Do you RSVP? Maybe you heard about the story of the parents who were billed for a portion of a party because they failed to attend a party? Apparently they sent an RSVP stating they would attend; however, they didn’t show up. But they failed to contact the hosting parents to let them know of their change of plans. Since the host parents paid for accommodations for their child, they wanted to be reimbursed for the expense. So they sent the parents a bill and threaten to take them to small claims court if they didn’t pay up. You can read the details here.
I laughed when I read the story. Because I remembered all the times that I sent invitations and asked guests to RSVP. And they never bothered to respond one way or the other. I have never thought about sending a bill to those who did RSVP, but never showed up. I most admit, I like the thought.
When I send out an invitation for an informal or formal event, I ask guests to RSVP. For example, if it’s an informal events I always ask the guests to call me. I give a date that they must call by and my phone number. Additionally, I expect them to call and say yes they are coming or no they are not coming.
I ask for the RSVP to be mailed to me when I send out a formal invitation. Furthermore, I include the RSVP card and a stamped return envelop.
I ask guests to RSVP because I need to know how much food to prepare, how much liquor to purchase, or how many party favors to purchase. To me it’s just disrespectful when a guest does neither. RSVP means respond/reply please. I never do Regrets Only, I want to hear yes or no from the invited guests. I’m not unique, other people who are hosting parties expect the same.
I hosted my grandchildren’s birthday several years ago. It was a huge backyard event with clowns, magicians, a bounce house and everything else that goes along with a carnival themed party. I had 10 people show up with their children and they never bothered to RSVP.
Needless to say, I had not planned for 20 extra people. One of the guests had 5 children. It left me scrambling. I had to purchase and cook more food, put more party favor bags together and accommodate more children and parents. I should have billed the parents for the stress alone. That would teach them the meaning of RSVP.
Proper etiquette requires those who receive an invitation to not ignore it. It is not up to the host to call you to find out if you’re coming or not. If they thought enough of you to send an invitation, you should think enough of them to respond one way or the other.
For those who RSVP and don’t show up, you have cost the host money. Because they have included you and/or your children in the food, beverage and party favor count. The cost is even more profound for weddings and other formal events. Those events normally require a cater who charge by the plate. Additionally, if alcohol is involved it’s per bottle and bartenders must be paid.
Finally, now that you know the meaning and importance of RSVP, please respond. In conclusion, you may find that family, friends, co-workers and neighbors are leaving you and your family off the party list. Better yet, you may find an invoice in your mailbox if you end up being a no show.