5 Easy Ways To Finalize Your Guest List
Sarah Ntouskas, CEO & Principle Coordinator at Make It Posh is here today as a contributor to the AllSeated blog to discuss 5 easy ways to finalize your guest list. Thanks Sarah!
One of the most common frustrations among event hosts is securing accurate responses in time to take care of important details. More than just annoying to hosts, it’s impossible to give your caterer an accurate count, complete your rental order, and create custom touches like printed goods, seating cards, and favors if your guests fail to respond.
Despite a network of traditional and digital avenues that guests could easily use to respond instantly, the social phenomenon that causes people to forget or elect not to RSVP continues. While you can’t force good manners, you can take steps to help you gain complete, on-time responses without too much agony for you or your loved ones.
- Start your guest list early and ensure it is complete.
When you begin your guest list, make sure that you obtain all information you could possibly need to help you stay in contact with your guests. You should have a current address, phone number, and email for every invitee. If you wait to fill in some of the blanks, you’ll tax yourself at the end when you are doing enough scrambling, so make a point of contacting your friends and family and filling in all of the blanks from the start. As a bonus, you won’t have to dig up the info all over again when you send thank you notes!
- Set a reasonable response date.
It’s tempting to set response dates either super early so you have a lot of time to chase down missing guests, or generously late to allow them every opportunity to comply. Neither is ultimately the best course of action, however.
Be considerate and allow your valued guests enough time to consult their schedules and finances and be certain they are able to attend. If you force a reply too early, you are more likely to receive last-minute changes; too late and you won’t have any time to track down the answers. Your response date should ultimately be based on your venue and catering agreements, with sufficient padding to reasonably allow you to contact each guest from whom you did not receive a response.
- Request all needed information the first time.
Check with all of your critical vendors before issuing invitations. Do you need specific meal requests? Names of those attending? Accommodations information or transportation needs? Ask for the information you need when you send your invitations out initially. The more often you have to go back to attendees to clarify or collect details, the more work you create for yourself and the higher the risk that you may miss something important. Hold your invitations until you are certain you know what you need, then send with confidence.
- Offer multiple avenues for response.
Take advantage of the digital age along with traditional means for sending in RSVPs. Offer more tech-savvy guests the ability to complete their responses easily online, but be open to phone calls and mailed-in decisions. Most guest lists are generationally diverse. It’s helpful and necessary to be flexible while graciously offering convenience.
- When all else fails, follow up is necessary.
You might be tempted to stick to your guns and decide that every non-response means non-attendance, but you are likely to have more than a few surprises on the event day that way. Accurate numbers help ensure that your caterer and venue are prepared to provide excellent service, so plan to invest some time in phone calls to follow up with your invitees.
You can make the RSVP process relatively painless and super efficient with just a little bit of planning and a healthy dose of diplomacy. Use these five tips as you set up your response system, and you’ll enjoy reduced stress, higher accuracy and happy, comfortable guests for your big day.
Learn more about Sarah Ntouskas and Make It Posh by visiting their website.
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