No RSVP's

DolcesMomNovember 29, 2002

I mailed the invitations three weeks in advance... planned the menu... carefully picked the games (3) for the variety of people invited and decorated the new house to the T, one problem; no one RSVPed by the deadline. Do I call everyone (all 25 of them), do I plan the party hoping someone shows, or should I just cancel it and not tell anyone, then when they show say "well I'm sorry I cancelled because I had no response" and let them with pie in the face? This is not the first time I had no RSVP's, but people showed anyway. I feel angry. I just want to make them understand how much I put into this and they act like I just expect them to show. Any suggestions on how to react to these inconsiderate invitees? Thanks, just needed to vent.

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colleenoz

I'd be highly tempted to make other plans (like going out) for the evening and then when they called to complain tell them that as there was no RSVP you assumed they weren't coming.
What I'd probably end up doing is calling them to confirm and then never inviting them to anything ever again.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2002 at 9:13PM
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ReneeKY

I really am beginning to think that no one knows what RSVP means anymore. That's really a sad commentary on society.

Short of never inviting them to anything else (and if you have a 100% non-compliance rate, that's not fun), maybe re-word the RSVP portion of the invitation to a more "in your face" statement: So we may plan our menu, we need to know by the Xth if you will attend. If we have not received a response by the Xth, it is assumed you will be unable to attend.

I don't like that because it takes the responsibility our of their hands, but it may be the only thing that works. "RSVP mean you're supposed to tell us if you're coming, blockhead" probably wouldn't go over well even thought it is VERY tempting. :)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2002 at 10:23PM
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summergirl

I think many people think RSVP is only required if they are going to be able to show up to the party. People just figure if they do not call, the host should assume they are not comming. Rude but I think that is how it works now.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2002 at 10:28PM
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Spadewoman

I always RSVP to invitations as soon as I receive the invite. But rarely do I get responses to my RSVP requests and usually everyone shows up. It is my only pet peeve.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2002 at 11:00AM
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beachbum

Yes, it stinks but it is just the way most people are. Grit your teeth and call them. Have a drink, then try to relax and have a good time at the party. Most people really don't realize how much planning goes into it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2002 at 3:49PM
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suzieque

I agree that a lot of people don't know what RSVP stands for anymore. Many seem to think that the R stands for "Regrets"....meaning that you only have to respond if you're not coming. That is so wrong!

RSVP means (English translation) Please Respond! It's so annoying to have people not get it.

I'd call your invitees and say that you hadn't heard from them so you don't know if they're coming or not. If they say that they're coming so didn't respond, you have a chance to (nicely) let them know that RSVP means "please call me and let me know if you're coming or not".

    Bookmark   December 3, 2002 at 10:30AM
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Alice_sj

This is very interesting. I never really thought about people not knowing what RSVP means. (I am young and know what it means.) But I guess It shouldn't be suprising when those kinds of things are being lost. This makes me think when I become a hostess that I will not use PLease RSVP, but something along the lines of...please call to let me know whether or not you will be attending. Think guests would get that?

DolcesMom, I think I would be pretty ticked and want to be gone the night they all show up. Especially since you've had this happen before. But I guess it would really depend on who are the invited people. Are they people I wouldn't mind ticking off and trying to show a few manners to?
Most likely, I would call and plan to go ahead with the party if enough people were planning on attending.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2002 at 2:59PM
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DolcesMom

Thank you all for the suggestions. If I hadn't spent so much on the food and decorations a nice dinner out with my husband would sound pretty good. Just when I think nothing could surprize me anymore, someone proves me wrong. Thanks again for letting me vent. By the way the party is still on. Although I made several comments to people about how no one responded they still didn't call me. Oh well, I'll have to let you know how many finally did show up. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 8:39AM
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Gina_W

Young people need to be taught social graces and they are not and have not been for many years. If you have children, please, please teach them! They won't learn at school or anywhere else.

(Rant below).

