Monday, July 5, 2010

The Fine Art of RSVP-ing

When I go over invitation details with parents and we discuss the RSVP date, I'm often met with a big sigh from the Mom or Dad. Parents are notoriously bad at responding to a child's birthday invitation. As a Party Planner, I ask for the final number two days before the party. I need this time to build the decorative loot bags, thank you bookmarks, etc. Sadly, the parents have to give me a give-or-take number and may end up having to pay for more children than actually attend, simply because they did not get responses.

We've all been there. A party invitation is lost at the bottom of a napsack, only to be discovered the day before said party, or a parent calls you, asking if your child will be at the party and you've forgotten to RSVP, or children tell each other they will be at the party but it doesn't get passed along to the hosting parent.
These are all forgiveable scenarios for not RSVP-ing to a party, but it still creates stress for the party Mom or Dad who doesn't know how many loot bags to prepare, how many places to set at the table, or how much food to provide.
It has become a very bad trend lately for parents to not RSVP at all. Roughly translated, RSVP means "please respond because I really do need to know how many children will be at this party that is already an overwhelming thought for me."

Some parents have the phone numbers of the little guests and can follow up, but why should they have to?
The next time you receive an invitation, take a moment to make responding your priority. Nothing says sad like a child arriving unexpectedly at a party, forcing the parents to scramble when they already have enough on their plate. To those parents whose children are not attending, have the courtesy to let the hosting Mom or Dad know so they don't go to the added expense and effort for nothing.
Oh and P.S. - check your child's napsack!