RSVP vs. Regrets Only
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Technically, RSVP is an abbreviation of the French phrase "Répondez s'il vous plaît." Translated it simply means "reply, if you please".
The more lax term "Regrets Only" means just what it says - "Don't call us unless you are NOT coming to the party and if you don't call, we expect to see your smiling face the day of the event". This is a relative new term and can cause a whole new set of problems.
You really expect people to call if they can't come to your event?
It's hard enough to get anyone to respond to an invitation's printed "RSVP to 555-2934" with a "Yes, we're coming" or "No, we're not coming".
To get an answer even with self-addressed, stamped envelopes to return a "fill-in-the-blank" response card, a respond by date, phone numbers to call, or email addresses to write a quick "yes" or "no" is next to impossible today, but seriously, "Regrets Only"?
Some hosts misunderstand and believe a Regrets Only response will be easier on them and tons of people won't have to call and leave messages about the party, only the people not coming.
Do you really think they'll call if they can't come?
Do NOT use "Regrets Only" when:
- You positively, absolutely need to know if anyone is coming to the party.
- You need a final headcount to pay the the caterer, bartender, party rental place and you can't get a refund if you have no-shows.
- You'd rather not eat the costs of no-shows' goodie bags, favors, you get the picture.
- You're eight year old drama queen will just die if she doesn't know who's coming to her party.
- You'll panic a few days before the party and call or email everyone anyway to see who's coming.
Use RSVP when:
- You want to play it safe - make it easy on people by using any of the following on your invitation:
- Please tell us you're coming by May 10th or RSVP to Mary 555-2934 or RSVP to email@example.com
- Don't be a creep, RSVP to Emily 555-2944 or firstname.lastname@example.org (use for Halloween or year-round if you're really brave)
- RSVP Bah Humbug or Ho! Ho! Ho! to Claire 555-2342 or email@example.com (Christmas cheer might do the trick)
- Be really obvious "Please call Teri by April 5th and let her know if you can attend, 555-2934 or Teri@aol.com" (Kind of wordy, but hard to misunderstand)
- Use a phone number for calling or responding an RSVP by text AND an email address for guests to easily respond.
We know RSVP response is at an all time low and hosts have long memories of those "friends" who didn't make an effort to reply one way or the other.
So, to help hosts everywhere, the next time you get an invitation...
JUST be a great responder!
JUST don't forget to respond if the invitation requests you to
JUST pick up the phone
JUST email you're coming or not
JUST mail the RSVP card
JUST DO IT!
And hosts everywhere will thank you and every person who learns how to be a perfect responder for making this aspect of party hosting a breeze!
We loved this emailed reply!