Why I Love the Online RSVP

When I first shared our Once Upon a Time invitations with the hive I talked briefly about my love of online RSVP’ing, but I figure it’s worth sharing my thoughts again and this time in more detail.

I have a confession to make, I placed a lot more importance on our RSVP deadline date than I originally thought I would. I ended up attaching some emotion to the RSVP waiting game and frankly, it’s not something I would recommend!
I have secretly been waiting for Jan. 15th for a while now; feeling beyond curious about who will be able to attend the wedding and who will not. I know many bees before me have written about their disappointment when certain family members or friends submit a “no” response, and I am here to commiserate with them. But I truly believe that everyone who is meant to be there will be there and the wedding day will be fantastic no matter what.

We chose a deadline early enough to give us plenty of time to track down the stragglers and to be certain that guests had ample time to make hotel reservations and flights. If most of your guests are in the same state/city, I wouldn’t think you need to know as far in advance as we do. I’m also anxious to have a real number in my head! For the past year when talking about our guest list it’s always been a range of numbers, like 110-150 or our best guess, 130ish? Soon enough, we will have a confirmed number.

Speaking of numbers, out of the 186 people invited, we have heard back from 129 of them with 102 folks attending and 27 declining. A great start! Since we are inviting a few families, I think it also makes sense to look at our guests as households or invitations. We sent out 86 invitations and have heard back from 63. Out of those 63 households, 50 have accepted and 13 have declined, with 23 households left unknown at this point.

While I love the idea of receiving the RSVP cards in the mail because it’s traditional and beautiful, I have to say going online with our RSVP system was one of the smartest decisions we made! I love the ease of it and the way it keeps track of everything for us. I can just log in and see our numbers quickly without counting or entering in information myself.

So imagine you are a guest invited to our Highland Fairy Tale wedding. Your first step is to type in our wedding website URL to find this home page.

website-home-page-cropped

After browsing our engagement photos and reading our proposal story, you’ll locate the “RSVP” tab on the left and click it. After which, you’ll see this:

household-screenshot
At this point you’ll enter your name in the boxes provided to bring up everyone in your household. For most that means couples or families, but also people who are dating and/or have different last names. Each name was entered separately into the website and organized under a household name. For the few plus ones we gave (mostly to friends traveling from Scotland of whom we didn’t know their relationship status) we put them in as Guest Householdname.

NOTE: This can be tricky with family members who have the same last name but are part of different households. WeddingWire will show you all of the people with your matching last name but since we’ve invited our favorite people in the world, we are just trusting that folks are only RSVP’ing for themselves and no one else.

Once your name comes up and you find the “click here to RSVP” button, you’re taken to this page:

online-rsvp-screenshot

The example I’m showing is from a two person household that is coming from out-of-town, thus their response is needed for the rehearsal dinner as well.

In case I haven’t spoken highly enough of this system yet, here are my top four reasons as to why I love online RSVP’ing:

1. Instant Gratification: The second someone’s RSVP is submitted, Mr. Sword and I each receive an email complete with their response, meal choices and their personal note (if they left one). I cannot tell you how much my heart leaps every time I see that WeddingWire has sent me an email saying, “So-and-So has submitted an RSVP to your events.”

2. Endless Meal Options: This reason makes me laugh because we really utilized this website feature for our wedding, but not in the most typical spot. I’ve talked before how we are serving chicken or a vegetarian option at our wedding, but our rehearsal dinner is a completely different story. With one set price and the ability to offer my out-of-town guests whatever type of burger their heart desires, we had many options in our drop down menu. I’m.not.kidding.

food-options-two

3. Procrastinators Aren’t Punished: You know those people who wait until the last-minute for everything (we had a few)? The online RSVP is amazing because even if they remember at 11:55 PM they can still get their response in on time, without it taking days to go through the mail. Or they can respond a few days late and we’ll get their RSVP seconds after they submit it. (See reason number one again.)

4. Money Will Be Saved: We saved money by not buying reply cards, envelopes, and stamps (both US and UK). Every little bit of savings helps the overall budget stay on track!

