Why Can't Everyone RSVP Responsibly?

Why Can’t Everyone RSVP Responsibly?

Being involved in events of all types from weddings to private parties as a part-time disc jockey the past 30 years, I just don’t understand why so many people rudely ignore the request to RSVP.

Over and over I see hosts surprised by invited guests who don’t respond appropriately.

On more than one occasion I have had to calm down brides who were upset because there were differences with who sent RSVPs and who actually showed up at the wedding and reception.

Often in pre-event meetings just a few days before their big occasion, I ask the question: “How many do you expect will be attending?”

But when the bride and groom say “We don’t know yet,” I can expect issues to arise – and most of the time they do. 

To go back to the beginning, RSVP is derived from initials of the French phrase “Répondez s’il vous plait,” which literally means “Reply please.”  

For those of you who just don’t seem to understand or show some consideration, how much more simple could this be?

Someone invites you to an event and asks you to let them know if you plan on attending. From your response, the host can plan for food, table settings, tickets, etc. There should only be one of two answers, “Yes, I will attend” or “No, I can’t make it.”  Then if you plan to go, put the event on your calendar, and you are all set.

Unfortunately, however, some invited guests don’t take the time to respond or send a response that is just as worthless: Maybe.

In talking with some on my colleagues about this, everyone shared their frustrations with the inappropriate RSVP answers: Guests who say they’re coming but don’t; guests who say they’re not coming but do; and guests who just don’t care enough to respond at all.

If the host thought enough to invite you, couldn’t you at least respond honestly?

Excuses range from “I forgot to respond” to “Let me check with the family and I will get back to you” to “I was going to respond but time just slipped by.”

Instead of being able to enjoy their own party as much as they could, hosts are often left wondering if there will be enough food, drinks and seating. 

From now on, when someone asks you to RSVP to an event, respond quickly – and if you are attending, go and have fun.

The worst part of the RSVP process for the host should be counting all the “yes” responses, not counting on buying some antacid to deal with their new ulcer.

Jim Smith is assistant director of the UCF Valencia Osceola Campus. He can be reached at Jim.Smith@ucf.edu.