This question has been swirling around in my head for the past few years since I’ve been married and had my first child all within the last few years. I planned my own destination wedding in St. Lucia, a local wedding reception in Connecticut to incorporate family that couldn’t make it to the destination wedding, and then recently planned my son’s first birthday. I finally get to address this issue and hope I don’t offend anyone!
For my destination wedding I sent out the traditional self-addressed envelope and eagerly waited for the responses. Let’s just say I wasn’t a bridezilla throughout my engagement, but she might’ve made a brief appearance surrounding the invitations! Suddenly I felt like the RSVP Police chasing down guests with emails, texts, and phone calls to see if they were coming! I don’t claim to be Emily Post by any means, but isn’t it common courtesy to RSVP?! I mean the stamp is already on there so basically it’s free and couldn’t be easier! All the invitee has to do is check the box that they’re coming or not and then choose their meal option and drop it in the mailbox. Easy peasy one would think! I guess not! Have we become that lazy?!
Next I thought I would outsmart the invitees for our CT wedding reception! Evite can’t make it any easier I thought to myself since the guest doesn’t even have to go and mail the response. They can RSVP at home in their pajamas if they wanted to! The Evite gets delivered to your invitee’s email and all they have to do is click “yes” or “no” and choose their meal option depending on how the host set up the invitation. However, then I came across the “maybe” option. I have to say I’m not a fan of the “maybe”. In my opinion it almost feels like, “If something better comes up, then maybe I won’t make it”! Or some think, it means they want to come which means dollar signs if you decide to include their response and then they don’t show up. In this day in age, we’re inundated with emails and spam, texts, Facebook requests, etc. I do agree that sometimes things can get lost in the shuffle, but Evite does send reminders leading up to the event. Please remember that the host can see that you’ve viewed the invitation and didn’t make a choice either way. This puts stress on the host because now a tool that should’ve made their lives easier can actually fuel the fire when they’re tracking down guests for responses!
Recently I came across an article that said 30% of guests don’t RSVP. Sadly, I wasn’t shocked by the statistic since I’ve experienced the headache of chasing down guests for my own personal events. I believe that in today’s society, it is too easy to be non-committal since the human interaction is decreasing due to texts and emails and everyone is “busy”. Even with smartphones, we have too many options. It’s also sad that the host has to add in a buffer in their timeline just to chase down responses! Keep in mind that the host has enough to deal with besides the guests such as food and entertainment. (This is where an event planner alleviates that stress!) The host isn’t trying to be the RSVP Police! They need your response for headcount purposes so they can make wise decisions about their venue and how much food to order. Nobody wants to waste their hard earned money or time.
Here is my final thought. Next time you’re invited to an event, put yourself in their shoes and for God’s sake, please RSVP!! It’s only common courtesy;)