Between all the wedding websites, magazines, and of course, all of your friends and family, you will get SO much advice about your wedding, including traditions, planning, what you're "supposed to do", etiquette and so on. While planning our wedding, we quickly learned which of these tid-bits to pay attention to, and which one's to throw out the door. One of our personal favorites, only because it WILL save headaches, is numbering your RSVPs.
It all starts with a handy-dandy Excel spread sheet. We entered every name on our guest list into excel, along with a column for their addresses, whether or not they RSVPed "yes" or "no", and the number attending. This will be your go-to for so many guest list related questions along the way. It may seem like a pain to enter this stuff, but trust us, it will be so useful when your future mother-in-law is calling you to ask whether or not uncle Jimbo RSVPed. You will know at a glance where you stand at all times.
You'll notice above, there is also a column titled, "RSVP #." Give each address a number, then when you are addressing your invites, simply have a printout handy (or if you are using a calligrapher, give the that list to them) and lightly, in pencil, write that number on the back corner of the RSVP corresponding with the appropriate family.
Why, you ask? Because chances are you WILL receive RSVP's back that don't have a name on it, the number attending isn't filled out, we even received one that was completely blank altogether. We didn't think it was possible, but some people still don't know how an RSVP card works. However, with this system, you will still know who it came from.
All in all, we received about 6 or 7 blank or incomplete RSVP's and the time it took to write a number on the back, definitely trumped the time we would have spend tracking down the mystery guests.