintage Lace Response Card (Photo credit: blush printables)

Why guests don’t reply to wedding invitations? An age old problem. How do you get them to RSVP? Here are some proactive tips for couples:

  • Leave enough time: You’ll read in books that invitations are traditionally sent 8 weeks before the event.  With guests behaving as they do, that’s bullfeathers. Allow yourself plenty of time, and then tack on 2 weeks to chase after people. Don’t add stress by cutting your window too short.
  • Double check your response cards: There are too many couples who happily seal their invitations only to turn around and see extra sheets of stamps – they’ve forgotten to stamp the return envelopes. Have a second set of eyes check that everything looks A-OK.
  • Enlist the cool kids: Get point people to set a good example- if there’s a family matriarch, see if you can get her to RSVP early and let everyone know that’s what’s expected.  Have your wedding party spread the word among friends, etc.
  • Relax A Little: In the end, there are going to be slackers.  You’re going to have to have your Mom, and close friends work the phones a little anyway, no matter how hard you try, so there’s no point in fretting that your cards aren’t coming back fast enough.

There you have it! Now all you have to worry about is seating everyone. Piece of cake. Unless you haven’t picked a cake. Which is nothing to worry about – THAT’S a fun one!

Be well and love well.


Now That’s What I Call A Wedding Crasher

You’ll see stories from time to time about a couple who had an unexpected guest show up at their wedding – but not in such a bad way. If your uninvited plus one or two is a celebrity, somehow that turns a nightmare into a crazy, fun wedding memory.  There’s a couple who had Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez come strolling down the beach into their tented reception, and then a lovely English couple who found the cast and crew of “The Iron Lady” attending their ceremony. (At least Meryl Streep is well raised – she brought a gift).

But by far, this weekend’s instance of a celeb turning up unexpected (though not uninvited) is one that will be tough to top. This couple invited Queen Elizabeth to their wedding as a bit of a lark, never expecting her to come.  Indeed, they received a polite decline.  But lo and behold, on wedding day, Her Majesty and Prince Philip dropped by to wish the couple well. Now that’s a crash to end all crashes! And such a cute hat, too.
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Just goes to show, you’ve got to think outside the stationery box.  Want The Clintons at your wedding? Cher? Send the invitation. You never know who’s going to take you up on it.  But that also goes for people who get the “obligatory invitations” that you might rather not see.

The take-away: don’t send an invitation to people you can’t stand OR that are beyond your social circle thinking “they’ll never come” because they just might surprise you. Good advice all around, if it’s applied to Barry Manilow, or Uncle Eugene. You’re rolling the dice, and you might end up with a floorshow, but you’re also risking a monologue about the war years in Moldavia.

Be well, and love well!



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My Little Etiquette Shop: Shuffling Placecards is a Gamble – and the House always Wins

Oh the poor bride and groom.  They slave away in the last busy weeks before their big day, trying to achieve that elusive goal: the perfect seating arrangement.  PlacecardThe one where feuding cousins are on opposite sides of the dance floor, and Uncle Carl the anesthesiologist plays wing man for the med student who’s chatting up a bridesmaid at the next table over. But when the Mr. & Mrs. enter to cheers and glide onto the dance floor, they look around and realize that their careful plotting has been horribly botched.

We know what’s happened.  For years guests have taken it upon themselves to “improve”  seating plans. If they aren’t sitting with a particular friend or family member they do what they believe is an innocuous thing; switch placecards, or “lose” escort cards.  They don’t think about the fact that their seating has been carefully considered. Event staff may intervene – but more often than not, they (wisely) decline to engage this type of personality so as not to ruin a lovely evening.

How can you help?  Simply put, sit where you’re asked.  Period.  No one stays in their assigned seats much after the entree anyway, it’s not going to kill you to wait until cake to catch up with your sorority sister across the room.

The “House Always Wins” part works like this:  karma wise, you’re sealing your fate of future event tables full of Mommies & Me, Aunts Who Can’t Hear, and Uncles Who Don’t Shut Up.  Plus you can count on word of your behavior getting back to the bride/groom or mothers thereof, enshrining your difficult reputation for the rest of your days.  Every Christmas Party, Baby Shower, Barbeque…you’re forever “the one who messed up the wedding.”  Are you good with that? No? Then reign in your inner maitre d’.  Really feel the need to seat people? Open a restaurant.