It never fails to amaze me how folks can get along in life without knowing when to say please, thank you, excuse me, RSVPing to invitations, how to politely answer the phone, how to send Thank You notes, open doors for others - even strangers, speak clearly and look others in the eye when speaking, and on and on!

Lately our company has been hiring and the young people who call about the jobs and come in for interviews are so - green - and unsocialized. They mumble, they can't describe what advertisement they are answering or what job they are calling about. There are lots of "ums" and "yeahs".
Once they come in for an interview they don't introduce themselves or offer their hand to shake. They're usually late and don't call to say so. They look down at the floor, and they do not call back to find out about the interview or thank the interviewer. And these are college educated people looking for professional positions!

Sigh, so expecting RSVPs today is a lost cause I'm afraid.

On a good note - I was walking my dog in the neighborhood one day, and a boy of about 9 skateboarded by. He stopped to pet the dog, introduced himself by name, asked mine, shook my hand, and played with my dog for a few minutes. I was so shocked and happy at his polite behavior. Obviously he had been taught well.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 1:18PM
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suzieque

Sort of like when you say "thank you" and the kid just grunts "yup".

Never taught to say "you're welcome"?

(sorry to the bright and polite "kids"....I'm not really meaning to generalize - but that's just been my experience lately)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 5:08PM
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notenoughroses

Well, my recent RSVP experience has been quite the opposite in regards to age generalizations... My husband and I are hosting two parties this month -
First one - a holiday party for our friends and neighbors who were so wonderful to us during the difficult birth/hospitalization of our son last Christmas. Most of the invited guests are under 40, though a few are in their 50's. We have heard back from almost everyone with either their regrets that they cannot make it or with a head count. The people we have not heard back from - a British couple in their 60's and my husband's boss. Granted a few people responded late - two people called yesterday and another one called today. But I did at least hear from them.
Party #2 - My son's first birthday party, which will be held 600 miles away in our hometown. It will be part birthday party, part family reunion so we don't have to drive all over the midwest to see and visit family. The majority of invited guests are age 55+. We have also invited a few of our high school friends and their families. How many people have we heard from? Three! And two are high school friends! My Grandma was visiting here over Thanksgiving and the subject came up - she swears I didn't put in an RSVP line. I got out an invitation to show her. She said, "Oh, I didn't see that. I'll be there." Well, at least she said something cuz when my FIL and his wife (who happens to be the same age as my grandmother) were down the week before and the subject came up, they never said one way or the other if they would be there. They travel a lot so for all I know they have plans to be hiking the outback that weekend!
So much for the older generation knowing "proper etiquette." ~ Suzie

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 6:00PM
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Gina_W

I didn't mean that older folks have etiquette - au contraire! Just that you should teach the young'uns so they know better when they're adults.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 6:11PM
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DolcesMom

OK I have to pass on this message.
I was talking to my charge nurse at work and she told me... "You shouldn't actually use RSVP anymore. The definition actually means respond if you please." "If they don't want to call you they won't."
Isn't that the dumbest thing you ever heard of?
So, being stubborn myself, and trying to prove her wrong, I looked up the definition of RSVP; and I hate to tell you she's right in a way. The definition is Respondez s'il vous plait, or Respond if you please. Respond if you please!? Please what? It sounds as if they can respond if they want to, but not required.
Maybe my next invitation will read: Respond by date or don't show up! That's pretty clear don't you think?
And as far as teaching your children manners... I did and he still has none! Must be a teen thing?!!
Thanks again for the vent relief!
The party in on Sunday, at least I don't have too far to go until it's all over!

Have a nice Holiday everyoneÃ

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 6:43PM
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colleenoz

While it's true that "Repondez s'il vous plait" translates literally as "Reply if you please", that's not a conditional statement. "S'il vous plait" is a polite French way of saying "Please", which used to be common in English a couple of centuries ago. So RSVP means "reply, please".
Maybe people should start putting "Reply or I will mark you down as "not coming"."

