Wedding Planning: How to Get Your Guests to RSVP on Time!

As a Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist with over 20 years experience, I’ve seen it all when it comes to weddings and as such, I’ve picked up a lot of really, wedding planning handy tips on how to make the big day run as smoothly as possible.

One of the most common problems I hear about from my brides both on their trial run and on their wedding morning is what a struggle it has been to get their guests to RSVP on time, so today’s blog contains my advice on how to get those RSVPs when you need them!

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Sending out wedding invitations is often something that couples leave surprisingly late, but if you’re hoping to get ahead of the game and really crush it with your wedding planning, make sure that you bump this task right up your ‘to do’ list.

Why? Because one of the biggest hassles about getting all your wedding bits and bobs sorted has got to be trying to get your guests to RSVP in a timely fashion!

Although all-things-wedding might be the only thing on your mind, it’s usually not so much for your friends and family, so when your wedding invitations go out be prepared to do a bit of extra leg-work to get those responses back.

Sounds like a bit of a nightmare, right? Well yeah, when guests don’t RSVP until the last minute (or at all), that really puts a spanner in the works, so following a few, simple wedding planning steps to get the yay or nay from your guests is well worth it.

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Here’s how to get your guests to RSVP on time:

Make It Easy

 

Requesting an RSVP by post is one sure-fire way to find yourself with minimal responses. People have busy lives and the last thing they’re going to find the time to do is tick that ‘attending’ box and mail it back to you.

The easier the better, when it comes to getting a timely RSVP, so keep the reply options really easy.

Set up a wedding email account (this is a great idea anyway, to help you keep on track of all your wedding vendors and quotes) and ask your guests to ping you over a brief message. Everyone has a smart phone these days so sending an email is no big deal. Welcome to the future!

If you’re set on keeping it traditional and still want to go for the snail mail system, do provide that pre-stamped return envelope. It adds on a cost, but it’s worth it for the efficiency and the money you’ll save on not having excess meals going to waste.

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Be Very Specific

 

Don’t give your guests the opportunity to be lax about their RSVP. Make it abundantly clear on your wedding invitation that you require a response by a certain date and make sure that the certain date you choose is WAY ahead of your wedding.

If you don’t state exactly when you need your answers by, I can guarantee that you will be getting them much later than is ideal.

 

Stay Organised

 

It’s easy to let the little things slip, but do try your very best to stay super organised when it comes to keeping a record of who has RSVP’d and who hasn’t.

Create a spreadsheet and make a note of every reply you get as soon as you get it; this way, when it comes to having to do your chasing up (which, unfortunately, you will have to do) your life will be made much easier.

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Chase Up

 

We’ve broken the news to you in the point above, so let’s get down to the details. You will, inevitably, end up having to chase a good chunk of your guests for an answer, no matter how clear your wedding invitations were – so how do you go about doing that?

Despite it being very understandable that you need an answer with plenty of time to spare, many guests don’t get that, so try to be gentle with your reminders and don’t get too frustrated! Your wedding email address comes in handy here again as an email is probably the best way to send a quick, friendly reminder out.

You’re one step closer to your perfect day!

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Have The Big Day Your Wedding Guests Really Want…

It’s all very well and good saying that your big day is for you and your spouse so at the end of the day, all decisions should come down to want you want. To an extent that’s true, however, not every couple wants to throw a wedding that is just for them – many brides and grooms are concerned about how to keep their wedding guests really happy and how to ensure that their wedding is the one that everyone remembers as the wedding!

If you’ve put together a great guest list, brimming with names of your nearest and dearest, your wedding attendees are going to consist of family and friends that you wouldn’t want to celebrate this moment without. Considering that, it’s no great surprise that you might be thinking about what to include in your big day for your wedding guests to enjoy.

We’ve all been to weddings that were expensive, tedious and a little less than fun but that’s almost certainly not the kind of day you’re aiming for! Make sure that your loved ones have an amazing time at your wedding, by making it one to remember.

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Serve Late Night Snacks

Weddings can be quite exhausting and all that activity and exciting works up an appetite! You might not feel hungry, thanks to all those wedding day nerves, but your wedding guests definitely will – even if they were there for the big meal earlier on!

