One of the many stressful things in planning any event is the guest list. EVERYTHING surrounding the event is typically based on the guest count. Invites, favors, chair sashes, centerpieces, food, drinks and the BUDGET! According to the Huffington Post, couples are spending on average $31,000 on weddings these days! That seems incredible yes? How does it add up? Believe me, it adds up and quickly.
When it comes to wedding budgets and planning, before you book anything, work on that guest list and decipher, realistically, how many guests can you afford to host. If applicable, involve your parents early. Chances are, they want to invite Aunt Millie, your next door neighbor from when you lived in Indiana when you were 8. So get ahead of the game and ask for their lists.
It is also becoming popular to host adult-only receptions. If you have 10 cousins who all have 2-3 kiddos a piece, that could add to the guest count fast. There are several ways to politely indicate that you will be hosting this type of reception. One of my personal favorites is to indicate on the RSVP that you have reserved "2" seats in their honor. So you are indirectly implying the request. I am also a fan of the online RSVP and providing a phone number for a phoned RSVP. The easier for the guest, the more likely they will respond.
The RSVP is so important. Sadly, before I planned my own wedding I wouldn't always practice the best guest etiquette and send back my RSVP. This was horrible of me. I will never do that again. The three weeks leading up to the wedding can be grueling for the couple, waiting each day for the RSVPs to be returned. We MUST get the final number to the caterer! We must get our seating chart finalized...etc, etc. It usually isn't until you have been through your own major event/wedding that you truly appreciate the importance of the RSVP. So for the love of the budget, Be Nice & RSVP!