Remember To RSVP To Invitations

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This isn't a tip but a reminder. When you receive an invitation to a function, and it reads to RSVP or any other type of a request to respond, please reply accordingly.

In the past six months, I have been involved in organizing two large parties with over 50 people. My main responsibility was to help cook for the party. In order for anyone to make any food you must know how many people will be there so you can buy and cook/prepare what is needed. Not only the food but plates, flatware, drinks, etc. must be known so people can plan. Planning a party can be quite expensive. Some people work within a budget.


I was very disappointed that more than half of the people who were invited did not respond in any way. I do not understand it. In order to get a head count, we had to make phone calls. The host/hostess make the effort to print and mail out invitations, so the guests should have the courtesy to reply. In was time consuming and frustrating to make the calls.

At one of the parties, party favors were involved. There were quite pricey but it was a party for a special person. Even though there were extras, some who were courteous enough to reply, did not get one because unknown to us, a few people were bringing their own guests, so that left us short. It would have been polite for the uninvited guest to refuse but of course they didn't.

It has been years since I was involved in organizing a party and I was not happy with the guests who did not reply to the sent out invitations. Now, no one minds calling Aunt Theresa who is elderly and forgets at times, that is something quite different. And it is understandable that people sometimes do forget but this was over half of the invited guests.

If you want to bring any extra people, please let the hostess/host know. These two parties for the most part did not have the same guests. If we would have known current e-mail addresses that may have helped the situation but it was impossible to know all of them.

So this is just a reminder to be polite and courteous and don't forget to reply to a party. You were special enough to receive an invitation so please be kind to the hostess/host of the party and respond as requested. It will make it so much easier and less stressful for them so they can enjoy the party, too.

By mkymlp from NE PA

August 8, 20120 found this helpful
Top Comment

I always RSVP but besides it being polite there are reasons for this people! The last invite I got was to a bridal shower where the bride to be had personalized engraved favors for each of the ladies. If you came but had't RSVP'd you didn't get a favor. These same people had to be squeezed into tables that were already seating 10 people which really wasn't fair to anyone at the table. If you don't want to talk to the person and give reasons why you can't come pick one of the numbers on the invite of the person you don't know. If it is only given by one person call and leave a message when you know they are at work but please be polite enough to RSVP! As far as mailing back an RSVP there is no excuse under the sun for not doing it!

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September 13, 20090 found this helpful

A suggestion I am going to follow is not put the location of the party on the invite, so only if they RSVP for further details will they be informed of where it will be. No one can drop in unexpectedly and after you have sent an invitation you certainly should not have to do a followup call if they are too rude or lazy to respond.

Our kids are planning a 50th anniversary party for us and that is what our son is planning on doing. It will be interesting to see the results. We will know who our real friends are after that! or if we have any left!

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September 13, 20090 found this helpful

I am 60 years old and still it never fails to amaze me that there are people who either don't understand what RSVP means, or who don't care to put out the ounce of effort it takes to respond. It is incredible to me the number of people who still feel entitled to show such a lack of common courtesy!

It's too bad that social customs can't be rewritten so that as guests arrive they are checked against the RSVP list, and those who didn't RSVP are turned away at the door! After a couple of embarrassments, deadbeat invitees would hopefully improve their manners in the future!

I think the "invitation without destination" idea is worth a try. Please post again after the party and let us know how it worked!

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

It is amazing isn't it? I read in Reader's Digest once that the hosts changed the venue after sending out invites. Those who didn't respond and showed up were at the wrong place. I love that and hope to try it one day! I also like leaving the destination off the invite.

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

Have mercy on a very busy, very stressed generation, especially now with the economy failed, the stranger in the oval office having high-jacked the office of the presidency, and the threats of internment, murder by vaccines, and the few last of the 500 biblical prophesies being fulfilled almost at the same time just ahead, according to all the details and signs. I'm one that has the best of intentions, sets the card where I can get to it again, then someone else covers it with their important papers, or knocks it off the fridge, and I cannot plan ahead or commit to much of anything because I'm over-committed already, although I'd love to be able to just say all of this in an RSVP.