Finally, we chose WeddingWire because when we first picked a site to host our wedding website, Mr. Sword thought WeddingWire had the most customize-able options. We ended up deciding NOT to password protect our site (although it’s probably a good idea) because instead we decided to be stingy with who could see our website information. We never posted the URL on Facebook or in mass emails, and the first time most guests saw our website was three months before the wedding when we sent out the invitations.

I have to admit I am most curious to see if we got a higher or lower percentage of people to RSVP by our given deadline than if we would have sent out paper response cards. Since every group of guests is different the only way to really test my theory would be to experiment on the same group of people. But no one, and I mean NO ONE, is going to want to take the time to plug-in every guest’s name to their website AND address and stamp the same amount of return cards. But if you do, let me know how it goes?

(all photos are personal shots of the Sword wedding website, edited by Miss Sword)

Does anyone else love online RSVP’ing as much as me? Did you give a deadline and if so, what were your counts at that point?

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Mrs. Sword

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
March 2013
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  1. Member
    mswallaby 2061 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:39 am

    I’ve never been invited to a wedding with online RSVPs (people are sooo traditional here in the South) but I love the idea, and I for one would RSVP right away (especially having been through the RSVP process as a bride haha).

  2. Member
    BrideLawyer 31 posts, Newbee @ 7:04 am

    Did you have issues with older relatives on the online RSVP? I’m trying to imagine my grandmother doing this. I guess my mother or someone else could RSVP for her, but it makes me wonder if it is a good idea across the board.

  3. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:33 am

    We used the same site for online RSVPs, we ONLY used RSVPs and we had NO problem…there were only like 5 people who couldn’t get it (they didn’t speak English well) so they told us their meal option and we RSVPed for them, but otherwise it worked like a dream :)

  4. Member
    superduperbrit 2466 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:40 am

    Never been invited to a wedding with online RSVPs before. We went the traditional route for our wedding but I like the idea of RSVPing online. Postage was such a pain.

  5. Member
    houstonwhodat 360 posts, Helper bee @ 7:59 am

    I plugged in everyone to the website RSVP and sent cards too. We have a lot of international invites so I couldn’t prestamp their RSVP envelopes. Then it didn’t make sense to only offer online to a few and I decided the more options the better. I made a normal RSVP card and included “Or RSVP online at…” on the bottom. We just sent invites a couple weeks ago, but so far we have about 10 RSVPs returned by mail and 4 online out of 128 invitations.

  6. Member
    keytabell 17 posts, Newbee @ 8:18 am

    I love the online RSVP, so much so that in the early stages of our planning my guy and I decided to do so. We knew it would save on postage, envelopes & reply cards. I also love the ease of it and everyone minus one person we are inviting has access to a computer. The one individual being my grandma who I know will be there, but I can always call to double check. I thought that since we have a wedding website which gives so much information about us, the wedding party, the site, etc why not be one stop and include RSVP’s!!

  7. Member
    amyj1276 294 posts, Helper bee @ 9:59 am

    I’m doing the same exact thing on weddingwire! We have 3 guests who aren’t online at all, and 2 of them we know are not coming, so we can call all of them to confirm things. I’m hoping it works out as well for us as it did for you!

    I do have one question: can you have the rehearsal dinner RSVP only come up for certain people? I didn’t do one for the rehearsal dinner since it’s only a small portion of the guest list, but if I could have the rehearsal dinner RSVP only come up for specific people, that would be great!

  8. Member
    MissMaryPat 40 posts, Newbee @ 10:34 am

    We did online RSVPs as well, and I love it! Money and time saved, absolutely! I would recommend it to ANY bride. We went with a different host site, and have had a few guests who have had trouble accessing our page, but overall I am glad with our choice. I hope your stragglers come in quickly! Good luck!

  9. Member
    italianclam 34 posts, Newbee @ 11:05 am

    I’ve done the online RSVP for a wedding (….in the south) and we really enjoyed it. We’re considering it now but are wondering about our non tech savvy guests, maybe we could send RSVP cards to a handful of people who we know wouldn’t do it online.

    Of those who did not RSVP by your deadline do you think any of them did not because they couldn’t (elderly, no internet, etc) or a different reason?

  10. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:33 am

    I think it’s a great idea, and if you know your guests have access to the internet (my grandpa wouldn’t go near a computer) it’s a fantastic option. I really think we’ll see more of this in the near future, especially with postage prices going up.

