Dear Wedding Bee Babes,

I know I’m usually the one doling out advice like candy in a school yard, but now I have a question! Despite my research online, I can’t seem to find any kind of a straight answer. Our wedding is going to be on Oct 21st in Palm Desert, CA. Although I have a few friends coming from LA, for most it will be a destination wedding. The reception is going to be at my aunt’s house and the number of people who RSVP is going to determine the setup (i.e if we just do tables out in the backyard or end up needing the front courtyard as well). So, a lot is actually hinging on our final numbers.

We are sending out invites in early August (to give everyone lots of time) and I’m wondering when we should set our RSVP deadline date as? I’ve heard the two weeks before the wedding is standard, BUT, everyone who is coming will need to make travel plans and reservations, so it’s not going to be a last minute decision for anyone. Plus, the sooner we know how many people are coming, the better we can prepare (two weeks before really won’t give us enough time).

I would like to set the deadline reply date for Mid-Sept. However, my mother-in-law is telling me that this will create a logistical nightmare b/c we will end up with lots of people who say yes and then change their minds or vice versa. I disagreed only b/c of the travel factor (if people are coming to the wedding and they don’t know by mid sept, they likely won’t be able to get a hotel room or perhaps even a plane reservation).

The sooner we get that final number, the sooner we can finalize all of our reception plans, which are a lot more complicated b/c we are not dealing with a standard ballroom. Ok, what do you ladies think??

Miss Beetle


Mrs. Beetle

New York/Palm Desert
Boutwell Studio
Let Me Eat Cake


  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Michelle, Guest @ 7:50 pm

    did you send out save the dates? i know that my friends who had destination weddings wrote that it was a destination wedding and put the location on the std.

    but mid september is a good time.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    MizzPiggeys, Guest @ 9:23 pm

    Miss Beetle,
    It’s best to have all RSVP’s at LEAST 5-6 weeks prior to wedding date so you have time to plan out your guests. I plan to do that b/c I will (against my original beliefs) need to have a A|B list. My inlaws are paying for the banquet, so I am forced to narrow my list.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    angie b., Guest @ 9:35 pm

    i think your initial choice of mid-sept rsvp deadline is fine. you’re right that people need to make arrangements and if they haven’t made reservations yet, the earlier rsvp date might help them to finalize their own travel plans. good luck :)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Beetle, Guest @ 11:32 pm

    You guys rock! Thanks for all of the great responses. As is the case in most situations, I’m going with my gut! I’ll shoot for a mid Sept RSVP deadline. I totally appreciate everyone’s opinion :)

  5. mrsbee Member
    mrsbee 3235 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:52 am

    I would definitely go for the early rsvp date. We only had one cancellation and it was the week before the wedding. Our RSVP return rate was 100% I think well before the deadline. Guests will understand because it is a destination wedding, and it’s at a private residence which requires much more planning than at a regular wedding venue.

    You could always send out your snazzy rsvp confirmation post cards too after the rsvp deadline to reconfirm. =)

    Do what you feel best with. Nothing beats peace of mind!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    ncmz, Guest @ 9:20 am

    Wedding is on August second and we request a RSVP by July second. By that time 90% had answer, so you can have time to call whoever did not responde and start planning the tables of the ones who were sure. One month should do it. And yes, you may get last minute cancellations but they will be like (worse come to worse) 10?? On 350 guests we had like 5 on my side and 8 on FI’s side. HTH

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    JB, Guest @ 10:09 am

    We have the same wedding date!! I just approved my invitation proofs yesterday, and we are shooting to have them in the mail by 8/21. The reply card asks for responses by 9.18. Good luck!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Daisy, Guest @ 2:09 pm

    I would do based how what the standard would be for making rental reservations for your front courtyard thing. It’s true that b/c it’s more of a destination wedding that family and friends will need more time to make reservations, so all in all I think 3-4 weeks in your case is okay.

  9. Member
    nittanybride 7 posts, Newbee @ 2:28 pm

    Hello all! I am so glad I found this thread. Our wedding date is August 7th and it is quasi-destination (about a 4.5-5 hr drive from “home”). And I say drive because nobody flies here, its way easier to just drive. My fiance and I wanted a really small intimate setting so we only sent invites (mailed out in May) to our immediate family and a couple very close friends who live in the town where we are getting married. We told them to RSVP by July 1st. Now, my mom had to tell my extended family (who all live in the same place ~5hrs away from wedding location) that we were having a really really small wedding.

    Now here is the problem, we are getting an alarming number of No’s from our friends who live there… there are still 7 weeks till our wedding, is it completely awful to send invites to some extended family with a different RSVP date? Are we too close to the wedding considering the 5 hrs of travel each direction? If not, what reason do we give them? That we decided to have more people come? I am so confused and worried that nobody will be at my wedding.

    And for the record, no, I don’t have one of those crazy families who wouldn’t show up simply out of spite. So what does everyone think?

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Kimberly, Guest @ 1:09 pm

    I have already gotten married and we have decided to only have a wedding reception.

    I am not sure how soon I should start mailing invitations??

    What time frame (on RSVP cards) I should give ones to respond… ???

    Wedding reception is May 14, 2011

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