Stalking the Mailman

There comes a time in every couple's wedding planning journey when the stalking begins.  With the RSVP deadline looming, your ears become trained to distinguish the sound of the mail truck from that of other types of vehicles.  On days when no responses arrive, you can't help but get a little cynical about your loved ones' abilities to fill out a card and use a pre-stamped and pre-addressed envelope.

On our RSVP deadline day, here's how our response numbers looked:

Yes, I originally spelled the meat dish as tender lion.

I removed the "+1" lines for everyone who declined and was pretty shocked by how few people declined our invitation.  Doing the math, though, we were right at 80% acceptance, which falls right in line with the wisdom of the Weddingbee forum, where people say that 20% of your invited guests won't be able to attend.

A bride who is getting married this weekend at my venue told me that quite a few guests on her list put their reply cards in the mail on the RSVP deadline date, so we might get a few more cards this week.  Sure enough, a few more cards trickled in.  We started making calls and emailing the guests with outstanding replies and got answers out of almost everyone.  Three days after our deadline, here is how our numbers look:

One of the three missing replies if from a "+1" and that's just fine with us.  The other two are a bit of a surprise...but they shall remain anonymous. 

Just for fun, I thought I'd share our favorite reply card, which came from Marc's sister.  Her son, one of our ring bearers, also signed the card.

To hopefully help those who are still waiting for response cards to arrive, I thought I'd describe the emotional roller coaster I've been on this week.  Four days ago, the day before our RSVP deadline, I was extremely worried and anxious about our numbers.  Three days ago, I was anxious and puzzled.  I thought something must be wrong with the mail or our wedding website.  Surly, more people meant to respond by now?  Two days ago, I was frustrated.  Our wedding can't possibly be anyone's first wedding.  They must know what the card is for, right?  Yesterday, I was worried again.  We were over our projected number and I started to think about the ripple effect of that.  Today, I'm at peace.

Did you experience some emotional ups and downs while waiting for your guests to respond to your invitation?  Did you have to track a few stragglers down after your RSVP deadline?


  1. Girl - that was our BIGGEST emotional rollercoaster. People do NOT understand RSVP etiquette at all! WE had only heard from about 2/3 of the people by our deadline. As it turns out, letterpress postcards are a terrible idea. The paper tears and the font gets scratched off! We had at LEAST a dozen lost in the mail and tons arrived weeks late because of the address disappearing. I totally feel your pain! In the end - we invited 375 people and wanted between 200-250 guests and we had about 225. So it all worked out perfect. I think the reason only 60% attended was because my husband is from Nashville and we had the wedding in my hometown, Birmingham. Good luck with everything else! Check out my blog for advice -

  2. Yes, and we had to call some people to find out if they were coming....either they hadn't received the invitation or the RSVP was lost in the mail.  My confidence is the USPS was definitely shaken!  One invitaion that didn't arrive was across the street!!!!
    Also in NoVA/D.C. you can expect a 40-50% decline rate to invitations...people are busier.


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