  11. Member
    kimsjohnson12 4 posts, Wannabee @ 2:23 pm

    @amyj1276: You can include the rehearsal dinner for rsvp also. Under “My Wedding” tab, go to Guest, click the tab more and you may select the people that need to rsvp for the rehearsal dinner.

  12. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 4:49 pm

    This looks amazing! Unfortunately, a lot of people in my family wouldn’t be able to handle this. Plus, Mr. P’s dad doesn’t have a computer, has never used one, and routinely makes fun of our reliance on ‘those machines’.

  13. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:00 pm

    To those asking about our older guests, we had only one set of grandparents to invite and while they aren’t computer savvy, since they are family, my parents were able to RSVP for them easily enough. In the future, it will be less and less of an issue I think, but for now, I suggest calling older folks personally, it means a lot to them. Good question!

  14. Member
    misspurplepurl 248 posts, Helper bee @ 9:15 pm

    *slowly raises hand*

    I’ve been building our RSVP website through Google since earlier this week. We are still going to send out paper invites so that folks have the option of mailing something back in — but the plan is to then send out the online invitation to those that miss the deadline. Figured it would be a nice compromise.

  15. Member
    Happy Donut 49 posts, Newbee @ 2:08 pm

    We also used WeddingWire for our wedding website and online RSVPs. I loved the online RSVPs and made organizing RSVPs and meals a breeze! WeddingWire also has an online seating chart feature and that made it easy too once everyone’s names were in the database. We DIY’d our invitations so for the older generation, we included the traditional mail-in RSVP but some of them actually replied via online instead.

    Not only does it save money but saves time since it automatically enters the names in a downloadable spreadsheet. A friend of mine liked this idea too and wanted to do it for her wedding, but her mother-in-law is super traditional old-school and thought the idea was tacky.

  16. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:05 pm

    @MissPurplePurl: Sounds like a great plan!
    @Happy Donut: Yes! I need to check out the seating chart as well once we get all the rsvp’s in.

  17. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:05 pm

    @MissPurplePurl: Sounds like a great plan!
    @Happy Donut: Yes! I need to check out the seating chart as well once we get all the rsvp’s in.

  18. Member
    katievee 197 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:17 pm

    I’ll be doing both…online RSVPs for the younger people, traditional RSVPs for the older family.

    For the meal option portion, is there a way to edit what shows in the drop down list?

  19. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:55 pm

    @katievee: Yes, there is a way to choose exactly what you want for the drop down food options, but Mr. Sword did all that!
    Also, I forgot to mention, you can customize the events so only certain people are invited to both the rehearsal dinner and the ceremony/reception! WeddingWire is pretty awesome!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    alrenbat, Guest @ 12:06 pm

    i’m working on using this too! how do you combine ceremony and reception? right now mine are coming up separately.

    also, how did you handle children?? assume people weren’t bringing them? type in all of their names? i’m not sure how many of my friends are bringing their kids, and how many they are bringing! i was thinking of asking them let us know in the comment section? what do you think?

  21. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:34 pm

    @alrenbat: Wow, I didn’t realize how much there is to the online RSVP, clearly I should have explained a bit more! So Mr. Sword found a way to add an event and we named it “Ceremony and Reception” so we could have guests RSVP to both at the same time. Yes, you type in everyone’s name that’s invited. Since we invited children, we had The Blank Family on the invite and when they typed in their household name, all four or five or whatever names would come up, children included. You can definitely utilize the comment section for that! We had a very small amount of kids coming so it wasn’t an issue. Hope that helps!

  22. Member
    irishredsoxgirl 32 posts, Newbee @ 8:58 am

    We did online RSVP as well, we even gave options for guests to ask for additional items, highchair, allergies, etc. Our invitations we mailed out one week ago and we’ve already had 4 families respond. So much easier to plan ahead, I love it!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    tube launch review, Guest @ 4:22 am

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  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Celine, Guest @ 5:45 am

    I dont know if i just missed it, but would you mind providing the website that you used to create your website?? The one I am setting up does not have nearly as many options as you do!

    Thanks!

  25. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:45 pm

    @alrenbat: Weddingwire! Type everyone’s names and read other blogger’s WB posts for how people handled inviting kids or not! :)

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