Here at EventCompass, we love events and we love innovative technology! So it should come as no surprise that we gladly spread the word on any newfound wedding and event tech solutions that makes planning events easier (after all, great minds do think alike!). So we have turned to Ben Hindman, the co-founder and CEO of Splash, the country's fastest-growing event marketing platform that of course includes online RSVPs—trust me, my grandmother is rolling over in her grave too thinking that wedding invites are no longer hand address, but why not do both and appease her happy soul? Based on his decades of experience, here are Ben's seven tips and ONE magical formula for estimating RSVPs:
You may feel as though your wedding is a celebration engineered for you and your partner, but I believe planning a wedding is just like planning any other event. It’s all about mixing and melding party elements to create an awesome experience for the humans attending. That’s right. Your wedding is actually about your witnesses. Because otherwise you’d head down to City Hall with your betrothed and just do the damn thing by yourself.
And weddings need witnesses! I got married this summer, and one of the biggest things I’ve realized in the planning process is actually how weddings are really the perfect opportunity to celebrate and honor your closest family and friends. Because I couldn’t imagine a happier moment than saying your vows as you are surrounded by your personal human support system. It’s magical.
But how do you get there? Which of those humans are actually going to show up? How many drinks or dinner entrees or portable designer bathroom trailers will you need? People are inherently unpredictable; especially when it comes to party-going, and wedding guests may be the worst offenders.
Breathe. Estimating wedding RSVPs doesn’t have to be aggravating. Here are some tips for managing and calculating your guest list, no matter where you are in the planning process.
1) START BENDING THE “RULES” EARLY
Old wedding lore says invitations are supposed to be sent out to your guests six weeks in advance. Most people don’t play by these rules anymore, and neither should you. The earlier you can send out invitations, the earlier you can request those guests to RSVP and the earlier your guests will be able to plan their trip. It may be more stressful to think about invitations five months before your wedding, but if you have the details pinned down, why not send them as soon as possible? No one is going to regret getting an invitation or a Save the Date too early.
2) KNOW THE DEAL-BREAKERS
Certain wedding elements will make it more difficult for guests to attend, and will help you better guess who might bail. Local guests that have a short travel time to your venue and fewer expenses are more likely to attend. Other factors that can influence your RSVP rate:
- Percentage of out-of-town guests invited
- Day of the week of your wedding (typically non-Saturday weddings can be cheaper!)
- Time of day of your wedding (nuptials over breakfast, anyone?)
- Accessibility of your wedding (is it 5 hours from the nearest airport?)
- How explicit you request RSVP information
3) DON’T MAKE RSVPING AN AFTERTHOUGHT
If you’re worried about guests sending in their RSVPs, make it an integral part of your wedding invitation. Include a specific respond-by date and spell out how to RSVP right there next to the ceremony location and time. Traditional response cards may still be popular, but they are definitely not easier. Plus, many of those cards get forgotten. I didn’t include one in my invitation and I know many friends following suit. It’s much less fussy just to direct someone to a custom wedding website URL.
And–of course–there’s no better way to manage RSVPs than with Splash. (Shameless, yes, but true, guys!) It’s actually one of the features I’m most proud of: Inputting guest information as you plan and then having the ability to email reminders to those who have not yet RSVPed.
If you can’t give up the response cards, try both! Most of your guests would probably rather RSVP via an interactive and so-totally-you Splash Page than by mailing in a static RSVP card. Plus, your wedding Splash will give them much more information than your paper invitation, including videos of you and your partner, and interactive maps of your venue. No competition there.
4) BUT WHAT ABOUT GRANDMA?
Call her. Ask her if she’s coming. Then walk her through your Splash and don’t be surprised when she sends you a Splash invite to her next Red Hat Society meeting. #seniorslovesplashtoo
Click here to continue reading and get Ben’s 3-step method for figuring out how many guests you can expect at your wedding. Also, make sure you check out our numerous posts that discuss ways to keep your guests happy and entertained throughout your event!
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