Etiquette

RSVP verbiage - No response 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: RSVP verbiage - No response means not coming??!

  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    I responded to you on Invites & Paper. Many of the same people frequent both boards. If you're going to post the question on multiple boards, please put "XP" in the title so we know it's a crosspost.

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  • jacques27jacques27
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
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    edited May 2015

    So, you're going to treat rudeness with rudeness?  And be rude to EVERYONE in the process because of two families?

    Some people just suck at responding and need prompts.  Do you really think writing "No response means you're not coming" is going to magically make them think it applies to them and they'll respond?  Meanwhile, I would find it really off-putting if I am someone who is generally respectful and responds and finds you wrote something like that on your invitations.  And I'll bet you'll get the exact opposite of what you want, because people who can't attend will think they don't need to respond because you've just told them you'll make the assumption and you could have 50 people instead of 10-12 that will make you wonder if their responses got lost or if they really aren't coming.

    If you don't want to chase them down, don't chase them down.  Talk to them personally once before invites go out explaining that you need to make a firm commitment yes or no by the RSVP deadline or you won't have enough seats.  Or give them one polite courtesy voicemail after the deadline that says "I need to give my venue final numbers by Wednesday at noon, so I must hear from you by then if you're coming or I won't have a seat or dinner available for you.  Thanks."  But don't treat everyone like idiots because you don't want to deal with two families.

    momofbride530SP29justsieadk19
  • I was thinking to only put these on their response cards, but that also runs the risk of them finding out that they were the only ones to have received it. So my question is, is there a polite phrasing that can be used instead? In the same sense "attending" and "not attending" can be played with in terms of phrasing to make it fun. 
  • redoryxredoryx
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    I was thinking to only put these on their response cards, but that also runs the risk of them finding out that they were the only ones to have received it. So my question is, is there a polite phrasing that can be used instead? In the same sense "attending" and "not attending" can be played with in terms of phrasing to make it fun. 

    No. 

    Give yourself a buffer between the RSVP deadline and when you need to turn the numbers in to your venue to follow up with people. 
    image
    justsieadk19
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    I, too, answered you on Invitations, but as a follow-up that, I would like to add that these may not be the only people who don't RSVP, so you're going to have to deal with it with others as well, not just them. 
    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
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    I get why you think it's a good idea, but sadly it's not appropriate.

    I had some invitations not get to the guests.  I had 4 RSVP arrive the same week as the wedding, however the postmark was 6 weeks earlier.   

    You would assume they are declines since you didn't hear back.  When some never got an RSVP to respond to and 4 others did send it back on time and the USPS messed up.

    Non-RSVPers are just a part of hosting an event.   They can be annoying, but you just have to roll with it.  After the RSVP date as come and gone.  Give them a call, tell them they have till "x" to let you know because you  have to get the numbers into the caterer.   






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    thisismynickname2
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    These people sound annoying, but you need to follow up with everyone who doesn't RSVP. 
    A simple, "I need to know if you're coming by Friday. If I don't hear from you, I'll put you down as not attending and there won't be seat for you'. Just be matter of fact. 

    Do they usually not come? 
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    Heffalumpadk19
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Yeah, they're being rude, but you still have to follow up with them.

    I'd just say, "Since you haven't RSVPd to our invitation yet, I'm following up to find out if you're planning to come.  If you are, I need to hear from you to that effect by Date.  If I haven't heard from you by then, I won't be able to have seats or food for you if you do come."
    adk19
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Agree- Yes they are rude, but you do owe the courtesy of following up, once.

    If the RSVP date passes and they haven't responded, give them a few days and then call them up and say, "Hi Aunt Susy, we haven't received your RSVP yet. We need to know exact numbers by X date for the caterer, (otherwise there will not be food for any guests who did not respond). We hope you can attend!"

    The brackets I did because that is NOT something I would usually say to anyone- you will likely have a couple people you will need to follow up with, but since you know your family has a history of being wishy-washy, I think it's OK to be a bit more blunt and let them know you need to know by X date or food and a chair won't be there for them!

    If your family still doesn't respond by that date, I would count them as a no (you do not need to contact them repeatedly- once is enough), and if they show up, that's on them for being rude and not responding by the appropriate date, not you. 
    adk19
  • These people sound annoying, but you need to follow up with everyone who doesn't RSVP. 

    A simple, "I need to know if you're coming by Friday. If I don't hear from you, I'll put you down as not attending and there won't be seat for you'. Just be matter of fact. 

    Do they usually not come? 
    Not always, and sometimes just a few from each family. I can't assume anything!
  • I ordered my invites without and rude language today since one of the sites had a good coupon code. thanks for all the tips! i'm sure i'll be complaining in september again when rsvp's are due! (hope not!)
  • haleyk620haleyk620
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    edited May 2015
    AddieCake said:
    I, too, answered you on Invitations, but as a follow-up that, I would like to add that these may not be the only people who don't RSVP, so you're going to have to deal with it with others as well, not just them. 


    This. FI & I are four days away from our RSVP deadline, and we are still missing about half of our RSVPs. I'm hoping that we will be getting several in the mail over the next few days. I know you said you had ordered the invites without any rude language (which is great), but as you can see from above, there may be several others, along with your family members mentioned, that do no RSVP as they should.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
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    Don't put it on the RSVP card.  I had several non-responses that I had to check in with after the deadline.  Most people do.  I called them and confirmed whether they were coming.  For the few whose voicemail I got, my message included a statement to the effect of "Hi, Aunt Sally.  Our wedding is coming up very soon and we haven't received your RSVP yet. I hope you can join us. Because we need to get our final numbers to the caterer, if I have not heard back from you by X date, I will assume that you will be unable to come to the wedding.  I hope to see you there, please call me at Y to let me know whether you can make it."  Not sure if it was the most etiquette appropriate thing to do, but I did want to make sure I was in the clear not ordering meals for these people.  None of the non-responses did come, so I guess I was.
    image
    SP29
  • To add to this-- multiple people who we called about not receiving their RSVPs HAD responded and the postcards were either lost in the mail or lost by us!! Don't be rude before the crime has even been committed.
    madamerwinhaleyk620SP29adk19
  • ahh, all good points, some of which i did not think of. 

    i didn't add anything rude to the invites, but i did include a # of persons line, so that may help. i wish they would teach an RSVP etiquette course in high school for all the non/late rsvpers!
    SP29
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    ahh, all good points, some of which i did not think of. 

    i didn't add anything rude to the invites, but i did include a # of persons line, so that may help. i wish they would teach an RSVP etiquette course in high school for all the non/late rsvpers!
    FYI - I attended a wedding 2 weeks ago.   To this day we have never received the invite.    

    I don't know where it went, but it never got here.   Only after the groom called to see if we are coming did we even know we were invited.       






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I ordered my invites without and rude language today since one of the sites had a good coupon code. thanks for all the tips! i'm sure i'll be complaining in september again when rsvp's are due! (hope not!)

    I think @huskypuppy14's response is perfect for this so you don't have to stress about this kind of situation. It covers all of your bases and takes the load off of you. You should be calling those who don't RSVP anyway just in case they actually didn't receive an invite or completely forgot or something. So if these family members respond with something like "2 or 3 people . . . maybe" just say "I need a hard number by such and such date and if I don't get anything you will not have a seat saved for you."
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    SP29
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