Pre-wedding Parties

Welcome party RSVP?

Hi everyone,

Most of our wedding guests are coming from out of town, so FI and I have decided to host a welcome party the night before our wedding (the rehearsal and a small dinner with WP/immediate family is being hosted by FI's parents on Thursday night). 

After venue shopping and cost comparison, we've selected a fun, casual place within walking distance of our hotel block that will serve heavy appetizers, as well as a beer, wine + soda open bar. That said, we live in an expensive Northeastern city, and the price pp is still quite high. We are inviting everyone who is invited to the wedding and are ready to host 100% attendance; however, I would like to know the actual head count as closely as possible (barring emergencies/travel issues/a couple of last-minute extras) so that we don't pay for lots of no-shows or unexpectedly have 20 more people than we were prepared to pay for on the day of.

My question is this: how do we politely intimate to our guest that this is a fully hosted event, and ask for a concrete RSVP? I've seen other threads suggest using word-of-mouth or the wedding website to communicate details, but that doesn't allow room for RSVPs, and I'm worried that if we send out separate invitations, people will get confused or forget which they've RSVP'd to. Our wedding planner has suggested we include the details on an insert with the invitation, and ask guests to RSVP to this event on the same card as for the wedding. Does anyone have any experience with this working out or any other alternatives?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Re: Welcome party RSVP?

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    My first instinct would be to do what your wedding planner stated, by including the information in with your wedding invite, then putting a Welcome Party RSVP line on same card as your wedding RSVP.  I think that would be the easiest and least confusing way to do this.  And since you are inviting all wedding guests and it is part of your "wedding event", I don't think including it in your invite would be a problem.

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    STARMOON44doclago
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2015
    My first instinct would be to do what your wedding planner stated, by including the information in with your wedding invite, then putting a Welcome Party RSVP line on same card as your wedding RSVP.  I think that would be the easiest and least confusing way to do this.  And since you are inviting all wedding guests and it is part of your "wedding event", I don't think including it in your invite would be a problem.
    This. 

    Make an enclosure card into an invitation for the welcome party and detail what and when. Then you can just put a line on your RSVP card for number attending welcome party. When you get your RSVPs back, you can follow up with anyone that didn't RSVP for the welcome dinner. 

    I think most of the references you're reading about word of mouth RSVPs are for where the couple wants everyone to hang out somewhere the night before or at an after party, but they expect guests to pay for some or all of the food and drinks. That's why they say not to issue invitations and collect RSVPs. 
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Since it's a separate event I would send a separate invitation with an RSVP card. At the very least I would include a separate insert for the welcome party RSVP in your wedding invitation to indicate that you need a separate headcount for a separate event.
  • I like your planner's suggestion. You could also send a separate invitation for the welcome party, but that means doubling your postage budget.
  • I am doing something similar and right now, I have draft invitations with an insert giving details about the Welcome Party, and a separate line on my RSVP card to indicate if guests are coming.  It's a little crowded looking on the RSVP card, since it is postcard size.  Curious how you ended up doing it?
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2016
    I've always received a separate invites.   Which I would prefer in this case.

      Reason being I will often RSVP to a wedding, but I might not know my actually travel plans yet.  Will I arrive 3 days before or the morning of?  It often depends on work and airfare.    

    So I may or may not know if I will be there for the welcome dinner.    Normally by the time the welcome dinner invite arrives I would have a better idea what my travel plans would be.         






    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. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Thanks for the feedback, guys, sorry I forgot to update you all! We ended up putting the info for the welcome party on the back of the "Details" card (there's a small "over" on the bottom corner of the details to make sure people see it), then added a separate, smaller RSVP line indicating "Friday Night Welcome Party" on the bottom of the RSVP. We toyed with the idea of a separate invite, but decided that between the rehearsal dinner for WP, welcome party and actual wedding, some guests would be bound to overlook one. 

    Our invites are going out the last week in March for early June, so it gives people a bit of time to plan on whether they will attend both before the RSVP date.

    Thanks again!
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