After a while of drinking and dancing, your guests are going to start feeling the need for a late night snack, so indulge them, rather than having that be their cue to leave.

Going for a relaxed vibe doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on beauty. There are so many gorgeous barns, gardens, and even festival sites available to hire for an utterly beautiful, yet informal backdrop. You and your guests will feel like you’re celebrating in serious style, but if you spill a drink on the dance floor, it’s not the end of the world. Phew!

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Save on Favours, Spend on Booze

Wedding favours are a cute tradition, but unless you’ve got something really personal or creative in mind, your wedding guests probably aren’t that fussed. Most token wedding favours are discarded pretty early on or forgotten about altogether when it’s time to leave, so save yourself the time and expense of getting everyone a bag of almonds and instead, put that extra cash behind the bar!

Wedding guests are usually far more appreciative of complimentary booze than they are of favours, so why not give them want they really want?

 

Thoughtful Touches

Make your wedding unique by adding some thoughtful, personal touches to the proceedings. This doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive – it could be something as simple as having some old photos of you together with your guests put onto their tables, handwritten notes thanking them for coming or, if you are keen on having favours, giving them something they can actually use – like a hangover kit, or fold up pumps for the ladies!

wedding guests

Consider a Relaxed Venue

If you’re having a family-friendly wedding, it can help everyone to relax if the setting isn’t somewhere that you wouldn’t imagine children would usually be allowed to run free!

Stately homes and grand halls look fabulous in photos and for some, this impressive setting is perfect for them, but if you think that you and your guests might have more fun in a relaxed venue, don’t shy away from that.

Going for a relaxed vibe doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on beauty. There are so many gorgeous barns, gardens, and even festival sites available to hire for an utterly beautiful, yet informal backdrop. You and your guests will feel like you’re celebrating in serious style, but if you spill a drink on the dance floor, it’s not the end of the world. Phew!

wedding guests

Instil That Party Vibe

There’s no need to have your sit down meal feel like a sombre affair, so don’t be afraid to liven it up a bit!

After the ceremony, you’ll all be feeling wired and excited, so keep that upbeat feeling going with dance-inducing music playing upon entry to your dinner hall and keep the meal fun and light-hearted, with games and conversation starters on the tables. This is a great way to keep people chatting and energy levels up.

 

Avoid Interruptions

You are of course going to want to have some traditions and interruptions to the proceedings, such as speeches, first dance and cake cutting, but try to keep them minimal.

There’s no need to have poor old dad droning away for 15 minutes or to make everyone stop what they’re doing to watch you newly weds have your photos taken as you cut the cake, so keep things short and sweet and don’t force people to pay attention if they don’t want to.

5 Simple Ways to Look Amazing in Your Wedding Photos

There’s no denying that getting your wedding photos right is a pretty huge deal – these are going to be your memories to last a lifetime after all, so you want to make sure that you look your very best.

 

Having your hair and makeup done by a pro certainly helps with this, from knowing the best flash-friendly makeup to use that will last all day, to creating a hairstyle that you know is going to stay put and look fabulous, but there are some more things that you can do to help you feel confident in getting that photo album you’re after.

 

Getting your wedding photos taken, whilst a fun thing, can also be a bit daunting for many, so doing everything in your power to boost your confidence and help you feel as though ‘you’ve got this’ is going to help.

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Practice your poses

 

It may sound silly, but there’s no harm in practicing some poses in the mirror ahead of your big day, so that when the time comes for you to step in front of the camera you feel totally ready.

The likelihood is that your photographer will be taking plenty of candid photos that you won’t need to strike a pose for, but there will probably be some snaps of you with family and friends that are set up. Figure out how to flaunt your best assets and disguise bits you’re a bit self-conscious about in a subtle but effective way, by doing things like putting a hand on your hip to slim arms, or pressing your tongue behind your teeth for that perfect, natural looking smile.

 

Avoid a Double Chin

 

We’ve all fallen victim to a double chin cropping up in photos – it happens to even super slim people! The trick to avoid it isn’t just to lose weight, it’s actually more about how you hold yourself.

