How to Choose an RSVP Date
According to wedding RSVP etiquette, the respond by date on your wedding response cards should be 2-4 weeks before the wedding date. You will want to check with your wedding venue and caterer for their requirements as well. Give yourself at least a week between your RSVP date and the date your venue and caterer need a guest count. We highly recommend giving yourself a week or more to call guests who haven’t responded so you can get an accurate head count for the venue and caterer.
Here are a few other things to consider when choosing a reply date.
It sounds harsh but we all know when it comes to creating a guest list, it’s only natural to have an A List, a B List and maybe even a C List. If you’re planning on turning declines into an opportunity for someone else to join the fun, send your wedding invitations 4+ weeks in advance. When you receive a decline (within 1-2 weeks of sending the initial batch of invites), send an invitation to someone on your B or C Lists, making sure those guests receive the invite at least one week before the RSVP date. Be sure to order extra invitations to account for the extras being sent, and remember to keep a close watch on your guest count. You should have a predetermined number of guests you will not exceed. Do not invite more guests than your venue or budget will allow.
Destination wedding invitations should be sent 12 weeks before the wedding date, and we recommend setting your response date for six weeks before the wedding date. This gives guests six weeks to do some planning and decide whether or not to go, and it gives you six weeks to prepare any welcome gifts you might be giving your guests on arrival.
Having your wedding on a holiday or holiday weekend — New Year’s Eve has become popular — doesn’t necessarily affect your respond by date but it does mean you will want to send your wedding invitations at least 12 weeks in advance. Guests will need ample time to plan and giving them that time means you will end up with a more accurate guest count.