Monday, June 15, 2009

Répondez S'il Vous Plaît, or: Why the Hell Don't You Tell Me Whether You're Coming or Not?!

More and more often, I have found in my personal experience, that guests do not reply to me whether or not they plan to attend my parties, even when the RSVP is clearly printed on the invitation. Has rudeness really become such a growing trend in our society? Or, perhaps, the decline in RSVP's can be attributed to ignorance and not rudeness.

The term RSVP comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "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. Yes, really.

Is this really that difficult? Especially in our world today, filled with telephones, fax machines, email, texts, IM, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace... the choice of communication tools is endless. Just tell me! Any which way you can. I feel like I'm in the Dr. Seuss book Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now: "The time has come. The time is now. Just RSVP! I don't care how!"

You get the invitation, you tell me whether or not you're coming as soon as possible! It's that simple. 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 that I need a definite head count for the planned event, and I need it by the date specified on the invitation.

An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for me, including difficulty in planning food, uncertainty over the number of party favors, and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things. When an invited guest doesn't RSVP, it's just plain rude.

The worst yet, I had a lot of guests who never RSVP'd invited to my wedding. $200 a plate, and they couldn't tell me if they were going to eat it or not. You know that old saying, "What are you waiting for... an engraved invitation?" I guess even that engraved invitation wasn't enough.

So now that I'm throwing the kids birthday parties and Halloween parties and end-of-the-year parties, and the lack of RSVPs has actually gotten worse. I have now had to send out Reminder Notices: a follow-up email to people that have not yet RSVP'd, asking them, "Uh, haven't heard from you yet! Are you coming, or what?" (I'm not using those words, exactly, but that's what it feels like.) This means I am actually inviting them twice, even when they didn't have the courtesy to respond once. "Please, please come to my party! Won't you come to my party? PLEEEEEASE??"

Really, if you can't come, I understand. But just TELL ME! PLEASE!


Life As I Know It said...

yes, that is irritating. I think people don't realize how irritating it is until they throw a party and wait around for rsvp's!

Marla said...

oh this a big pet peeve of mine as well... just plane RUDE!!!

Sweepea said...


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I was wondering if you might be willing to mention my raffle/fundraiser. I would NOT ask if it wasn't for a great cause. Plus, there are over 90 donated prizes to win totaling over $3000.00! And who doesn't like to win??

It's really a win-win for everyone. People get to help me meet my fundraising goal AND potentionally win big.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE clickover and enter my raffle!! You can truly win TONS OF PRIZES (totaling over $3000.00 - gift cards, Starbucks coffee maker, $600 in camping equipment, gorgeous jewelry and more).

It's for a great cause….

6 years ago my Dad received a new heart.

This is my way of giving back.

pixie said...

Good luck with your cause!

My family and I have our own cause! This past March my dad died from pancreatic cancer. This is our effort to honor him:

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. So glad you are doing something to honor him. First giving really does make it easy.

Hallie :)

Lanxi said...

I think it is ignorance. Thank you's are overlooked; correspondence done electronically; people over scheduling and thinking about their day, not the inconvenience they are causing. A thing of the past I wish would come back.