Updated: Oct 14
RSVP’ing for an event is one of the most important things we can do as guests. In the past, I have been guilty of taking way too long to respond to events, not responding at all, or not showing up after I said I’d be there.
Writing this blog makes me cringe just thinking about all of my RSVP faux pas. Now that I own a catering business that relies on accurate guest counts, I’ve been more of a stickler to responding to invitations in a timely manner. Keep reading to learn some useful RSVP tips!
6 Tips for being an awesome invitee!
1. Respond to your host’s RSVP request in the manner they desire.
Many wedding clients and planners are now including RSVP cards with postage alongside their invitation to make it easy for you. If the RSVP request is via email, text, or social media, it is best to respond in the way the host requests. This way, the host can stay organized by not having to keep track of RSVPS from various platforms.
2. Respond as soon as you can!
Hosts will often allow you weeks to months in advance to respond. I recommend responding within days of receiving your invitation. Not only does this help your host in the planning process, but it also lets them know how genuinely excited you are to attend their event. And if you can't reply at the moment, set a reminder in your phone or planner so you don't forget.
3. Party of 5?
Respond with accurate numbers so the host can be sure to have plenty of food and drinks for everyone in your party. Also, pay attention to the names on your invitation. Often times the names on the invitation or envelope are the only guests the host is inviting. So you'll only want to respond on behalf of yourself and those guests.
4. RSVP’ing isn’t just for formal events.
Responding to party invitations is proper etiquette for all events whether it’s a business lunch, bridal shower, casual birthday party, or small dinner party.
5. Change of plans?
If you accept an invitation and can’t make the event due to an illness or emergency, consider sending the host a gift and/or a thank you note. For many formal events and banquets, your host is paying for your attendance. Weddings for example, cost anywhere between $30-$100+ per person. Some etiquette experts recommend providing a gift that is the equivalent or more than what your host is paying for you to be there.
6. Trust Building.
Lastly, responding to RSVP requests can help strengthen business and personal relationships. It lowers frustration and clearly communicates expectations between host and guest. If you want to stay on the guest list, make sure you follow this and all the RSVP rules.
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Ricca Macklin is a classically trained chef, professional caterer, business owner, and 1/2 of Yellow House Vibes.