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invitationHave you ever received an invitation that asked you to RSVP and you:

1).  Ignored it.

2). Forgot about it.

3). Had every intention of calling the host but didn’t get around to it.

I think we have all been guilty of one of the above at some point in time. However good the intentions, the fact of the matter is when we are invited to an event and the host asks for us to RSVP and we don’t respond we cause all sorts of problems for the host and become one of those guests.

RSVP, Répondez s’il vous plaît, is a French term with a variety of definitions, but the most common is “please reply.”  That is what the host really wants – for the invited guests to please reply. I’ve seen hosts try everything from “Please RSVP” to “please call me with a yes or no” to try and get an idea of who will be attending their event.

Let’s walk through a scenario: you have decided to host a casual dinner party. You send out 20 invitations with “Please RSVP” two weeks before the event and get three  immediate responses. You send out an email reminder a week before the event and get two more responses. Two days before the party you make reminder phone calls to those you haven’t heard from and get one more response and leave a bunch of messages that get no return calls. So of those 20 invitations you only have six responses. How much food should you prepare? How many chairs should you have ready? How much service ware and table ware is needed? Hard to figure out, isn’t it?

When someone invites you into their home, it is truly a compliment. They are offering you a very special gift: of their time, of their food, of their home and their hospitality. It is our duty as recipients of that invitation to let the host know as soon as possible if we will or won’t be attending. If you are unsure due to a hectic schedule, tell the host up front. Then if your schedule works that you can attend, give her a quick call to say “I’ll be there.”

Hosts would rather hear your “no” or “maybe” than not hear from you at all. The next time you receive an invitation, be a good guest and respect the gift the host is extending to you. Whether you accept the gift or not, be courteous, say “Thank you for the invitation” and let her know your plans for attending.

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