Wedding Invitations & Paper

Politely saying No RSVP means not coming??

I have a few choice family members who feel it unnecessary to RSVP to ANYTHING. Both guilty parties are families of 5 and of 6, so that's a good table or 2 at the wedding. They've historically failed to RSVP and will either only respond if followed up with directly, multiple times, after RSVP dates have passed, or casually mention 2 or 3 of them will show up. I even once got a 'i'll try to make it' like that helps. If they weren't immediate family members, I wouldn't even invite them...but family politics blah blah blah. My sister had a destination wedding and they didn't even bother RSVPing for that!

How do I put on my RSVP cards "no response means you're not coming"? I honestly don't think some of these buffoons get it. I'm not dealing with it, or chasing them down for a response. I don't care if it's rude, I think it's more rude to not RSVP. 

So, any suggestions on how to be politely aggressive?! 

Re: Politely saying No RSVP means not coming??

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    You don't. You wait for the RSVP date to come and pass, and then you contact them via phone and ask if they are coming and how many. If they give you the "maybe....we don't know yet, " then tell them that if you don't hear from them by X date that you will assume they are not coming and that you will not have seats or a table for them and that they will be missed. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited May 2015

    I have a few choice family members who feel it unnecessary to RSVP to ANYTHING. Both guilty parties are families of 5 and of 6, so that's a good table or 2 at the wedding. They've historically failed to RSVP and will either only respond if followed up with directly, multiple times, after RSVP dates have passed, or casually mention 2 or 3 of them will show up. I even once got a 'i'll try to make it' like that helps. If they weren't immediate family members, I wouldn't even invite them...but family politics blah blah blah. My sister had a destination wedding and they didn't even bother RSVPing for that!


    How do I put on my RSVP cards "no response means you're not coming"? I honestly don't think some of these buffoons get it. I'm not dealing with it, or chasing them down for a response. I don't care if it's rude, I think it's more rude to not RSVP. 

    So, any suggestions on how to be politely aggressive?! 
    Don't put it on your RSVP cards. It is rude, because it's treating your all guests like children just because you anticipate some of them acting like children. Even if you only sent it to those people, it would still be rude to them, and no one here is going to advocate you being rude to your guests - if you don't respect them enough to treat them well, we're going to say don't invite them. We're definitely not going to advocate being rude to them in advance, before they've had the chance to be rude and not respond.

    Here's what you can do:

    Leave yourself a week or so of buffer between your RSVP date and final numbers due to the caterer. Call anyone who hasn't responded. (Yes, it's work, but you should do it. You may also discover a few people whose invitations never arrived and have not forgotten/chosen not to RSVP.) Tell them, "I need to know for sure by X date or I'll have to put you down as a no and we'll miss you."

    Who's the family gossip? Spread it by word of mouth that anyone who doesn't respond "yes" definitively will not have a seat.

    ETA: Calling them "buffoons" would indicate to me that you just shouldn't invite them at all, since you don't seem to respect them. Why would you choose to invite people you don't even like? The whole damn family doesn't have to be invited to everything, unless someone else has offered to pay for part of the wedding and they say it's important.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I have a few choice family members who feel it unnecessary to RSVP to ANYTHING. Both guilty parties are families of 5 and of 6, so that's a good table or 2 at the wedding. They've historically failed to RSVP and will either only respond if followed up with directly, multiple times, after RSVP dates have passed, or casually mention 2 or 3 of them will show up. I even once got a 'i'll try to make it' like that helps. If they weren't immediate family members, I wouldn't even invite them...but family politics blah blah blah. My sister had a destination wedding and they didn't even bother RSVPing for that!


    How do I put on my RSVP cards "no response means you're not coming"? I honestly don't think some of these buffoons get it. I'm not dealing with it, or chasing them down for a response. I don't care if it's rude, I think it's more rude to not RSVP. 

    So, any suggestions on how to be politely aggressive?! 

    There is nothing you can put directly on an RSVP card to prevent this.

    There is an RSVP date for a reason. You leave people alone until the RSVP date has passed. Many people will not send their RSVP until the date it is due, which is why it is recommended you wait 2-3 days before making follow up calls. For almost ANY event and with almost ANY family, follow up calls will be necessary.

