Friday, August 17, 2012

Invites & Answers

We love a good party and bet you do, too. Let's talk about RSVPing — something everyone should do once an invitation arrives, whether it's paper or online.

Think of the host, trying to figure out food, drinks, possibly seating. Head counts can be critical! It's also the thoughtful thing to do. 

How to RSVP
If you get an invitation online, your answer is usually as easy as clicking a button. If you respond "maybe," be sure to change your response "yes" or "no" before the party. No need for a follow-up e-mail.

If your invite is by mail, use the phone number or e-mail provided. For formal events, use the notes that are usually enclosed in the envelope (think wedding invitations).

If an invitation says "Regrets Only," respond only if you are unable to attend.

When is it too late to RSVP?
Technically, after the party! But make your host's life easier and give an answer well in advance. Some invites include a helpful deadline. In any case, let them know whether you're coming at least a week in advance.

What if I need to change my answer?
No worries—cancel if you must, but let the host know as soon as possible. No need to go into elaborate details, but do thank the host for inviting you in the first place.

If you discover that you can attend a party after you've said you can't, consider the kind of party before you call or e-mail. If it's a formal party with exact seating arrangements, and you discover you can attend at the last minute, leave well enough alone and sit this one out. If the party is less formal, ask the host whether you can still attend before just showing up.

What if I'm invited but my friend isn't?
In short, keep the party information to yourself unless you are 100% sure your friend is also invited. And don't ask if they've been invited.

What if my friend is invited but I'm not?
Try to be gracious and happy for your friend. If it seems like a glaring oversight — invite lost in the mail? E-mail acting weird? Absent-minded, well-meaning host?—you still have to wait until the host mentions something about it, which means you may never get to address the issue. This is one of those things you might just have to let go. Remember: there are a lot more parties in your future, anyway.

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