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Readers Respond: Does Anyone Pay Attention to an RSVP Request?

Responses: 140


An R.S.V.P. means that the host would like to know whether you'll be able to attend his party. Current experience seems to show that that many people no longer feel they need to respond to an invitation, especially if they aren't going to attend the party. Do you think the need to R.S.V.P. is no longer a social requirement? How has the response been to your invitations? Share your Experiences


We are having a Community Picnic in the park for our Homeowners Association. There are 228 homes, of which we mailed flyer in with the newsletter asking for RSVP. We have NOT heard from one person. We still have a few weeks however, I think we will just plan for 100 to provide the hot dogs and hamburgers. I must say it is very disappointing.
—Guest Maureen

doesnt everyone know what RSVP means?

If you get an invitation and it says "Please RSVP by such n such date", you can figure out from the context that they need to know how many are coming... some people are ridiculous, I'm talking about those of you who do not respond or do not attend something to which you are invited because you 1. think it's stupid that they use RSVP, or 2. don't know what it means. Also to the woman in pain and disabled, although I feel for your situation and can identify with your pain, I find it surprising that you are offended by your "problem" of being invited. Put yourself in her place... She wants to include you. She probably feels bad inviting you but would feel worse not inviting you. I have family that live 6 hours away. I always invite them, though we both know more than likely, they will not be able to attend. But I don't want to leave them out. I love them and want them to know theyre invited. I did realize in a conversation, they feel guilty for not coming. I explained- n all good:)
—Guest Jennifer


I had many invitations that I didn't attend ONLY because I didn't know what RSVP meant. My question is.... Why use RSVP? Why not use English "Please Reply"? Short and clear.
—Guest melsii

...blame them not.

It's quite disheartening when people don't show the common courtesy to ‘rsvp' an invitation. But trust me, many people don't know the meaning of RSVP. I guess the trend will change if RSVP is replaced with any of such common expressions as “please reply", please let me know if you can make it", “response needed", etc.
—Guest Osita Nkem

Party People THINK

Funny I got a wedding invite today, then I see this article. The bride does not like me, and the feeling is mutual. She knows my health issues. I can't travel 6 or 8 hours to get there. Yet she's rude enough to remind me I can't do the things I used to do. Sending an invitation to my husband and I was very inconsiderate to begin with. I NEVER know when I can go just to the store. My body is the boss. It tells me what I can and can't do and when. Why bother sending an invite? She knows I can't go. Now that's inconsiderate and rude. Besides that, this is the 4th or 5th time she's gotten married. Just a greedy person, who also wants to show off her money. I wouldn't go if I could. I'm not responding. I'm asked a lot to do things people know I can't do. I'm disabled, but your brain dead. If I was healthy I would "decline with enthusiasm". They are having ~ Heavy Hors D" oeuvres. What's that? A cow on a cracker?

Here's a suggestion

Instead of RSVP simply ask, Let me know if you can make "it""?
—Guest jamesearl


Its very simple: No response to RSVP means your not coming. A non response is a response. Is it rude maybe depending on the circumstances. Would you send a RSVP to someone you had a casual acquantaince with and expect a response. RSVP means you're requesting a response not demanding one.
—Guest lancelot

Of course!

When I receive an invite, the first thing I do is check the calendar and then respond immediately. There is nothing more rude than not replying to an invite and causing more work for your host/hostess when they need to chase down guests they have invited that cannot be courteous enough to reply.
—Guest CB


It is so irratating when guests don't rsvp. It's simple. You receive the invitation 1. Do I want to go, yes or no 2.Do I have other plans? yes or no? send the response back! Real simple! what really frustrates me is when I send an evite and you see the person "has viewed the invitation" but they did not rsvp! I'm going to stop requesting an request rsvp, I'll just plan for the amount of people I invite.


Anybody who has ever attended one of my kids birthday parties knows there is always pizza involved. I either have way too much or not enough, so I and my family skimp ourselves so the guests can be satisfied. NOBODY ever RSVPs to my children's birthday parties. i think the parents use my number at the bottom when they are ready for their child to be sent home. No common courtesy anymore! Shame on society and their upbringing, and disrespecting a single mom who offers to feed all the neighborhood children...ugh!
—Guest Megan B

Expensive Ignorance

28people replied to rsvp that they were attending my daughter's reception and didn't show.
—Guest Irritated


Get over it! Don't throw a party if you can't afford to plan for a few unexpected guests.
—Guest Stephani

Family is not exempt from courtesy

I am planning a holiday dinner. Two weeks ago I invited three family membersk none of whom has replied either way. I was in the uncomfortable position of e-mailing each of them with a deadline and explaining to them just why I needed to know by a certain date. They are not uneducated. They are not ignorant. They are merely shopping for a better invitation and I resent it. I will not invite them again and I feel that their rudeness has long-reaching effects on not only my relationship with them but also on my children's relationship with them. Their loss - my regret. Family is not to be taken for granted.
—Guest Anne

It's stressful enough without all this

I'm probably late to the party with this but I'm marrying in March and I'm finding that no-one is responding. I'm not well (nasty spinal arthritis) and getting the whole thing organised is solely upon me as my fiancé is working his socks off at work. I work too, and do the lions share of the household tasks. We've invited his family, his uni friends, some uni colleagues and a couple of my friends adding to a total of 120. I'm paying for my people plus a lot of extras and my salary isn't great - now my issue is this, it's a sit down meal and it will be circa £75 per head, do I just assume people will attend and then find empty seats costing me £75 each or do I find that one guest will bring three of his friends or additional children thereby racking up £300. It isn't a buffet, so we really don't have leeway and that's why we need to know numbers and why we have rsvp. English isn't my first language but I figured that if you don't respond to a wedding invite that is pretty classless.
—Guest Ka'El

It's all about you

Put yourself in the host place. Your RSVP is meant to help (1) provide a seat for YOU (2) budget for food/drinks for YOU to enjoy and best of all (3) it says I am so happy you choose ME to be at a party honoring you. Thoughtfulness goes both ways.
—Guest G W H

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Does Anyone Pay Attention to an RSVP Request?

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