With the advent of social media and emails, it has become easier and more common for people to use these methods for their wedding invitations. The same goes for the RSVP, even if someone received a paper invitation that included a mail-able RSVP card. But just like a cyber-based invite loses the charm, thoughtfulness, and delight of opening a real invitation, so does missing the opportunity to open the RSVPs. It just isn’t the same.
Take it from these frustrated Brides on WeddingWire. After spending so much time designing their invitations and intentionally including RSVPs (some with postage included) as a practical and special way to plan for the number of guests at their wedding (not to mention the seating arrangement) not getting those RSVPs back feels like full-frontal rudeness. The truth is, it kind of is, and the even harder truth is, it may not be that easy to get your guests to utilize the RSVP cards unless you essentially ONLY acknowledge the paper-based RSVPs. Policing people for the sake of your special day really seems counterintuitive and wholly unpleasant.
So, what should you do? It is a very real possibility with RSVP cards that you may not get them back, and they may end up seeming like a waste of time and energy. But hold on. Think about what it would be like to NOT include RSVPs with your invitations. You could always have people email you and simply acquise to the ease of this form of communication. You could get more creative and create a special website or facebook page where people can leave their RSVPs. In both of these cases, however, you are left with hoping that everyone (including your great Aunt) has access to the Internet. Moreover, the Internet, no matter how social it appears to get, is a cold, cold place. People may not use the RSVP cards, but that absence does not speak nearly as loudly there being no real RSVP card to begin with.
Perhaps it is time for a mentality change, and to give people options, while also to honor the significance and true substance of your wedding. Keep the RSVP cards as part of your wedding invitation; for your own enjoyment; for the simple act of etiquette; for the hope that someone shall be moved to use it, and then add a twist. Make responding via the RSVP the fun option. Figure out an incentive to get them to use the RSVP card as opposed to anything else. Examples might be: coupons from the limo company you’re using (your transportation service might love the extra business and source of referrals), or the opportunity to participate in a private raffle (so as not to be rude to your guests who did not use the RSVP cards) for a free room upgrade (or one night on you) if your guests will be staying at a hotel. The possibilities are endless! Keep the RSVP card as part of your wedding invitation concept and make them fun for your guests to use.