Wednesday, July 31, 2013

RSVP'ing and other important manners




Répondez s'il vous plaît, or please reply (used at the end of invitations to request a response).

An abbreviation often included in invitations to request that the invitee let the host know if he or she will be attending. From the French term, "Répondez si'l vous plaît," which means "please reply."

It is so simple really. A quick reply to say you can make it or not. You would think it is easier now than ever before. It does not require sending a man on horse to deliver your hand written reply or putting it in snail mail. I mean let's face it, there is the home phone, the cell phone, texting, email and even Facebook. There are more ways than ever before to get in touch with your host to let them know if you can come to the party or not.

Now, do the rules change if we are talking about a kid's party invitation? 

Isn't a party a party? No matter the age of the party host?

Well, if your answer is yes then why is it that with every year, with every party invitation fewer and fewer parents feel it is necessary to RSVP?  Do they not feel it is necessary to let the party host, party parent let's say, know that their child will or will not be attending?

I mean let's face it there are more than a few costs involved in hosting a child's party. There is food, balloons, snacks, drinks, cake, loot bags, party activities and crafts, entertainment, and party favours. All of those things cost money, LOTS of money when it comes to hosting kids parties. If we are honest with ourselves those costs are really not any different when it comes to hosting parties for adults. Is it common for adults to NOT RSVP for a dinner party with friends? Can you imagine showing up at a friend's house for dinner without actually telling your friend you were coming? What would your friend say? Would you seriously expect that friend to have set a spot for you at the table just in case you decided to show up, even though you never actually took the time to say you would be attending? I don't think so.

SOOOOOooooooooooooooo why is it not the same when it comes to kid's parties? I know we are all busy. Things slip your mind BUT does that really excuse rude behaviour? Does it really get you off the hook when it comes to bad manners?

In case you haven't figured out this post was inspired by real life experiences. A recent experience to be honest. I sent out invitations for my daughter's birthday party. We invited 13 children. I left my home phone number as well as an email address. And yet I got email confirmation from exactly three parents. 3! Seriously. I was forced to order a package and loot bags according to my original list of invited guests. I ended up paying for stuff for guests who never actually showed up. I was forced to send out emails, text messages and Facebook messages and only then did I actually start to hear from some of the other parents, many of which followed up with  NO my child can not attend.

I am not sure if it is translating or not but I am a little perturbed. And when I hit twitter with my irritation it seems I am not the only one who sees a problem here.  

"I'm no expert,but my 2 cents's very rude and impolite if you do not RSVP when you have been asked. Call me old fashion...but "manners" are not practiced like they used to be's too bad"

That is so wrong!!! Very rude!!!

That is frustrating. Even during the school year, it's hard to get parents to RSVP, it seems.

It has me thinking back to if I have ever done this before??? Hmmmm. I don't think so. I try to be very conscious of this, especially when we CAN NOT attend. I am not saying that I am perfect but there is certainly room for improvement when it comes to parents RSVP'ing.

And then I thought...Is there something I am missing on my invitation? IS there something that I could do better? I do know this time around I did not put a RSVP by date. I figured I would leave that open. I know it is summer and I didn't really think that so few people would actually RSVP three days before the party.

So I have reached out to an etiquette expert and I will be reporting back on some great tips and tricks for party hosts and party guests. Part two coming soon but in the meantime do you have an party stories to share?