I am going to stand on my soapbox now… (This posting is really for all of my party planner friends out their as well as my friends who host dinners and parties at their homes.)
I spent my Labor Day weekend with some of my best friends who decided to have a BBQ. They sent out an e-vite, spent lots of money on food and drink and opened their doors to celebrate the last official weekend of summer. (It was a great party by the way!)
But let me get back to their e-vite…
Their e-vite went out a little over a month ago. It was sent to more than 50 people. About half responded yes, a few responded maybe (Really E-vite? Maybe? Do you see “maybe” on a wedding invitation?), the rest didn’t respond at all. It’s really puzzling to me as to what kind of society have we become where we can’t take a few moments out of our “busy” lives to respond to a simple invitation. RSVP or répondez s’il vous plait means to “reply please” or “please respond”. Friends and family take the time to open their doors and have celebrations. These kinds of events take lots of planning, time and money. Most people these days do not have the courtesy of taking the time to send a simple response.
At my friends BBQ, half of the people who did respond yes to the e-vite did not even show up. There was no telephone call, email or text message to say that they wouldn’t be able to make it. I understand that things in life happen and we have to break our plans, but the least we can do is let our host know that we won’t be able to make the party. No excuse is needed, and your host won’t waste food and can make the proper accommodations if it’s a sit down dinner. Of course my friends were disappointed that their guests could not make the party, but they were even more disappointed that no courtesy was given to them to let them know that they would not be able to attend.
Being in the wedding industry has made me hyper aware of this situation. When we work with our hotels, I am often waiting for the guest counts to come in from their clients so I can tell my chef how many servings a cake needs to be. I hear all kinds of stories from our party planner friends that they are calling guest lists on the phone on behalf of the bride because more than half of the RSVPs have not been received. (In a wedding invite they are already pre-stamped, the work is done for you, all you have to do is check a little box!) When ever I receive an invite: whether it’s an e-vite to a work or social event or a paper invitation I have received in the mail, I take that moment to respond. After all, this person went out of their way to invite me to something special, the least I could do is give them the courtesy of a response. Whether it is yes or no, it’s polite and it’s the right thing to do.
(I will get off my soapbox now…)