Where are my RSVPs?

It seems like an age ago I made the trip to the stationary shop with Linda so sort out the invitations. Actually it was April.

When they finally arrived, complete with their beautifully hand-written addressed envelopes – I couldn’t wait to send them out.

Like a total sad case I sat up till one in the morning putting them all into the correct envelopes (Spanish ones for the Spanish speakers, and English ones for the Brits – naturally).

Then the next day I rushed off to the post office and spent 30 Euros on stamps. I couldn’t get the darn things into the post box fast enough.

That was it – It felt real. The invites were out. So I sat down and just waited for the RSVPs to come rushing in… But it just hasn’t happened.

To date I’ve had about 5 RSVPs – totaling about ten guests. The atmosphere might be a bit flat in our 100-person dining room with that number.

And most of those are from our lovely invitees who are super keen and super excited, and have been telling me from the start they’d be there with bells and whistles on.

Granted, it’s only been a couple of weeks since they started dropping through people’s letterboxes – so maybe I need to be a bit more patient.

In fact I need to be a lot more patient. After turning to my friend the internet (as I often do with wedding doubts and questions) it seems that this is a common problem. One poor girl was even saying that with two weeks to go before her wedding she only had about 30 of her 200 guests accounted for. Shouldn’t she have been phoning them?

I’ll admit it, I’m starting to get a bit of wedding paranoia. What if no-one comes? What if I have to bring my dog and invite my favourite bus driver just to stop it looking sad and lonely?

I know that a lot of our invitees just assume we know they’ll definitely be there, so they don’t need to RSVP.

But there are some who’ve said they’re not sure if they can make it – and I bet it’s those ones who remain all quiet on the reply front.

I totally understand that times are tough and weddings are expensive – and people might be waiting to see if they can scrape together enough cash. But one way or another I really need to know.

The big problem for us is that that we’ve provisionally booked hotel rooms for guests coming from abroad (which are a sizeable amount). So we need to firm up who won’t be needing them, or start inviting people on the b list to take their place.

But I how do I get people to commit or politely decline?

We tried to make it as easy as possible for people to RSVP – I put my email and phone number on the invites so people don’t have to bother posting a reply card. Hopefully that will help. Fingers crossed anyway.

I’ve heard people say that waiting for the RSVPs is one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding – I think they might be right.

I look back at all the times I’ve been a bad guest – leaving it really late in replying. In one case I think I didn’t even reply at all, and just thought ‘Oh they’ll just assume I’m not coming’.

Oh how I would like to go back in time and give myself a good Chinese burn for being so rude.

I vow, from this day forward to be a prompt RSVP-er – I had no idea just how much grief it can cause!

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  1. Bethany Laing

    Been there, done that, had the Migraine!

    And do you know what, it doesn’t stop, I know it is no where near as important or as stressful but I am trying to organise Florence’s and my Step – Daughter Alice’s Birthday party next month and no one is RSVP-ing to that, I am anal about getting things in order and in reasonable time so the not knowing drives me insane.

    I do find it quite inconsiderate really as like you say you have a lot riding on their answers, hotel rooms, the food, just knowing that the room will be generously filled.

    Most people will have some idea weather than can or cannot come, or by which time they will definitely have a answer.

    It’s not like your Wedding has come as a surprise and has been a rush thing.

    I truly feel for you and hope this blog helps with getting some more replies!

    If not get all Bridezilla on their asses!!


  2. Katherine Robinson

    Hi bethany, thanks for the sympathy. Everyone I’ve spoken to seems to have had the same problem. It is annoying, but I’ve decided not to get stressed – instead I’m just going to send some polite reminder emails to people to give them a nudge.

    I hope you start getting replies about Florence and Alice’s birthays – I feel your pain! It’s annoying no matter how big or small the event is you’re planning.


  3. Hi Katherine,

    SO happy to find your blog! I recently got engaged to a Spaniard from Madrid and we’re going to marry on February 11th. I see so many similarities here because, in fact, I’ve only been living in Spain since the beginning of this year, and although the language isn’t a problem for me, I’m starting to freak out about how to organize this international wedding. I’m Canadian (but also have a Polish passport thanks to family roots in Poland, which might make it a tad easier doing it through the European Community) and my guests are not only coming from Canada, but literally all around.

