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.
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:
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:
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.
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?