Monday, May 24

Repondez s'il vous plait......I trust you know what that phrase means. Apparently, many people do not, and for those who are expecting an answer to the phrase, not getting one can be frustrating or infuriating. So if you are not sure what it means, please click on the links and get educated.

Mr. kenju is in a club, the members of which are mostly males. It was decided recently that they would take a number of their members out to dinner, in order to thank and congratulate them for a job well done, in regards to their recent public expo. A message was sent well in advance, giving the necessary details and asking for prompt responses. It is imperative that he knows the number of people to expect, so that the restaurant can be set up properly for them. Only eight or nine of them have responded (the date is June 1) and mr. kenju is at his wits end because of it. Common courtesy dictates that one responds when asked = when the initials "RSVP" are shown at the end of a letter or an invitation.

With weddings and any special events, it is especially imperative that one responds with a yes or no, unless the phrase "Regrets Only" is appended. With that, you only respond if you cannot attend. The hosts of special events of any type, must give their event sites and caterers a final number of people expected to attend. All preparation is based on that number, and while event sites and caterers are supposed to be able to serve a minimum of 10% more than the guaranteed number - you wouldn't want to take the chance of running out of space or food. If you RSVP in the affirmative to an event and then you don't show up, the hosts are obligated to pay for you anyway. If you don't answer at all, they may expect you anyway, and they pay for you whether you are there or not. How can anyone be so inconsiderate as to not let people know if they will or will not attend?

I know very well how maddening this can be. When my daughter was planning her wedding, the guest list was carefully thought out. Towards the cut-off date for responses, we were pulling our hair out by the roots because so many of her young friends (and a few of their parents) had not responded., even though we included a stamped, self-addressed response card in the invitation. We decided we had to call them, since I was NOT going to guarantee people who weren't planning to come. Time after time, the person said "We thought you KNEW we were going to be there!!" or "Oh, yes, we're coming." I guaranteed 125 people and at the end of the reception, there had been 119. Six people who said they would be there did not show up, and only one of them had a good excuse (his mother was taken to the hospital that day). We paid through the nose for five of those people, who didn't even have the common decency to let us know why they hadn't attended. It really made me mad, and it was completely unnecessary. Because of our diligence in contacting people, we were better off than many people I know, who ended up guaranteeing many more guests than they actually had and spending gobs more money than necessary. Wedding are so stressful and more expensive than they should be and this adds considerably to both.

Do your hosts a favor; the next time you receive an invitation to a wedding, dinner or other special event - let them know immediately whether you will be able to attend!

16 comments:

debi said...

Thank you for educating many today, and like you, we also had this same situation with my daughter's wedding and it's very frustrating and expensive.

Good luck to Mr. Kenju and I hope it all works out well for him and the guys have a great time.

Gilly said...

Not having oranised such an event for many years I can't remember whether we were at the hair tearing stage or not!

But what you say is so very necessary. Some people are just so casual, yet would be affronted if you said you had nowhere to put them/feed them because they hadn't replied.

Think your rant should be enclosed with every invitation!!

Grannymar said...

Judy, I totally agree with you. I am personally aware of three weddings where people ignored the RSVP. One wedding in Donegal, fifty - yes I did mean 50 - people arrived who had not bothered to let anyone know their intention to attend. Can you Imagine the panic in the kitchen?
Another small wedding was to be held in a venue with a limit of 50. All fifty replied in the affirmative. On the day three extras arrived unannounced. It meant juggling around the tables and everyone sitting elbow to elbow for the duration of the meal. Most uncomfortable for everyone. The last of the three weddings was in England. A number of people ignored the RSVP and the marriage ceremony, but turned up at the reception carrying wedding presents!

It is not just being unthoughtful, it is rude and pure bad manners not to reply.

Angie said...

Well said and I totally agree.

Star said...

It shouldn't need to be said, but unfortunately it does. Common courtesies are not, well, so common anymore.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

It's sad that people can't just check yes or no and put something back in a pre-stamped envelope! Gah! I'm old school - even if I can't attend, I make arrangements to at least send a gift.

Mar said...

I agree with you. Hope Mr K's event is an enjoyable one.

I just responded to a bridal shower...although they didn't have a rsvp, I thought the young lady who graciously sent me an invitation deserved a short e-mail from me (which was included in the invitation)letting her know that I am not able to attend.

LL Cool Joe said...

Point taken, I'm crap at the rsvp, and I know it's bad manners!

Nancy said...

Judy,

I know exactly what you mean...You go to so much extra effort to enclose a self eddressed stamped envelope and then the rude guest does not return the card. Or worse, they DO return the card and say they will attend but they don't sign their name on the card; so you have no idea whom to expect at the affair.

You should give a few more of these etiquette lectures. They are valuable to both the hostess and the guest..

Arkansas Patti said...

I have an answer. Those who show up that didn't RSVP should be confined to a special room and served PB&J sandwiches. That'll learn'em dern'em.

robin andrea said...

Excellent advice. I see that a lot of people are using email invitations with online websites for RSVPing. I wonder if that improves the outcome.

Wordnerd said...

Well said! This infuriates me to no end! I RSVP no matter what - whether it's a simple birthday party or a lavish wedding. There's no reason not to do so, particularly when the response card is right there in front of you, stamped and ready to go.

Ginnie said...

AMEN, Judy. I've been caught & you're right...we paid through the nose for their thoughtlessness.
In two weekends one of my son's is having a BIG celebration for his
50th birthday. He is a musician & his lifestyle is pretty laid back so we're having a non-sitdown bash with buffet style food that can be packed up and used later if it doesn't all go!!! Burned once was enough for me.

oklhdan said...

That was a good reminder. I've been waiting for people to respond now for a month concerning a dinner meeting in 2 weeks. I have received 1 response out of 24 so far.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Répondez s'il vous plaît", is a formal French phrase that, directly translated, means "Answer if it pleases you." I had to look it up.

Kay Dennison said...

I always always RSVP. However, I share your pain because I have no patience with those who do not. Doesn't anyone understand good manners anymore? And don't even get me started on Thank You notes.