When Should My RSVP Date Be?

photo by Morgan Renee Photography

So, you’re almost ready to send out your invitations and you’re thinking, when should my RSVP date be? You don’t want to set it too early, or worse, too late – and finding that balance can be tricky.

To make life a little easier – here’s an easy peasy formula to find your perfect RSVP date:

Step One) Start three weeks out from your wedding date!

This is a good starting point – it’s gives you a little time to get a seating chart pulled together, and any other last minute details that need to be done. The last thing you want is to be stressed out watching the mail right before your wedding. At only three weeks away, any guest should have a good idea of if they will, or will not, be able to make it.

Step Two) Check Deadlines for Caterer and Venue

Check your contract with your caterer and your venue, and any other vendors who need to know exactly how many guests are coming. They will have a set date, usually two-three weeks before the wedding, that they need your final guest count by so that they can order and plan appropriately your food, chairs, etc.! If it isn’t listed in their contract, ask! You want to be sure that you have your final guest count to them no later than that date so you don’t risk too much or too little food, or late fees. If they need your final guest count earlier than the three weeks before the wedding we started with, you’ll want to move your RSVP date up.

Step Three) Add A Few Days

The best piece of advice I can give any bride is to give yourself buffer time. A few guests will think your RSVP date means “I need to put this in the mail by this date”, instead of “she needs to have this in hand by this date” so a couple extra days will allow for any stragglers to come in, and for you to reach out to anyone who hasn’t RSVP’ed yet. Most importantly, these few days give you flexibility to get all of that done before your vendors need your final guest count, so you aren’t frantic at the last minute.

And there you have it, darlings! An easy three-step formula to determining when your RSVP date should be. I hope this helps you confidently select the RSVP date that works best for you! I walk each of my custom wedding stationery clients through this same process, with a few more considerations and tricks, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your stationer with questions!



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