If you’re like most wedding planners/DIY planners, you want who you actually invited coming to your wedding and no “mystery guests.” Plus, if you’ve already accounted for a certain number of guests, you don’t want the awkward experience of running out of food (or alcohol).
Luckily, there are a couple ways of dealing with this situation to make sure only the people you invited actually come to your wedding.
Method #1 – Call it out on your RSVP cards
This is the most common (and most effective way) to limit the number of guests in each party. A lot of RSVP cards that you will buy online will have this included at the bottom, but even if they don’t it’s not hard to add with the online RSVP template editor.
Here’s the key to limiting your guest count:
We have reserved 2 seats in your honor
This is the most common way to limit the number of guests in each party and it’s easy to add to any RSVP card (or invitation if you are not using RSVP cards). Simply add the text “We have reserved __ seats in your honor,” then print 1 RSVP card per party, and write the number of guests allowed for that party in the blank space (by hand). Include this with your invitations when you mail them and this will let each party know how many guests they are allowed to bring.
Method #2 – Address your invitations only to those invited
You can also address the invitation to the guests that you actually want to come. Let’s say for example you are good friends with Sally and Daniel Smith but you don’t want them bringing their 3 kids to the wedding. You can make your invitation out to “Sally and Daniel Smith” as opposed to “The Smith Family.” If you do want the entire family coming, the latter will let them know that all their kids and their entire family is invited to attend.
Also, if you have single friends (or friends that aren’t dating someone seriously) and don’t want them bringing a mystery date, you can address the invitation only to them. For example, make the invitation out to “Phil Martin” instead of “Phil Martin and guest.”
From experience, using the RSVP cards to call out how many seats are reserved is more straightforward and works better than just using the above invitation method, but using both is great.
Lastly, validate your guest count when your RSVPs come in
If you’re using Replied App to gather your RSVPs via text message, that makes this part easier. You’ll want to go in and verify that your guests actually RSVP’d for the number of people that they were allowed to have. If you called out their party limit in the RSVP cards, then most of the time they won’t try to RSVP for more, but you still need to verify. Also, guests sometimes RSVP for all the seats that are reserved in their honor, but something happens a couple weeks before the wedding and they end up having a smaller party. You can mitigate this risk by sending text message reminders 2 weeks before your wedding. Your guests can then update their RSVP and you can get a reliable head count so you’ll know exactly how many people are coming on your special day.