Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Warning: rant ahead

So, I've noticed a trend in the past several years, a trend that I'm not at all fond of. People no longer feel the need to respond to an invitation. And this bothers me.

I like organizing events and throwing parties, and despite my laissez-faire facade (whoa! I sense a theme: French terms commonly used in English), I am something of a compulsive planner. When planning an event, I don't need to have an exact number, but I do like to have a rough idea of how many people will be in attendance. I mean, there's a big difference between preparing a dinner party for 6 and setting up for cocktails and nibbles for 36. Back in the 2000s, we had Evite, but even by 2005 or so that was starting to lose its charm, and people stopped replying. And Facebook Events never really caught on- partly due to the horrible layout, and partly due to the fact that even to this day, not everyone uses Facebook. It's a good way to announce and event but no one feels the need to respond. Generally, when inviting people to something, I send out an email. How quaint. I've come to accept the fact that people generally don't respond to invitations anymore, and in some ways I blame the advent of the cell phone and other technologies. We used to have to be on time to meet someone at a designated meeting spot, otherwise we would never find each other. Now it's all "sorry 20 min late meet me at the bar on the corner thx!" I'm guilty of tardiness as well, so I'm certainly not pointing fingers.

However, not responding to an invitation is something I would never do. Sure, I get annoyed when someone doesn't answer yes or no to a group email about a Halloween party, but I get over it. Lately I've heard from a couple of friends that they've had to chase people down for a response to a wedding invitation. COME ON! Who doesn't respond to a wedding invitation?? Now that's just rude. Imagine my horror when I received an email a couple of weeks ago with something like "Just checking in because I never heard back, I know you're in Australia but are you coming to our wedding next weekend?"

Turns out that I wasn't going, but I had never received the invitation. (Damn you, international post!) And I was absolutely mortified that I was lumped in with the deadbeat non-responders. I always RSVP, even if with regrets.

In summary, if there's one courtesy I believe modern society should hold dear, it's the necessity to respond to an invitation, especially to a formal catered event. Even if you're a maybe, or might run late, at least provide a response. It's the polite thing to do.


Nitsirk said...

Ron never RSVPd to my wedding. I had to corner him in his office to get him to tell me that he wasn't coming. He didn't us a gift either. I agree with you 100%. I also feel this way about Thank You notes. I have given wedding gifts and never received a note. Unacceptable. My 2 year old already has been taught to write them (well, scribble on them anyway).

eileen said...

What?? So rude! and he's a southerner! They're supposed to be genteel.

Ryan said...

I don't know. Do you have to RSVP to everything? Weddings? Sure. Large parties? Not really.

J.R. said...

OK, but in my defense Ern KNOWS I'm coming to the wedding, and truthfully, it was hard to find a stamp for the envelope because the included one would not have gotten it back from France. But, yes this is totally embarassing.

On a related not though, didn't that invitation come like 6 weeks before the wedding, so are you supposed to turn it around in a day? I thought two weeks was being lazy, but is that just downright rude? See... Mom never taught me tact.

eileen said...

JR, don't worry I didn't mean you (please, I'm not afraid to name and shame)...a delayed response isn't ideal but it's fine. I'm complaining about the people who NEVER respond.

and Ryan, how is the person hosting a large party supposed to know it's going to be a large party if no one RSVPs? Touche.

ek said...

Ha, I hadn't even talked to Eileen about this. But I beg you - please do not set up a JR/EK debate on stamp location and retrieval in France at my wedding. Please just enjoy your lobster and know that my extended family has been far worse behaved than all of you late responders! :)

Eileen, amen on not knowing you're having a big party unless people tell you they are coming to your big party.

Kevin said...

Well, technically the "S" in RSVP does mean "if"! "S'il vous plait" does mean "please" but really is "if it pleases you" so seems kinda optional, right? ;p

Plus, if we're still vouvoyer-ing each other rather than tutoyer-ing, then maybe we ain't that close after all.

Just kidding, I'm 100% with you on this.