RSVP – does the P actually stand for painful?


Wedding planning has been a bit of a breeze so far and I have to admit I was feeling a little smug. We’ve been on the same page about what we want, who we want there & ticking off the to-do list has been nothing short of satisfactory. Then we spent an entire weekend wax sealing our invites to an inch of their lives. I popped them in the post box and had the biggest irrational fears – what if someone sets fire to the post box, what if I’ve sent people the wrong ones.

A few days later our favourite people started to say they’d received them and the irrational fears were put to one side. Then something started happening that I hadn’t predicted and it threw me a little. Our wedding invites weren’t as black & white as I had thought and lots of people interpreted them differently – ooo and a lot of people also had something to say about the details of my wedding. It all got super fun. I’m not going to get into the politics around my guest list. However, I did want to share a few learnings too hopefully help anyone else putting together invites & planning on getting onto the RSVP train:

  • Be explicit – some things I thought would be a given. I didn’t want to put a poem about why we weren’t having children at our wedding as I thought the names on the invite would explain that it was an adult only affair. Adding a little line in retrospective wouldn’t have been such a terrible thing and would of avoided a few awkward conversations.
  • Mark RSVP cards differently – this is probably just one for me and my anxious tendencies, but I used the same RSVP cards for evening & day guests and as they’ve been coming back I’ve had this fear that I’ve sent them the wrong invites. If you’re a worrier by nature like me a little D/E in the corner would have mitigated these irrational thoughts or splash out on separate evening RSVP cards.
  • Don’t be pushed into a corner – there’s been lots of times when people have asked for extra guests to come with them and the people pleaser in me has wanted to just say ‘ooo go on then I can reshuffle my entire table plan & go out of budget what the hell’. But doing that to one person can lead you down a dark path of doing it to everyone. Remember why you invited who you did and that on the day you’ll feel happier being in a room of people you love.
  • Always be polite – I do believe in speaking your truth. However, during this period of wedding planning speaking my truth could have caused huge family frictions that my future self does not have time for. Sometimes people forget how much this means too you & some comments won’t be as intentionally irritating as you might find them. Suck it up, smile & just think that one less guest who’s just insulted your chosen wedding date is saving you money you can spend on wine.

And a few if you’re a wedding guest to be:

  • RSVP ASAP – When you receive a wedding invite RSVP within the requested date you don’t realise how thankful the couple will be.
  • Don’t throw shade at the chosen venue or date – if you can’t make it because it’s midweek or a little too far away politely decline and move on with your day.
  • Weddings are really expensive – if the bride & groom don’t have room for your lifelong friend Doris to be added on that’s ok. Invite Doris to your wedding she’ll probably like it even more anyways.
  • Venue’s have capacity restrictions – it’s not personal if the bride & groom haven’t given you a plus one or invited your partner they haven’t met. It’s more often than not about capacity – to you it’s just one person but if all 50 guests did that there would be a huge health and safety related issue.
  • Let the bridal couple do them and you do you – ultimately whatever choices they have made work for them and that’s what this is all about. If no-one asked for your opinion it’s probably best to keep it to yourself, nice to be nice and all that.

My RSVP return window is about to close & in all honesty I am thrilled. Some situations have honestly left me feeling like I could just cancel it all and run away too get married in secret. Ultimately all I want to do is be his wife so this little RSVP period hasn’t been enjoyable. I can now get back to my cans of spray paint and the excitement of marrying my forever.

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