Friday, November 13, 2009

The Rules of RSVP

It's always wedding season as far as we're concerned in my apartment, but it's never a bad time for a refresher course in invite response etiquette.

"Respondez, s'il vous-plait!"
We all know this means "respond, please," but it also means promptly. Respond soon after you get the invitation. It is a courtesy to let your hosts know whether or not you will be able to come as soon as you possibly can.

If there is a phone number to call in the case of a party, it is okay to leave a message. But call back and make sure you speak to a human to cover all your bases.

If an email is provided, respond that way. If someone sends you an invitation via Paperless Post or Evite, it is always appropriate to respond via the invitation. It is also okay to email the host directly in addition to rsvp'ing in the manner they would like, to give a personal touch to the invite.

If there is a response card, fill it out clearly and fully. It's common now for brides and grooms to make the response card fool-proof by having you just check or x boxes, but if they leave room for a response, write something.

If it says "Regrets Only" or "No Gifts, Please," then obey the host! They wrote that on there for a reason.

There are only a few reasons you should ever change a "yes" to a "no": illness or injury, death, or a professional conflict. Just not showing up is not acceptable, and cancelling due to a "better offer" is rude.

It's okay to change a "no" to a "yes" only if it won't upset the host's plans, i.e. a dinner party for 8 where 9 might be a problem versus a cocktail party for 50.

"And Guest" means "And Guest." If it's just your name, it means just YOU.
If children are invited, it will be indicated on the invitation. It is never acceptable to assume children are invited.
In the case of a party, if you have a house guest you should first decline the invitation due to said house guest. Most gracious hosts will then ask you to bring the house guest. This is a much more tactful way then straight out asking if you can bring someone.

invitation image via Bird and Banner

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