One helpful suggestion that might improve RSVP response is to make a brief note on the card: 'Need headcount for planning/budgeting food and seating. Won't you tape this in a special place and let us know really soon, please? '

Honestly, most folks are flat broke, losing homes, investments, marriages, dreams, savings, income, jobs, and all that come/goes with these things, so I wouldn't plan on even half wanting to admit it, think about it, or be reminded to think about it. Few even know what the next day will bring them, or where they might be. This is the ugly reality of it.

Could you plan a smaller event, not expect many to come and celebrate with greater quality rather than quantity? That seems more like a solution than the frustration that lingers everywhere, visits when you least expect or desire it to, right? Try to forgive folks who are truly deceived, lied to, tricked, manipulated, scammed, and stolen from....if you can. These are facts, not excuses.

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

Well, I am a mom of 4 kids and have just learned something different here. My mom taught me that you only need RSVP if you are attending and don't call if not. The host's of the event are busy without taking no show calls. Both ideas make sense, especially in today's busy world. But, as I have fortunately not planned such an event, I will keep the meaning in mind for the many birthday invites my children receive. Just, know there are many folks who learned as I did and are not intending to be rude.

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Anonymous Flag
September 14, 20090 found this helpful

"Répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please, please/pretty please respond".

If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. It does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event and needs it by the date specified on the invitation.

For those who think their 'being busy and stressed out' overides the 'common courtesy' of a simple, quick 'yes or no' call, email or note in the mail, well, that lack of courtesy will be remembered and you probably won't be invited again and it could very well be an invitation to an event you were hoping to be invited to.

Our world has sadly become far too rude and people far too self centered and uncaring towards their brethren :-(

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

Obviously this subject struck a nerve. The best thing I have seen is when the RSVP states "For regrets only!" it tells them, you are expected unless we hear from you. I love it and plan to use it the next time.

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

I completely agree! I just had a baby shower this weekend that I had hosted by myself and they had 88 invitations that needed to go out with over 250 people invited and I heard from 5 families! I was pretty mad that went to all the effort of filling all of the invitations out and then in the end only 30 people came, which only a couple of those people RSVP'ed. :( I only had phone numbers for 11 people but that still didn't give me a good idea of how many people were coming so I planned very low for like 50 people and if i didn't have enough I was going to say well maybe you should have RSVP'ed. I also had the same problem in April with my wedding. We sent out about 250 invitations and only heard from about 50 people. I didn't hear from a single co-worker who I work next to all day, every day until the week before the wedding. How rude and inconsiderate?

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

Well, this explains a lot. I've thought for years that people who never RSVP'd were just being rude/lazy; good grief, I had no idea there are people out there who actually think it means respond only if you plan to attend (or only if you don't plan to attend, whatever...). As Deeli put it, RSVP is French for "Respond, PLEASE!"; meaning respond one way or the other, not just if you plan to attend, not just if you don't plan to attend, not if you're hoping a better invitation comes along, whatever; it means "respond, respond, respond"! They used to teach a little bit of French in schools since it's used in the field of etiquette; guess they're not doing that (or teaching etiquette either, for that matter) in schools anymore. Sigh; we're doomed.

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August 2, 20110 found this helpful

RSVP definitely means respond if you are attending or not. I am going through this right now with one of my kid's birthday parties. If someone can't make it, that's fine but it's really rude not to respond at all, especially to a party at a rented venue where people pay depending on the amount of guests.

Every year we have to suck up the costs and pay for people who don't respond. Usually they don't plan on attending, but sometimes they just show up without responding.Last year someone called me an hour before the party. It only takes a minute to send an email or make a phone call. It doesn't matter much how you phrase the RSVP. If people don't respond, you really have no idea if they are going to show up or not.

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May 24, 20120 found this helpful

There's a cool site called that has an interesting approach at encouraging people to RSVP. It works like Kickstarter but instead of a minimum amount of money the party ONLY happens if it reaches the minimum number of guests set by the host. The host also sets a maximum number of guests to encourage people to RSVP so they don't miss out before the party fills up. It makes things feel more collaborative and takes some of the burden off the host. Hope that helps!

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