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

Responses: 124


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?


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

Ways to encourage RSVPs

Check out this interesting blog post called "BREAKING NEWS: RSVP does NOT mean “Refreshments Served Very Promptly” from a company called Zokos that encourages people to RSVP by setting a minimum and maximum number of guests. They also allow hosts to set a 'chip-in' amount to help cover the bill and prevent people from flaking out. Pretty cool! http://blog.yourzoko.com/2012/05/29/breaking-news-rsvp-does-not-mean-refreshments-served-very-promptly/
—Guest PhillyFoody

Girl Scout Troop Leaders Disappoint Me

I'm so distraught that my daughter's current and former Girl Scout Troop Leaders and several Troop parents could not even give the courtesy of a response to my daughter's birthday party invitation. She looked up to those women and they really disappointed her. My daughter even attended one of the girl's recent birthday party sleepover and still they didn't even give us the courtesy of a response, even though I've seen them recently at Girl Scout events. What's wrong with these people? Are they socially inept, ignorant, uneducated? They hold themselves out to care about the girls and they treat the mother and child like this? I'm losing faith in the Girl Scouts if these women are the role models for our children. I'm so sad.
—Guest DonnaBoris

Party charges by Head

I hate when I am throwing a birthday party and people do not rsvp. Places like Chuck e Cheese for kids charge by the head. Sometimes you will have to pay for the total you reserved and not for the total that actually come.
—Guest Jemilda Christiansen

How I finally solved this....

I host 4-5 large events at my home each year with sometimes over 100 people. I love to entertain! I plan food, drinks, ice, plates, cups, favors, seating and much more. After years of getting upset that people did not RSVP, I finally decided to edit my party lists to include people who respond. If someone does not respond several times, sadly I remove them from my invitation list. I am still their friend, I just don't invite them to parties. If they ask why I tell them that I miss their company but that their lack of RSVP is stressful for me when I am having large parties. I prefer to invite them to smaller events. I find that most people who don't RSVP do not host parties - they don't understand what a big deal it really is.
—Guest Hostess Mary

Why are people so rude?

I am in the process of planning a party. I've already sent out invitations and no one has rsvp'ed yet but I always see that most people never do.
—Guest latoya


These people who are posting "a response makes people uncomfortable or it's from a bygone era" must have never hosted a party. The host HAS to know how many people to expect so he/she can order the appropriate amount of food and drink. These obnoxious people (who don't take the 2 minutes to respond) are the same people who would show up and bitch about the lack of food and drink. No excuse...they are rude and boorish.
—Guest Big Mama


This is a pet peas of mine, I constantly have this conversation with people whom I invite to my function, that it is rude not to respond and then show up. I am often call prissy because I only invite by invitation and I always request RSVP. I am glad someone besides myself thinks that it is rude not to respond, in either case. Thank you, thank you.
—Guest Bnice

I hate it too!

I hosted a couple of expensive bday parties for my daughter and one Easter egg hunt last year. Everyone who I invited either called or emailed me to say thank you for the invite and to say yes or no except for this family of 3 kids. Mind you, the first party was at Build A Bear and a build your own pizza at a restaurant and then a party at a bounce house. These parties cost nearly $30 per child. The family of the 3 kids never RSVP and have the nerve to show up! On the Easter egg hunt I hosted they had the nerve to bring others. During the lunch I was wondering who these people were that were eating my guests' food. The parent never bothered to introduce me to their guest. Unfortunately this family happens to be the sister of my sister-in-law. This year I am hosting another Easter egg hunt and lunch. Should I bother to invite them?
—Guest suzannah


All I wanted to know is what does the acronym R.S.V.P. stands for. I know what it means; Please reply.
—Guest P White

RSVP in my community

For events in my community, invitations are sent with RSVP, more out of an invitation format than the need for it. The only RSVP that counts is an invitation that has written on it 'Strictly by Invitation'. Though, I'll respond to every invitation I get from now be it positive or negative.
—Guest Bisi

Can't be bothered to say no?

The problem with not responding because you're not coming, is that the hostess has no idea that's why you didn't respond. Possibly, you could have not gotten the invite, but would come if you had. Maybe you forgot to call and say yes. She has no idea that your silence means you're not coming. I wish that we could make a list of RSVP'ers. If your name isn't on it, and you show up anyway, too bad for you. A friend of mine did that for her reception and put the word out that it would be handled like that. Needless to say, she didn't have a problem with extra people.
—Guest Kim

I think...

...everybody who doesn't think it's an issue should have to host an event. Not potluck, but something that they prepare for, from beginning to end, where a headcount helps. I must admit, I've committed some RSVP errors myself--forgotten, replied 2 days before the event. But I really try to let the hosts know, yes or no. At my cousin's reception a few years ago, quite a few people didn't RSVP, but showed up, or people brought extra people. The banquet hall did have enough food, but it's quite embarassing to not have the extra cash when the manager tells the bride that there were 20 extra over the head count and the extra amount is due NOW. If someone thinks enough of you to want to be in your company, why fight so hard against being considerate of them? Please RSVP.
—Guest Kim

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