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A plea to RSVP!
It’s a shame that locally we think it’s normal not to RSVP. On average, for my wedding, only 20 per cent of guests responded to let us know that they were attending; the remainder had to be telephoned.
However, I’ve realised from talking to other brides that that figure was actually quite good compared to what they got. Alarmingly, the trend doesn’t just hold for weddings. No matter what event it is, failure to RSVP seems to be prevalent.
RSVP stands for “Repondez S’il Vous Plait,” which is French for “Please reply.” RSVP information can be provided directly on the wedding invitation or, for more formal invitations, hosts can include a response or reply card. In the latter case, as a guest you are required to complete the response card and mail or return it to the hosts by the deadline stated.
If no response card is included, you can reply by writing a short a note on your personal or other elegant stationery or you can call the hosts directly. E-mailed RSVPs are also acceptable if the couple has provided a return e-mail address on their invitation. Today, couples are using online RSVP services, but this still remains largely a foreign trend.
If you’re in possession of a wedding invitation and you haven’t RSVPed as yet, here are some reasons why you should:
• It is considerate and basic good manners to reply, given that the couple has thought so highly of you by sending you an invitation.
• Failure to respond means that the bride/groom eventually has to phone you to find out if you’ll be attending. This detracts from time spent planning the event and is usually a hassle for a busy bride and groom-to-be.
• If you don’t respond, most hosts will assume you’re attending the event. As a result, they will cater for food and beverage and make seating arrangements for you. Should you not turn up, money will be wasted on these provisions.
• As much as guests may not like to acknowledge this, couples usually have a “back up” list with others they would like to invite. They usually wait an appropriate amount of time (perhaps three to four weeks) for the RSVPs to come in and, based on the numbers who won’t be attending, they may choose to invite guests from their “back up” list. If you fail to RSVP and you don’t plan to attend, you may be robbing the couple of the chance to invite another guest who would be more than eager to attend.
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