    My main freak out is the paperwork, I still haven’t figured out what I will need for my particular situation, and don’t really know how to start. Besides that, it’s a daily struggle trying to convince my fiance about what is “normal” and “expected” as a tradition in Canada, and get past the weird glances from his family and friends. Considering I’ve recently moved here, I don’t have my “own” friends to give them strange looks back, so I’m here to fend for myself. Haha. Like when they were surprised that the bridesmaids and groomsmen can’t just wear “whatever they want”… I should play some American movies for them!

    My parents are really supportive and helpful, but at the end of the day, how much can you do from Canada? So, I’m left to fend for myself. I fear asking his friends for help because they have such a different concept of the wedding that I don’t want to be led in a completely different direction from what I want.

    Ha, well it seems that I have vented a little and I needed that. Thanks very much for this blog, I’m going to keep following it because I see so much of my situation in it.

    And now I’m off to make a list of things that I don’t really know that I have to do in order to get us organized. Thanks again and good luck with everything!


  4. I got married 3 weeks ago in Madrid and I had exactly the same problem with RSVP´s! Spanish people are so relaxed about it all, they dont seem to realise you need to know numbers to give to hotel, order favours&generally for your own peace of mind! I would get your suegra to get on the job of phoning round the Spanish guests and you worry about guests from Britain. Thats what i did and it worked quite well though we still had 5 people who pulled out last minute, apparently it is quite common for that to happen in Spain!
    How are the rest of the preparations going? I was quite stressed the day before the wedding because of a few little hitches but it went off OK in the end!
    As for the crying I was convinced I was going to be a bawling mess on the day but I think the adrenaline and business of the day(plus the fact when u´ve had ur make up professionally done you really dont want to ruin it!) keeps you from freaking! Also if you feel like tears are close to the surface before the wedding, let go, have a good cry and release the tension! lol!

  5. Katherine Robinson

    Hi Karolina,

    Wow, I feel your pain! I’m glad you’re finding my blog useful – do feel free to come back and have a moan with me if it gets too much for you at any point – I can sympathise!

    And let me know if I can help you with anything. Us non-Spaniards getting married in Spain need to stick together!

    the paperwork is always going to be a nightmare. Are you doing it through the Catholic curch or ‘por civil’? The latter is slighly harder. At least you have your Polish passport – that will make things slightly easier for you.

    Where and when are you getting married? good luck with the preparations. xxxxx

  6. Katherine Robinson

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks so much for the advice. I have actually taken matters into my own hands, and started contacting people directly. and a lot of them are like: “Well, yes, of course we’re coming!” But they didn’t think to get in touch to tell me so!

    I’ve put J on duty with phoning the Spanish contingent – but he’s very much a ‘mañana, mañana’ type of guy, so I may have to nag him about it a bit.

    At the moment I’m not too stressed. But time is ticking away at an alarming rate. I can’t believe ther’s little over two months to go. Yikes!

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog! xxx

  7. Please tell me WE have RSVP’d?? A best man ad bridesmaid haha!

    Seriously though, I apologise if we haven’t – Ed always does that stuff on our behalf xx

  8. Katherine Robinson

    Hi Emma,

    No you haven’t RSVP’d officially – but I kind of had you both down on the definites list – since the both of you booked your flights before my family had even done it!

    No worries at all lovey.

    I’m more worried about some of the ‘maybes’ we have. I’ve chased some people with emails or facebooks and they haven’t even bothered to reply to those. Makes me wonder why we bothered to invite some people in the first place!

    Ah well – it’s all taking shape anyway. xxx

  9. Hi Katherine,

    Yep, I also had the experience that Spaniards are very relaxed with RSVP’s. And you do need the numbers for ordering favors and, most importantly, making the table arrangement and confirming the catering/restaurant 10-15 days before the wedding. My mother told me that if guests do not contact us, that means they are coming, but I would not take the risk (for sure in the case of relatives that we see less often).
    For the Dutch relatives & friends we sent an email around or asked them directly (although I thought it was ackward to ask some friends) and my parents took care of contacting most of the Spanish relatives and I phoned the few left two weeks before the wedding.
    Good luck and patient with it, but don’t hesitate asking, you have to know!

    • Katherine Robinson

      Hi Paula,

      You’re right – sometimes you just have to be a bit direct! I’ve taken care of the English people and so far I have 75 people who have confirmed (with a bit of nudging from me!) My husband to be is taking care of the Spanish guests, so hopefully we should be sorted soon! x

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