One of the last big projects for a wedding is setting the seating arrangements. For some, this can be really simple. But for others, this can be a very difficult process. I also run a custom-design invitation business and one question I often hear is “How far in advance should I set my RSVP date?” ONE MONTH before the event is always the answer I give. Some people will say 2-3 weeks before, but that often isn’t enough time.
Why you ask?
1) Non-responders – You may ask for your responses 1 month in advance, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get them then. You will always have a few (or many) non-responders. You’ll need to follow up by email or phone, but if you have given yourself a month, you can be a little lenient and give them an extra week before pounding on their door for answer.
2) Reduce last minute stress- The last thing you need is to stress yourself out by giving yourself a big deadline at the end. Most people will already know your wedding date in advance from a save-the-date or word of mouth. Many will have already made arrangements prior to receiving an invitation.
3) Final counts - Every reception facility and/or wedding coordinator work differently. Some want final counts a few days before the wedding, but I have heard of some requiring it 2 weeks before! Don’t crunch yourself for time!
4) Allow time for professional seating chart preparation - Since the seating arrangements are done so last minute, many couples go the DIY route with placecards due to timing. At the Seating Chart Boutique, we understand the last time crunch you are under and we deliver most orders within 3-5 business days…sometimes even sooner! I always suggest placing your seating chart order about 7-10 business days before the event. This way, you have a few weeks after RSVPs are due to collect all the info and assigns tables…then you will still receive your chart with days to spare.
If you haven’t figured out what you are doing to present your seating arrangements, consider using a wedding seating chart from the Seating Chart Boutique. Read more about our product on our site: http://www.seatingchartboutique.com. See a few examples of our designs below.
Please keep in mind that I always tell my invitation clients to mail invitations about 8 weeks before the wedding . This gives the guest about 4 weeks to respond and you about 4 weeks to plan. Please plan your invitation mail date about 3-4 weeks before your RSVP date.