How to Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations

Three Parts:Sample RSVP CardsSending an Invitation with an RSVPEnsuring Guest Responses

It can cost a great deal of time, money, and effort to throw that party you've been planning. Knowing how many people to expect at your event is an important part of being prepared. But it can be difficult in today's age to get people to actually respond to an invitation with even a simple "yes" or "no."[1][2] Even so, there are techniques you can use to improve your odds of getting the RSVPs you desire so your party can go off without a hitch.

Sample RSVP Cards

Sample Formal RSVP Card

Sample Informal RSVP Card

Sample Funny RSVP Card


Part 1
Sending an Invitation with an RSVP

  1. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 1
    1
    Translate the French to minimize misunderstandings.[3] The initialism R.S.V.P. stands for Réspondez, s'il vous plait which means please reply in French. Unfortunately, some people might not be familiar with this expression and its meaning. By changing the wording of your invitation, or including the words "please reply," there will be less of a chance that a guest misunderstands your request.
    • Another option you might consider: "please send your RSVP response to..."
  2. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 2
    2
    Remind your guests of the reason their response is important.[4] When an electronic invite shows up in your mail, it's easy to put it off until later or glance at it without realizing all the planning and effort that goes into a party. You might communicate this to your guests by saying:
    • To ensure there is enough food and drink for everyone, please send a response to this invitation.
    • So that we can prepare seating for everyone in advance, please reply as to whether or not you can make our party.
  3. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 3
    3
    Arrange the information of your invitation clearly.[5][6][7] If there is too much text or confusing wording, your guest might misinterpret the purpose of your invitation. This may cause her to think you are only informing her of the event, and not requesting an RSVP. To keep your invitation to the point, you might:
    • Limit your invitation to only necessary information, such as who is holding the event, what the event is for, where the event will be, when it will be, and why it is being held.
  4. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 4
    4
    Set a deadline for responses in your invitation.[8] Be sure you draw attention to the RSVP deadline on your invitation so that it can't be missed! You may also want to use a "soft" deadline on your invitation, as it is common for a few stragglers to respond shortly after the deadline has passed. To draw attention to this information you might:
    • Use an eye catching design to draw attention.
    • Use all caps, italics, underlining, or special font.
  5. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 5
    5
    Verify your contact information.[9] A simple typo or outdated auto-fill settings in your web browser could result in you directing people to a surprise party at someone else's house! Check and double check your contact information before you send out your invitations.
  6. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 6
    6
    Emphasize "regrets only" RSVPs to prevent confusion. In many cases, a host or hostess might request the RSVP be returned only if a guest is unable to make the event. Be sure the words "RSVP regrets only" are prominent and clearly expressed so that no guest misunderstands the purpose of this kind of RSVP.

Part 2
Ensuring Guest Responses

  1. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 7
    1
    Send invitations out well in advance. You might even consider sending out an email request for your guests to "save the date." This will improve the chances of your event making it into your partygoers calendars where they will be reminded of it whenever they check their schedules.
  2. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 8
    2
    Use strategic timing when sending out your invites.[10] This is especially useful when sending out electronic invitations. If you are sending e-vites to personal email accounts, you might wait until a weekday evening, when people are off work and more likely to see a "new email" notification.
    • Sending an e-vite very early in the day or late at night is also a strategy to consider. This way, your invite will have a higher chance at being at the top of your guests inbox, making it more visible.
  3. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 9
    3
    Include multiple means for your guests to respond.[11] Some of your guest may be most comfortable communicating through email, while others might enjoy the convenience of a text response.[12] By considering your guest list and the media preferences of your guests, you'll improve chances of a response.
    • For major events that use physical invitations sent by post, like weddings, anniversaries, and reunions, you may also want to include a return envelope with the RSVP you send.
  4. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 10
    4
    Prompt a response through scarcity. Studies have shown that human brains respond to perceived scarcity, and you can use this to your advantage.[13][14] On your invite, you may want to write:
    • "Please respond so there isn't a shortage of cupcakes for your children."
    • "Seating is limited in our home, so please RSVP so we can prepare to accommodate everyone at our party."
  5. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 11
    5
    Send a gift with your invitation. By including even a small gift with your invite, you can increase the rate at which your guests RSVP.[15][16] Your gift doesn't have to be extravagant for you to enjoy this effect. With a simple paper invitation you might include:
    • A pin from the dollar store.
    • A balloon.
    • A sticker.
  6. Image titled Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 12
    6
    Offer bribes. The prospect of winning something free can be a powerful motivating factor, and can help your event stick in the minds of your guests. Along with your invitation, you might inform guests that when they RSVP, they'll be entered into a raffle for something like:[17]
    • A bottle of wine.
    • A $5 gift card

Tips

  • Make sure your handwriting is neat and easy to read if you are writing invitations by hand.
  • Create a nice border around the whole invitation. Personal touches will give it character and make your invite more memorable.

Article Info

Categories: Invitations