Responses not received, when can I call?

sue36December 17, 2007

I sent out invitations for an Open House in 1/1. Responses are due back (by phone or email) tomorrow (12/18). I have received almost no responses. I really need to know the number attending because there is a big difference between planning a party for 15 and for 80 (yes, the gap in responses is that wide). When do you all think it is safe to call without seeming like an anal nutcase? Do you think it is ok to start calling on the 20th, giving them 2 extra days? Should I wait longer?

I've received 15 yes and 1 maybe. No response from the other 64 with two days (including today) remaining.

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I would call Dec 26th...
It's unbelievable to em how rude people really are....because of this problem I pretty well have stopped sending formal, mailed invitations. I phone....and talk to someone....and they almost always give an answere then and there. I know...perhaps not as elegant...but as for the use of my time...much more efficient.
" Hi, Gloria! This is Linda. I am planning a holiday party on Friday the 21st....wondering if you and Greg can come?"...long pause....."Thank you! We'd love to come"....and I put a check mark by their name.
Try it....much less worry than making phone calls to people who "forgot" to reply!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 9:52PM
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I agree, how rude! Whatever happened to manners?

Will calling and getting an answer guarantee that the person or persons will show? In my experience, no.

I have had people "commit" to coming and then not arrive without as much as a phone call.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 3:27PM
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I think that, with the dumbing down of America, many people have come to believe that the R in RSVP stands for "Regrets". In other words, they think that they only have to respond if they're not coming. That's been my experience at least.

Why don't people get that RSVP means, literally, "Respond, if you please".

I'd be tempted to not make any phone calls at all and then act surprised if they show up, saying something to the effect of "oh my - I didn't get any response from you so of course I didn't expect you", but that would probably bite me in the butt. Or, call and say "I must have gotten your address wrong when I sent my invitation because I didn't hear from you, so I'm calling to invite you by phone". But that's just the sarcastic me.

I understand that the right thing to do so that it works best for you is to call. But I just hate to play into ignoramuses. :-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 9:58PM
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They have no excuse for not understanding "RSVP" since what I wrote was "Please respond with acceptance or regret by December 17th". That is crystal clear, IMO.

At this point I have received 34 yes, 8 no and 1 maybe response. So, 3 days after the responses were due I have not heard from 38 people.

I'm going to have to call many of these people. I don't feel I have a choice. If it was 10 people I'd just plan on them and then have leftovers if they don't show. But 40 additional people?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 10:20AM
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Aha! Didn't realize that's what you put on the invitation, Sue36. You're right - no excuse for their lack of response.

Bad manners, seems to me.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 11:04AM
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I, too, frequently despair at the state of etiquette comprehension of many. Recently sent regrets to wedding invitations followed by rather pricey gifts with nice letters to children (in their 30's) of long-time friends. All professionals. One sent a thank-you note saying "Missed you at the wedding, Hope to see you soon. Thanks for the ........" That's word-for-word. Looked like it was written by a third-grader. The other sent a single e-mail thank-you addressed to "everyone".

I like them. I wish them well in every way.....but, jeez!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 3:01PM
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Oh, I've been there. I'll never forget the bridal shower where we were handed envelopes when we arrived. Why? So we could address our own thank you notes. I think if someone if giving you a gift you can do your part by doing your own thank you note. If I was that bride I would have been completely mortified.

Well, responses were due 5 days ago and this is the staus: of 81 invites, I've received 40 yes, 8 no, 1 maybe and haven't heard from 32. At least 17 of those are people I would generally expect. Two of them I will see Christmas Eve, so I will get an answer then. I'm going to call most of the others the day after Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 1:53PM
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Good heavens above!!

It is shocking just how self-centered and rude that folks can behave! How long does it take in this day-and-age to respond to such a nice invite??? There is regular mail, email, cell phones, regular phones ..... so NO excuses!!

Sad -- I do hope that you got it all straightened out! :)

I still laugh at the TV show about weddings -- and the planner finally said that they would ask people that simply showed up (after no responses and trying to call them etc.) to PAY for their meals at the reception!!! Too funny! Those People were so offended -- but even the bride-and-groom stood their ground together and upheld this policy! Some of the "no-response-at-all" folks just walked back out .....

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 6:42PM
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I agree that the guests should have responded promptly, and certainly by the date on the invitation.

However, I am inclined to be a little less judgmental when the invitation says "open house." In fact, I often receive invitations to those that say "regrets only: 555-5555." As a host, I would not be as worried about an exact count, as I would for a small dinner party or a catered event like a wedding. I also wouldn't be shocked to have guests ask if they may bring other guests -- particularly at a season when so many have out of town visitors. I mean, it's an OPEN HOUSE, right? Like backyard high school graduation parties and July 4th parade parties -- everyone sort of makes the rounds.

