Respect the RSVP (and respondez)

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

As wedding season comes upon us (and, might I add, with a vengeance), it is very important to remember your manners. Regardless of the wedding event – bridal shower, bachelor or bachelorette parties, and especially the blessed event itself – respecting the RSVP is essential in maintaining the sanity and graciousness of the host.

I will admit, I don’t have a clean record on this issue, but after chaos (and, in my eyes, some comedy) ensued with an event I hosted recently, I will forever respondez, s’il vous plait as requested.

My younger sister is getting married this summer, so, as her maid-of-honor, I took it upon myself to organize one of her bridal showers. I sent out adorable handmade invitations five weeks before the party with an RSVP deadline of three weeks later – plenty of time to check one’s schedule and fire off a quick e-mail. When the RSVP date was imminent and only one of the guests – and she was neither the mother of the bride or groom – had responded, my bride sort of freaked out and asked me (at 6 a.m.) to cancel the party.

Keep in mind, I had already spent two months of my own precious time coming up with a theme, guest list, making the invitations people apparently hadn’t fully read, and so on. The last thing I wanted to do was give up. Instead, I made contact. Through text messages, phone calls and friends in common, I eventually got answers from everyone. It didn’t stop the bride from interrogating me on a daily basis, wanting to know exactly how many people were coming.

In the end, all but a handful of people made it to the party and appeared to enjoy themselves, as did I after a few non-RSVP-related mishaps. It would have been more fun for the bridal party if everyone had followed the clearly typed instructions on the invitation. With any party, having a head count is essential. The host needs to know exactly how many people will show up because snacks, spirits and souvenirs all cost money and require a certain amount of time to plan and produce. If you can’t make it, let the host know as soon as you know (and preferably before the RSVP date) so he or she can save some time and money.

Basically, it comes down to the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you were hosting a similar event, wouldn’t you want the guests to take the few minutes of their time that would save you potentially hours of work and stress?