When you’re having your wedding photos taken, remember to lengthen your neck by moving your head forward and then tilt your chin upwards. This may feel slightly unnatural, but you’ll be glad you did it when you get all those single chin images back later!

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Laugh – for real!

 

Fake smiles and fake laughter is not a good look in wedding photos, so instead of putting it on, try getting a real giggle out instead! Forget the bad jokes from the photographer and desperate attempts to recall something hilarious on the spot, just start with a fake laugh and go from there. Let out a big old, false guffaw with whoever you’re having your photo taken with, then do it again and again. Soon enough, you’ll all be laughing for real. Try it – it works!

 

Stand Tall

 

Bad posture has a lot to answer for in many wedding photos, so try to hold yourself correctly as much as you can throughout the day.

Draw your shoulders back, lift your chest up and tuck your tummy in. Breathe, to relax yourself (looking stiff isn’t great either!) and then smile. You’re photo ready!

 

Hire a Pro Hair & Makeup Artist

 

Having a professional do your hair and makeup really does go a long way in making you look great in your wedding photos, not just because of the skill involved in creating that perfect look and the high quality products, but also because of the confidence it will instil in you.

If you feel amazing, you’ll look amazing – it’s that simple!

Knowing your wedding day schedule is crucial when it comes to making sure that your big day goes off without a hitch and one of the most important areas to get timings right is during the bridal party hair and makeup prep.

Many of my brides are shocked when I suggest how early I should arrive to start getting everyone ready for the important day that lies ahead, but from my 25+ years of experience working in the industry, you can trust me when I say that I know my wedding day schedule timings down to a tee!

There’s so much to factor in during those first few hours of the day and the absolutely last thing you want is to feel rushed or unprepared as you walk down the aisle, so making sure that there is plenty of time allotted in your wedding day schedule to get everything done (and still enjoy it too) is a must.

Wedding Day Schedule: Bridal Party Prep

During our trial run together, I’ll be making notes throughout so that I not only know exactly what we’ll be doing on your wedding day and which products I’ll be using, but also so I can work out just how much time it’s all going to take.

Regardless of whether I’ll just be doing the bride’s hair and makeup, or the whole bridal party (with the help of my talented assistants!), I always like to make sure that I allow plenty of time for everything to get done without any stress at all.

The Bride

 

As a general rule, I like to allow at least 2 hours to do my bride’s hair and makeup. Although we will already know what look you are going for, I want to make sure that you really enjoy the process and look completely flawless as the end result!

I also factor in time for laughing and chatting, time for eating and sipping champagne and even around half an hour to actually put your dress on (it might seem like a lot, but you’ll need it).

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The Bridesmaids

 

Bridesmaid styles are usually not quite as complex as the bride’s and so for them I write up my wedding day schedule to include an hour per extra person. This is usually plenty of time to have your girls looking amazing!

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Mother of the Bride

 

If mum is getting her hair and makeup done too, I like to estimate slightly longer for this (around and hour and a half).

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Flower Girls

 

It’s not unusual for my brides to decide that they would like a few loose curls put into their flower girl’s hair at the last minute. This doesn’t take too long at all, but it all adds up and so still needs to be included in the wedding day schedule. Around half an hour for each girl.

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Photography

 

One thing that is often forgotten about by brides when they’re putting together their wedding day schedule is to allow extra time for photos.

Whilst it’s true that your photographer can get some amazing, candid snaps as you’re getting ready, it’s nice to have some posed portraits with your girls too. Each set up takes around 5 minutes.

This is also factored in the the time allotted for putting your dress on – half and hour may seem like a long time to get dressed when you already know what you’re wearing, but allowing time to really make the most of it and capture shots of your excitement and the emotions from your bridal party when they see you all dressed up for the first time is well worth it.

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Whatever the size of your bridal party, I’ll make sure that everything runs smoothly and that your wedding day schedule fits in all the little things that will make the morning of your wedding complete.

One of the perks of hiring a professional bridal hair and makeup artist is that it takes all the stress of getting ready on time off your shoulders – just sit back, relax and enjoying the pampering before you say ‘I do’!