Respond with a Yes or No

Whether it's by profession or for your own child's birthday, party planning - in the context of having a social gathering, communication is key.  Typically the communication between a host and guest is managed using RSVP.  Derived from the French phrase, "répondez s'il vous plaît," RSVP are the initials which ultimately means 'please respond'.  RSVP is often added on invitations signaling to the guest to generate a response as to whether or not they will attend your event.  

In my experience as a host, planner, or guest of an event, I value the RSVP.  It's a tool that aids in the planning and production of any event.  Whether it's a wedding, a dinner party, or a child's birthday party, RSVPing is not only courteous, but the right thing to do. Equally as important, a host should be prepared to receive replies.
Like most Moms, my kid is involved in many activities whether it's related to school, swimming, chess, guitar, gymnastics or just hanging out with friends.  Our social calendar can get filled pretty quickly. With that comes the birthday party invitations from friends and/or classmates.  While I'm a strong proponent of celebrating our children, especially on their birthday, it can get pretty costly [time and money] attending every birthday party event for each of the ~20 kids in the class.  As a result, I make an effort to RSVP in a timely manner.  Generally, this would be before the RSVP date.  If a date isn't given, I try to RSVP by the 3rd day after receiving the invitation.  

It's good to note that there are different types of RSVP.  I've seen RSVP by email and/or invitations typically have a card to return.  Personally, I've been known to include RSVP options by email, phone or a shout at practice or the grocery store…I like to offer convenience especially for Moms on the run!  Depending upon the level of convenience, if given a choice I'd probably select email as a method to RSVP.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't call if I had the choice, it just depends on my comfort level and options offered.  There have been many times the only option is to call, which is what happened in a recent experience.  

Recently, my daughter received an invitation to attend a birthday party.  As with many invitations it gave the deets of the party, including a phone number [only] to RSVP.  During my call with the parent [to RSVP], I received a not so warm greeting.  When the parent answered my call (BTW, the call was early evening) it felt as if she was inconvenienced taking my call.  In short, I introduced myself and indicated that I wanted to RSVP for the party…and she was crass and quite frankly rude.  After a 2nd and 3rd attempt in explaining who I was and why I called, the parent then realized why I called and followed with an apology for being so rude.  #iCant

The lesson learned here is that despite our busy schedules, when planning an event and RSVP is required [especially by phone only], expect to receive calls.  If you don't do well with the phone conversations, the other alternative is to offer a different form of RSVP (i.e. via email).  It'll enable you to manage responses at your convenience.  Regrets Only RSVPs will also reduce the call volume, as you'd only anticipate calls from those who cannot attend.  The overarching message is as a host, be ready for RSVP responses.

What do you think?  What experiences have you had with RSVPs?  

Thanks for reading!

Follow me: @DanielleASB

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