First Responders

by Mary O'Bryan on April 1, 2013

(Talked to a bride this week that was ubber efficient in mailing out her invitations. She put the reply card into the reply envelope and sealed it! OOPS! That makes a ‘lack of a stamp on the reply envelope’ seem almost minor.)

On Monday we had to decide what to do about the 72 non-responders. I began to get nervous thinking that they might not have received the invitation since I had over 30 returned because of  wrong addresses. The wedding planner assured us that calling those that had not responded was the best alternative. I took a deep breath and made my first call. My worst nightmare came true; they had not received the invitation. It made the next calls easy because I could honestly ask if they had received the invitation.

Father of the Bride had to participate because we  needed his help. He did a great job contacting people and he is good on the phone. I started to enjoy calling because it was a chance to catch up with people’s lives. Everyone is so busy these days that it is not unexpected that an invitaiton gets put to the side and forgotten. Hospital stays, trips, reply cards found un-mailed in the car, people still deciding about the weekend, lots of reasons that we hadn’t heard from them. And of course, the efficient ones that responded on the couple’s web site before it was up and running or before the glitch was worked out had to be called because we had no idea who might have responded and it not been recorded.

Be the end of the week we had gotten a better idea of our numbers and the wedding planner’s forcast is proving to be right. She said the 70% of the people invited will respond “YES” and of that number 10 people will be ‘no-shows’ that night. If it rains, you will have more ‘no-shows’ than 10 (but you will have already paid for them!). I had calculated how many 70% would be and we were at 55% before we made the calls to the non-responders and are at 71% after making the calls. That is a significant change.

My advice: Dont be afraid to call the non-responders. It can be a good opportunity to catch up with people. and you  want to know ahead of time how many are coming to the wedding!

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