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 10:00PM
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mary_md7

From what I understand, many brides-to-be who send out what Miss Manners calls "those horrid little cards" (the RSVP cards) with stamped envelopes, they still can't get lots of people to respond. And it's not like it isn't explicit: The favour of a reply is request by January first (for example). That we even need those cards is horrendous, but even that can't get some people to answer. I'm glad to say I didn't have the problem when I got married last year, but I hear it's widespread.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2002 at 10:21AM
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Fireraven9

Most people I know do RSVP and it really helps when planning a gathering of any sort. There will always be some who do not plan ahead and do not know till the last minute. It is just one of those things. I would call to find out who will come.

Lee AKA Fireraven9
"Dear, you should not stay so late,
Twilight is not good for maidens;
Should not loiter in the glen
In the haunts of goblin men."
-Â "Goblin Market"Â Christina Rossetti (happy birthday Christina)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2002 at 10:27AM
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jasper_austin

I have always taken the phrase, "If you please!" to be a sugar coating on a demand. If you think about the intonation/ inflection you hear on it. . . the way people who still use that phrase actually say it. . . I don't think any of the people I've heard say it meant, "do it if it pleases you."
Throw a French accent in there and it's just more that much more blunt.

RSVP is still a better acrynom than WNSAPFYIYDC.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2002 at 9:48PM
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jasper_austin

Or as Colleen puts it, ROIWMYDANC.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2002 at 9:51PM
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eileen_launonen

Some people are just plain RUDE!!! But it would peak my curiosity when all 25 didnt rsvp...is i possible that the invitations never made it out of the post offce???? With such a large amount of people I make a few calls.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2002 at 1:21PM
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DolcesMom

Well ladies the party is over! Nothing spilled, nothing broken, and I haven't seen my husband laugh so much since we lost our son.
In total we had 19 people show out of 25. We had too much food,and not enough time.
Although my husband was against the whole idea from the beginning, he seemed to be the hit of the party.
We had several people say "We need to do this more often." and I couldn't help but reply, "yeah... maybe next time we should come to your house!" Less stress for me!
Well the next party is just weeks away, for New Years Eve, luckily that one is just family.
Thanks to everyone again for the vent relief, Wishing Love and Luck to you and yours this holiday season.
Melody and Family

    Bookmark   December 9, 2002 at 10:55AM
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ReneeKY

Melody -
Glad to hear that things went well and good time was had by all. :)

Too much food and not enough time seems to be standard operating procedure for parties! I've never found a way around it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2002 at 8:55PM
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mitchdesj

Melody, thanks for letting us know how it went, glad you had such a good time, sorry about your son. Laughter is always such a good stress relief, no wonder people were thanking you.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2002 at 7:22AM
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Julie_MI_Z5

I agree with the re-wording of the RSVP line to something obvious.

We don't have too much of a problem with this since most of the people we invite to parties are those we know well and would speak to prior to the event anyway (at which point the party subject will come up and I'll get my answer).

If we were inviting people we didn't talk to regularly, I would make phone calls just to touch base before the party and find out if they planned to attend (plus it is nice to have a chance to "visit" before the crowd appears).

    Bookmark   December 27, 2002 at 4:59PM
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joann23456

The poster who said that s'il vous plait, which literally translates as "if you please" means please, is correct. It equates to "How are you" which actually means "Greetings." (But, "how are you, really?" means "How are you?"

I have taken to writing "Please respond by September 23" on my invitations. After that, I'll make some calls. And if people still show up without responding, I'll say, "Oh, I had no idea that you were coming, as you didn't call. Well, let's see, I'll have to squeeze in another place ..."

*My* pet peeve is people who are waiting for something better. "Well, I'm not sure whether I can make it, how about if I just come if I can ..." I always say, "Oh, I'm sorry you can't come, maybe next time."

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 11:39AM
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HappuCooker

If you have experienced giving a party where people did not RSVP but came anyway why are you surprised?