    Follow up calls should be simple and polite. "Our RSVP date has now passed. We have not heard from you and are making sure you received the invitation. We MUST have a final answer by (date). If we do not hear from you by (date), we will assume YOU ARE NOT COMING."

    If you want to make things clearer for people who have a reputation for not responding, you can also add, "No additional seats or meals will be available".

    If these family members are notorious for doing this, it is because they have been accommodated even when showing up without responding. The only way to stop their rudeness is by refusing to accommodate them if they show up.
    MairePoppy
  • Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 

    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 


    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
    You don't like these people, and you don't want to do the work involved in hosting your event. If these guests are too much trouble for you to host, don't invite them. That's your solution. Otherwise you have to do what is suggested. No one is going to give you wording to be rude on your RSVPs, even if you are "over" being polite.
  • flantastic. Like I said, family politics, so I have to invite them. I can't wait for the wedding to be over so I don't have to invite them to anything else on a smaller scale. It's funny you mention the family gossip because I've totally done that in the past! It does work, I always just have the casual conversation with my grandma and mention something like "oh i haven't heard from so and so, I'm not sure if they're coming" and sure enough, they start responding. 

    MobKaz i like that line: 'no additional seating or meals will be available", where would you put that?
    MairePoppy
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    flantastic. Like I said, family politics, so I have to invite them. I can't wait for the wedding to be over so I don't have to invite them to anything else on a smaller scale. It's funny you mention the family gossip because I've totally done that in the past! It does work, I always just have the casual conversation with my grandma and mention something like "oh i haven't heard from so and so, I'm not sure if they're coming" and sure enough, they start responding. 


    MobKaz i like that line: 'no additional seating or meals will be available", where would you put that?
    She meant you put it in your message, when you call them.
    haleyk620
  • redoryxredoryx member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

    Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 


    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
    Well, unfortunately, that's one of the things that comes when you decide to host a party. Is it annoying? Sure. I have friends I have to track down for the same reason when I invite them to stuff. But if I invite them knowing they are like that, I then can't get mad when they do the exact same thing they do every other time. 

    But as the host, it's my job to wrangle in RSVPs and if that means following up, then so be it. If they still haven't responded by then, you can send a follow up email or phone call and say "I need to know by X date who is coming. If we haven't heard from you by X, we'll assume you aren't able to make it." And then hold to that. If they respond after X, too bad. If they try and show up anyway, too bad. They probably keep doing this because nobody has held them accountable for it, but the only way to hold them accountable is to first give them the benefit of the doubt with the RSVP, then give firm guidelines after, then stick to those guidelines. 
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • flantastic. Like I said, family politics, so I have to invite them. I can't wait for the wedding to be over so I don't have to invite them to anything else on a smaller scale. It's funny you mention the family gossip because I've totally done that in the past! It does work, I always just have the casual conversation with my grandma and mention something like "oh i haven't heard from so and so, I'm not sure if they're coming" and sure enough, they start responding. 


    MobKaz i like that line: 'no additional seating or meals will be available", where would you put that?
    You don't put that on the invitation or the RSVP card. Once your RSVP deadline passes you call them and ask if they are coming. If they try the "we're not sure how many will make it" line, you tell them that if you don't hear from them by XXXXX date then you will assume they aren't coming and that there won't be seats or meals for them.

    Anniversary
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    flantastic. Like I said, family politics, so I have to invite them. I can't wait for the wedding to be over so I don't have to invite them to anything else on a smaller scale. It's funny you mention the family gossip because I've totally done that in the past! It does work, I always just have the casual conversation with my grandma and mention something like "oh i haven't heard from so and so, I'm not sure if they're coming" and sure enough, they start responding. 


    MobKaz i like that line: 'no additional seating or meals will be available", where would you put that?


    You don't "put" it anywhere. It is what you say when you leave a follow up voice mail.
  • oh, haha. 

    looks like majority rules and i have to suck it up. I was really hoping someone had this problem and found some fantastic phrasing that magically worked. 

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 


    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
    This may be part of your problem. The adult children should be getting their own invitations, meaning they should be making their own RSVP decisions. Expecting the parents to RSVP for adult children may be part of the reason they couldn't give a certain answer. 

