Whether you’re having physical invites or a fancy wedding website where your guests can RSVP online, there’s information you need from your guests, and that your guests need from you.
What you need from guests
There can end up being lots of information you need from your guests, with a few different scenarios concerning food; are you having a buffet or a set meal? This brings up a few different questions to make sure you are catering for children and those with different diets (vegan, veggie, dairy-free etc) & allergies.
- Names of who can and cannot attend: if one invite is inviting several people, make sure you ask your guests to confirm: names of who can attend, names of who cannot attend (if you ask for a total number, but invite children too, you won’t know who is coming and who isn’t which would affect meals)
- Meal preferences per person: “We are serving for the main course: chicken, beef & vegetarian lasagne – please choose one”) you’ll need to design your invite in such a way of knowing WHO has chosen which meal (asking for initials maybe) This will ensure the staff waiting tables know who to deliver each meal to, which smoothes the process
- If you are having a buffet, you won’t need to ask guests for specific meal information but you’ll still need to obtain dietary requests (see below) so the caterers know how much food to prepare (lots of vegetarians means more veggie food required for example)
- Do any of your guests on the invite have special dietary requests? If so, who, and what are they? This list should include vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, any allergies, nut-free, other
- Children’s menu – if there are children being invited, you’ll need a separate section to get their meal preferences
- RSVP – include what the guest needs to return to you on a separate sheet so the guest can return just the RSVP and keep everything else, including the main dates/locations/helpful info. Ask the guest to RSVP by a particular date (but make sure this date is well before the actual date you need it back by, as you can guarantee some will be late). Make sure to add your address, and contact numbers. Some people go one extra step and include a stamp-addressed envelope within their invite pack.
Make sure you keep a list of people before you send invites out, so you can keep track of numbers. You’ll probably need to provide this information to your caterer, including how many are eating which meal, how many children & their meals, any allergies, so it’s best to keep a spreadsheet detailing this you can simply hand over. It also enables you to know who to chase!
Other non-important information you could get from your guests:
- Favourite party tunes to make sure your dance floor is always full (see my article here on how to make a wedding playlist)
- A notes section where the guests can write extra useful information
What information to give your guests
- An introduction, confirming you are inviting the guest to either the full day or evening event (in which case, you’d only show the relevant info)
We’re inviting you to our wedding at [location] at 12pm, followed by a wedding breakfast at [location] at 3pm and evening event at [location] from 6pm until 12am!
- Addresses of the locations and parking availability
- Are guests staying over? If so, supply helpful information on local hotels and taxi numbers (or ask a few people to act as a taxi, if the locations aren’t near each other)
- Dress code
- Gift ideas
Other info that’s not as important:
- Is your wedding taking place outside? If so, suggest to your guests to bring coats and wellies
- Hashtags if you’re wanting your guests to snap and share your day
Other wedding checklists:
- Wedding Planning Checklist and Timeline – Made by a Bride
- How to create a Wedding Playlist to make sure the dance floor is full
- Wedding Planning Seating Table Plan – with 4-8 tables, including the top table – Made by a Bride
As well as writing articles, I sell wedding gifts and accessories. Take a look at my personalised beautiful, handmade guestbooks:
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