When I give a party that requires knowing exactly who and how many are coming, I ask specifically to please confirm that they can come. I dont mess around with a phrase that people may not really *get*. And then if they don't respond i give them one more chance by calling to make sure they got the invite and if I have to talk to a machine i say something like: Hey Honey, never got a response about my party blah blah so i guess you cant come. we will miss you." that often knocks people into reality who intended to come and didn't tell me.

and finally...why does one want to stay close with people who are so rude and take advantage?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 8:26PM
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osita70

I just sent out my son's birthday invitations to his whole first grade class. This was last Friday and the party is this coming Sunday. No replies as of yet.

Previous birthday parties have been disasters in regards to the replies. People just don't bother anymore...and it makes me SO MAD!!!

Glad your party turned out nice in the end, Dolcesmom. That is what matters afterall.

Glad your party turned

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 5:53PM
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klimkm

On the last invites, I did not put RSVP. I put "Please call me and let me know if you are coming or not." Unfortunately I did not put a date to call me by on there - most called, but it is next week and there are two families who are holdouts still.
People are so ignorant these days that they think it is OK to call the day before and let you know if they are coming or not.
Kind of makes you get a complex - like are they waiting to see if they have something "better" to do before they commit to three or four hours at your home?
It is one of my top pet peeves when people do this to me. And I think that older people (my age - 40s) are just as guilty as the young people.
What is happening to manners these days? I know with my kids I am a stickler for manners. Hopefully someday they will thank me.

KMK

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 10:06AM
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michie1

20 years ago at my 1st wedding I had several people that didn't rsvp. When the date to respond came & went I put in phone calls. I can't say I remember what happened or if people all had answering machines back then BUT I do remember that I still had to then send out subsequent little notes to people letting them know we assumed they were't coming. I didn't want them showing up & ruining my day. People are so rude & it's true that so often people don't teach their kids manners. I have been babysitting for 2 kids. The little boy, age 3 NEVER says thank you, excuse me, please or your welcome & its irks me. My daughter was prompted to say those things every single time as soon as she could talk & for the most part she has it down - age 3-1/2. Yes she slips occassionally & when I'm around I prompt he BUT this little boy must not be taiught these things at home b/c even when prompted, i.e. when you give him something & he says nothing back I say "what do you say?". Most kids know to then say "thank you." He said, "what?". Argh!!!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 7:40PM
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Islay_Corbel

"S'il vous plaît" is simply the French for "please". You can't always literally translate something. It doesn't mean "if you feel like it"!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 11:19AM
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birdwing

I always put," please respond with regrets only to (phone #) ". It's a little more explicit and people who can't come usually call.

I try not to stoop to e-mail invites but it is easier for some people to respond it seems. I hate those "evites" though, even though I guess people are probably well-intentioned when they send them.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 11:28AM
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aikidokap

We do a lot (A LOT...lol) of backyard entertaining around our pool. The RSVP thing does bug us for some of the larger parties.

But how about this? The people that RSVP to a barbecue, then don't bother to either show OR call.

Sure, like buying pounds of extra steaks doesn't matter to us. You know...we're all here for YOU!

Jeez...drives us absolutely crazy. It's like people are too obtuse to even notice when people exert themselves to make sure they have a good time.

aiki

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 11:46AM
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pharaoh

My rule of thumb is to plan for 50% attendance. Doesnt matter who responded.
I only use evite now because it helps me keep the people count etc. In Los Angeles, people always wait until the last minute to decide (see what better offer comes up)...

So now I just plan for half the people and it always works out best for me...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 6:00PM
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jannie

When I got married twenty six years ago, I had a small ceremony and buffet dinner afterwards, in my parents backyard. There were 120 guests invited. I hand-wrote the invitations but included a photocopied map to their home. My future mother in law told me it looked cheap. (It was) I meant to save money. I was 26 years old and still paying off college loans, my parents did not pay for any part of the wedding nor was I given a shower. On the invitations, I wrote "regrets only" and that worked. Everyone came who was invited. Happy Day! And the sun shone all day, too.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 8:23AM
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