I also feel that it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt. They may not yet know when Aunt Jane's plane leaves, if the kids have other plans or not, or even what they will be doing on New Year's Eve. Of course, it would be better for them to call and let you know that they can't give a definite answer yet and why, and would it be okay to let you know by X -- but maybe they don't want to bother you with multiple calls.

I certainly have had my share of guests who didn't respond, or worse, accepted and then didn't show! But if I like these people enough to want to entertain them, I don't want to assume the worst and label them as ignorant boors, especially without knowing WHY I haven't heard from them.

Giving your friends -- your FRIENDS -- the benefit of the doubt will help you to be a relaxed, gracious host when the party day comes.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 2:17PM
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We had our open house yesterday 12-30-07 and ended up with 23, even though we had more people call to say they would show up. Our Open hOuse was from 3 to 7 and I was beginning to wonder at the small crowd and then at 5:30 or 6 got a big rush.
I would be interested to know if your guests were like ours--didn't eat much dessert at all or chips. Loved the main dishes and especially German potato salad. People acted like I invented it.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:34PM
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Very little dessert was eaten (except one apple pie that was eaten, but I had a second one that was untouched). The ham, salmon pie, shrimp and the appetizer-type items went very well. We didn't have chips.

Ours was 12 to 6 and the first person arrived at 12:40. I was starting to feel like the dream where you have a party and no one comes. Unfortunately, we had a snowstorm so several people cancelled. And many others who responded they were bringing their kids did not. We ended up with 28 when we were expecting closer to 50+. I have TONS of food leftover.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 8:33PM
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Same with me --I was beginning to think nobody would come and then all of a sudden they came in different groups. I think 12 to 6 is a long time frame though. I found 3 to 7 worked well, they came hungry. I did a Southern pulled pork in a crock pot with small rolls, and lots of different salads. Also terayaki chicken wings. I used my good spode plates instead of the plastic because it looked like just a few people and eventually added a second white set that I had when more showed up. We also had homemade eggnog that was a major hit, along with champagne. Kids did show up so I had dinasour chicken things you put in the oven for them and the adults took them off the kids table. Luckily I had a huge package.
We are in southern California so we don't have snowstorms but it was too chilly to go outside.
I had a separate appetiser table with cheeses, chip and hot dip, stuffed grape leaves. That went well. I would love to know how you do the salmon pie, is it served hot?Where are you located? Did you have a hot beverage?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Too bad about the snowstorm,Sue, maybe that is what made people decide to stay home. They should still call and let you know what to expect.I bet everyone else had a great time and enjoyed all of the food!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 7:02PM
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"I would love to know how you do the salmon pie, is it served hot?"

Yes, it is served hot. It is a very traditional French Canadian meal. One can of red salmon, one piece of fresh salmon that has been cooked, one large onion sauteed in butter, one med/lg potato lightly mashed. Mix it all together (use the entire can of salmon, don't dump the oil) and put it in a pie plate with a bottom and top crust. Bake at 375 until the crust looks golden brown (about 30 minutes).

"Where are you located?"
We are in Southern Maine.

"Did you have a hot beverage?"
I had coffee, but everyone drank wine. The hard liquor was barely touched (except the Baileys, that was popular). Not even one beer was drank. I had cider but everyone seemed happy with the wine.

All the people that cancelled due to the storm called. My Godmother and another friend cancelled, they never drive in snow. My elderly cousins same thing. DH's cousin had to plow, so he and his family couldn't make it. My best friend from college and her family couldn't make it. Many of our friends and family have an hour or more drive to get to us, so we understand. All the neighborhood people came, but left the kids home. All in all, it was a good crowd. I took extensive notes and know what I would do different next time.

We decided to have it end at 6:00 because it was a work/school night. Most people, except close family left by 5:30.

My college friend and her family came for dinner tonight. I used the second ham I didn't need at the party and served Yankee scalloped potatoes and make a cake. We had a great time, they just left.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Its interesting how even though we are on different coasts I think the trends are similar. We used to serve coffee with dessert but people have stopped drinking it in the evening.
Your salmon pie sounds great --reminds me of the French Canadian pork pie we used to make in the winter, I will have to find that recipe.
I forgot to light candles the night of the Open house but we had friends over a few days later and the lights & power went out due to a storm. I was able to get all those candles lit immediately. Looked great and was fun.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 6:39PM
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