    Either way, call them after the RSVP date has passed. Yes it's annoying when people are lazy, but part of hosting an event means you have to do it. It takes less than 5 minutes. 
    redoryxMairePoppyjustsie
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    oh, haha. 


    looks like majority rules and i have to suck it up. I was really hoping someone had this problem and found some fantastic phrasing that magically worked. 

    I don't known anyone who hasn't had this problem. If these are the only two families that don't respond to your invitation, you're better off than I was. 

    Please RSVP by X date is about as straightforward as you can get. There are no magic words that will force them to be polite. I like it that grandma has influence though. Seems like she's your best solution.
                       
  • oh, haha. 


    looks like majority rules and i have to suck it up. I was really hoping someone had this problem and found some fantastic phrasing that magically worked. 

    Sorry.  There is no "fantastic phrasing" that allows you to be rude on your RSVP cards.  Sixty years ago, RSVP cards were considered rude, all by themselves, and Miss Manners still frowns on them.  Most people are good with conventionally phrased RSVP cards these days, but not something like you are suggesting.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    justsie
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is a common problem. We knew that some of my H's cousins were flaky. I would never entertain the idea of putting something like that on my invites because of a small group of people. And if they are the type to not respond, I doubt putting a message meant for them on the invite would make them change.

    One cousin never responded and then never returned our calls. He didn't show up. Another cousin didn't send her RSVP back either and when we called her, she was very non committal. My MIL told her we would need an answer by the end of that week. Again, we didn't hear from her. Another phone call to her and she said she wasn't coming. We also had 3 people RSVP yes and then not show up.

    Again, these issues are common. Try not to focus on them.

  • invites ordered without any special finger pointing language! 

    one of the invite sites had a good coupon code so i was able to get them today!
  • Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 


    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
    This may be part of your problem. The adult children should be getting their own invitations, meaning they should be making their own RSVP decisions. Expecting the parents to RSVP for adult children may be part of the reason they couldn't give a certain answer. 

    Either way, call them after the RSVP date has passed. Yes it's annoying when people are lazy, but part of hosting an event means you have to do it. It takes less than 5 minutes. 
    100% accurate but i can't give them guests this time around. i've tried this before and unfortunately, it didn't work in my favor. 
  • redoryxredoryx member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

    Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 

    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
    This may be part of your problem. The adult children should be getting their own invitations, meaning they should be making their own RSVP decisions. Expecting the parents to RSVP for adult children may be part of the reason they couldn't give a certain answer. 

    Either way, call them after the RSVP date has passed. Yes it's annoying when people are lazy, but part of hosting an event means you have to do it. It takes less than 5 minutes. 
    100% accurate but i can't give them guests this time around. i've tried this before and unfortunately, it didn't work in my favor. 
    I'm not sure what "it didn't work in my favor" means, but if they are in relationships you need to invite their significant other, no matter how long or short they have been dating. If they are truly single then you don't have to give them a plus one, but if they are dating someone that person needs to be invited.
    image
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Thanks, Addie. But that is what the RSVP card and date is for. Yes, that is the formal etiquette rule, but I'm over it. These are adults, and I find it ridiculous that I have to constantly chase them down for a response. We've hosted 150pp parties on two occasions and these two families are the only ones we have a problem with. Everyone else gets their RSVP's in on time, or early. It'd be one thing if every time I followed up they would say something like "of course we'll all be there, sorry we thought you'd assume so" but instead it's "maybe some of us we'll be there. period not sorry." so I can't even assume i'll have their full head count. The family of 6 is all adults, 2 parents and 4 college grad aged kids that live at home. Give me a break. 

    For previous occasions i was happy with a text RSVP, as long as i know if you are or aren't coming.
    This may be part of your problem. The adult children should be getting their own invitations, meaning they should be making their own RSVP decisions. Expecting the parents to RSVP for adult children may be part of the reason they couldn't give a certain answer. 

    Either way, call them after the RSVP date has passed. Yes it's annoying when people are lazy, but part of hosting an event means you have to do it. It takes less than 5 minutes. 
    100% accurate but i can't give them guests this time around. i've tried this before and unfortunately, it didn't work in my favor. 
    I'm not talking about inviting them with/without a guest. Even if they are single and invited alone, each adult child should get his/her own invitation. 

    Each adult child is responsible for his/her own RSVP
  • too much to explain and it's irrelevant, obviously everyone's families are tricky to navigate and difficult to understand. 

    invites are ordered without any sass
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