How to Follow-Up with Wedding Guests Who Forgot to R.S.V.P. (Politely!)

One mother-of-the-bride faces the most unpleasant task: following up on missed R.S.V.P.s

Rules of etiquette were created to remind people how to behave well. If everyone followed the guidelines of courtesy, many of the those rules would be unnecessary. If you’re not sure of how to behave, keep the Golden Rule in mind and “Do unto others as you would have them do  unto you.” Unfortunately, some people ignore that adage!

Mother of a Hudson Valley bride asks: “The deadline date for R.S.V.P. for my daughter’s wedding is just around the corner. I’m getting worried, because there are quite a number of guests who have not responded. As the mother of the bride, I assume that it’s my responsibility to deal with this issue, so I need to know if it’s okay for me to call the people who still have not responded.”

(Answer on next page)

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Dear mother of the bride: Yes — it is your responsibility to deal with this (and it’s not an envious position to be in)! It is absolutely proper for you to make those calls. If you can speak with the guest, a polite approach (even if you are really annoyed) is appropriate. Ask if they have received the invitation to your daughter and future son-in-law’s wedding on the given date. (Keep in mind that it’s possible that the invitation never arrived.) Then simply ask if the guest(s) will be attending. If you reach someone who wavers with a response, you’ll need to be firm and say that the caterer (or whoever) has to know by the R.S.V.P. date, so that you don’t get charged for guests who aren’t coming.

If you need to leave a message, the same text works — but do ask for the guest to promptly send you a response. This way, you don’t need to make another round of calls.

It’s unfortunate that with so many ways to connect with people, electronically and otherwise, that there still are people who are rude when it comes to an R.S.V.P. I hope you won’t have too many calls to make and that, when you do, you try to put on a “pleasant face!”

Do you agree with this advice? Add your thoughts to the comments box below.

» More about wedding R.S.V.P.
» More from The Wedding Guru
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2011


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About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.


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