Correct Usage of "Regrets Only" on Party Invitation

Has anyone else ever had a hostess, who used "Regrets Only" on her invitation, express surprise at seeing you arrive at the party? My friend clearly did not understand the meaning of the phrase and, in my attempt to politely explain why I'd shown up at the event, she became even more annoyed with me!


By Cack from Cincinnati, OH

December 19, 20100 found this helpful

Cack, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with an ungracious hostess, even if it was your friend. There really is no excuse for such bad behavior - only a sincere apology will do.

This person is obviously unaware of proper etiquette and if she is a really good friend, you owe her the honesty of trying to explain it to her in a kind and private manner. Give her the benefit of the doubt for her behavior (having been stressed by hosting the party) and invite her over for coffee or pizza and talk about the misunderstanding.

If she is simply a casual acquaintance, I would drop it. You tried to politely explain and she didn't want to hear anything you said. If this is the case, you probably won't have to worry about receiving another invitation anyway!

The chances are slim that a casual friend will apologize, but if she does, be gracious and recognize the strength and good character that it took for her to admit she was wrong.

Hope your next party is more enjoyable. Keep smilin'! :-)

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Anonymous Flag
December 19, 20100 found this helpful

I mean no offense at all to you but I think you're blowing this incident out of proportion by even simply asking this question. You may not have made the exact same mistake in the past but if you look in to your own heart I am sure you'll remember something you did not quite interpret correctly and was annoyed at 'being busted over it' too and I'll venture to bet you did not make the same mistake again ;-) All human beings make mistakes so cut the friend some slack and, if she has a sense of humor, simply make a cute, loving, fun (not poking fun at her) joke out of it a few months down the road. My best girlfriend of 43 years and I have oodles of giggles over boo boo's made by both of us from years gone by to tease one another about and giggle with fondness now :-) WWJD?

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December 20, 20100 found this helpful

I'll bet by now your friend has 'googled' the correct use of "Regrets Only" and realizes that SHE made the wrong interpretation of it's usage!

I'd not loose another minute of sleep over it! You did the right thing, and she'll see that eventually!

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

I can understand the confusion. I just had to Google because I didn't know it's meaning either.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Deeli I see what you are saying but Cack said she tried to explain why she was there and her friend got annoyed. The friend should have said she was sorry and laughed about it. But to me Regrets only means if you are not able to come send the card back. I don't understand why you would put that on a card. I have never heard of anyone doing this.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

"Regrets only" means answer only if you cannot come. A lot of people who don't want to go don't send in these cards. I think it would be better to ask the people to return the card if they plan to attend like it's done with wedding invitations.

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Anonymous Flag
December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Teresa Kay, Re-read the second sentence I wrote and I am sure that sometime in your lifetime you have been/acted annoyed at 'being busted' at least a few times and not wanting to admit it at that very moment too. It's only human and not that big of a deal especially over something as simple as an etiquette blunder. ;-)

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

You were correct in attending your friend's party, based on what she wrote in her invitation. The fact that she didn't understand and was then rude to you can be chalked up to inexperience; don't let it affect your friendship. Once she learns the meaning of "regrets only", she'll know better. (I, personally, prefer getting that kind of request; it seems to force me to make a decision and respond accordingly if I can't or don't want to attend because I don't want the hostess to be expecting me, that wouldn't be nice or fair, because I wouldn't want to be treated that way!)

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