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RSVP? If You’re Even Asking This Question, Something’s Wrong

A few weeks ago, I attended a lovely holiday party organized by a couple of women for a small group of mom bloggers. Let me put emphasis on the word “small.” It was a crafting party, so enough supplies were bought specifically for the women who were planning on attending.

The problem was that out of eleven or so women who had said they were coming, only about seven showed up. So not only were there leftover supplies, but I’m sure other women could have been invited who would have LOVED to attend- and would actually have bothered to make an appearance- or at least, to call or e-mail if something had come up at the last moment.

*cough* *cough* RUDE *cough* *cough*

Last week, I went to another holiday party, where the hostess bemoaned the fact that while seventy people had RSVP’ed to say they were coming, 150 showed up. Yes. 150. Kinda throws a wrench into the whole planning thing, you know?

I don’t really understand what happened to the idea of the RSVP. Almost every invitation calls for one and almost no one bothers to actually do it. What’s going on? Do people not know what RSVP means? Because I’m here to tell you that it does not stand for “Rude, Silly, Vain People,” nor does it mean “Really Scrumptious Vegan Party.” It MEANS “répondez s’il vous plaît.” Which ... Um ... Okay. That makes no sense at all to most people, I’ll give you that. Anyway.


Is that so hard?

We actually plan our annual Christmas party around the knowledge that most people won’t RSVP. We ask everyone to bring a dessert to share. That way, no matter how many people show up (and during the Christmas season, it’s always a crap shoot), there will be enough food for everyone. And if we buy too much wine and beer ...



Still, it’s always strange to invite friends, good friends, and never hear from them one way or the other as to whether they’re coming. And there’s no rhyme or reason as to who shows up- About half of those we’ve invited who didn’t RSVP show up, and about half don’t. Hubs just asks people if he really wants to know, but I don’t like to put people in an awkward spot- so I say nothing. I just think evil thoughts when I see them. Kidding.


Am I way off base here? Do you RSVP? Do you expect others to RSVP when you host a party? I joked to Hubs that I’d love to hire someone one year to stand at the door of our house and only allow in those who’ve RSVP’ed, but I don’t know that that would go over so well. I do think that next year, I’ll be a little more pointed on the invites. “Please let us know if you plan on coming” might help things a little, don’t you think?

Or maybe not.

I think there’s a gray area for RSVPs to media events or if the invitation was sent by someone I don’t know. I’ll admit that I feel less compelled to RSVP in those situations unless I plan on going. But if I’m invited to someone’s personal party or if the invitation makes it clear that only a small number of people were invited, you’d better believe I’m going to RSVP. I don’t want to add to the host’s stress. What do you think?