Although it might not feel like it yet, spring is right around the corner. We’re looking forward to less snow, warmer temps and more PARTIES! Spring tends to kick off a season of events ranging from casual BBQs to formal weddings. Regardless of how casual an event is, most hosts want you to confirm or decline your attendance so they can plan properly. That’s where our dear friend the RSVP comes in handy.

We’ve seen many misunderstandings, friendship conflicts and hurt feelings from lack of communication around event attendance. We’re here to share some general etiquette to avoid any tension with your friends in the future.

What’s an RSVP?
RSVP is an abbreviation of the French phrase Répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning “Please respond”. It tells the host two things: 1) confirms receipt of invitation 2) whether you can attend the event.

Some RSVP guidelines to follow:

Always Respond: There’s nothing worse than tracking down RSVPs on top of planning an event. If a host requests RSVPs – do it! It is your obligation as an invited guest. The only exception is when hosts request “Regrets Only.” In this case, you are off the hook only if you plan to attend.

Send a Timely Response: Generally, the host sets a deadline for the RSVP as a means to prepare properly for the event (i.e. catering, decor, etc.) Be mindful of the deadline and always reply in a timely fashion. It’s easier to reply right away so you don’t forget.

Try Not to Change your Mind: As millennials, we tend to over commit and flake on events. It’s just plain rude. Let your “yes” mean “yes”. Changing a “yes” to a “no” is really only acceptable if unforeseen circumstances arise, not just because you rather do the next best thing. Contact the host immediately and apologize for any inconvenience. Being a no-show is unacceptable.

Pay Attention to the Type of Invitation: Most invitations aren’t open, meaning they are only meant for the people the host invited. It’s not okay to bring additional guests unless the host relays different. This especially goes for parents and their children. If children were invited, the invitation would say so, otherwise, you need to assume it is an adult-only event.

Party planning can be exciting, but stressful for a host. Make it easier for them and show your consideration for being invited by sending an RSVP. No matter how casual an event is, it is a good rule of thumb to always tell a host when you cannot make an event. Let us know your RSVP questions below in the comments.


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