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Another RSVP Complaint

Two situations:

We are running a cocktail reception at a local establishment for a woman is retiring from our company after 34 years of service. Emails were sent, clearly stating RSVP, with the additional notation that we really needed a head count by a certain date. It's 4 days past that date & we have yet to hear form roughly half of those to whom an email was sent. A follow up email was sent 5 days ago. Many of those who have yet to respond are executives or those in upper management. I am stunned that there is so little regard for what I consider to be a basic social practice. Just as an FYI, I would be considered to be in mid-upper management, so it's not like they are brushing the invite off as coming from "a peon" (before your get your knickers in a knot, I'm saying that sarcastically).

Second situation. My daughter & SIL are having their first big party in their new house. They are in their late 20's & this is a very big deal for them. Again, they used e-vites. My sister has 2 kids in their mid 20's, both in professional jobs. DD sent invites to them. Standard RSVP. She has heard nothing. On cousin was the Maid of Honor at her wedding. I made a remark to my sister & her reply way: Boy, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning".

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  1. My guess is that in the first case, the invites were just lost in the work email shuffle. Work email accounts tend to get flooded, and once you get through reading and responding to the urgent/important stuff, you forget about the other things or simply don't have time to respond. I'd imagine that this is the most likely to occur with upper management. I wouldn't really see it as a lack of regard for basic social practice as much as email not necessarily being the best method of reaching everyone in a work environment.

    The issue can be the same with evites as well. I don't know what service they used, but many require you to register to RSVP, and others may just get plunked right into the spam folder. Some people spend all day at work and when they get home, really have no interest in personal emails. With my friends, I know that some of them are very polite and reliable, but email is simply not the way to get in touch with them for an event.

    1 Reply
    1. re: queencru

      "but email is simply not the way to get in touch with them for an event."

      I couldn't agree more, especially at work. Our office posts all invites in the common areas of the main office (kitchen, lounge, hallways) and if you don't RSVP to your dept head, you aren't expected to attend.

    2. "Peon" or not - "Execs" are "Execs". Take that as you will. With that said, if this is an after-work cocktail hour, many people hate to obligate themselves due to those pesky last minute meetings, phone calls, fires that arise, etc as corporate life doesn't always end at 5 pm.

      So, it may be best to do the simple walk-around to get a head count. Unfortunately, you'll probably get more responses along the line of "I'm going to try to make it", which still won't help in providing a head count to the restaurant/cocktail lounge.

      1. As an assistant to a Vice President of Business Operations I have been in a similar situation where invitations to a black tie launch of a non-profit organization have been sent via US mail, RSVP's cards (with stamped envelopes) requested by a certain date, follow up calls made to the invitees a day or two after the RSVP date to give "breathing room" and because organizer of said event didn't want to "pressure" the high power executives invited to the event. Pressure? Sad. I spent hours on the phone calling the assistants of the invited executives that had not responded. I am of the opinion that either you are available to attend or cannot, and respond accordingly. Most of the assistants I contacted were not very pleasant to deal with and reacted with my inquiry with a less that pleasant attitude as if I were wasting their time. Some of the execs that had declined the invite showed up to the event, and brought additional guests along (and made demands in seating changes -go figure) while others that had accepted no showed. Sad state of affairs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: OneJayneDoe

          I was just a little surprised. One of the things that we stress in our company, from the top down, is communicatioin and responsiveness. If someone is not sure if they will be able to attend, a note that says just that if fine. We are not such a large company that so many of these emails would get lost in the shuffle. I know most of these people fairly well, and the retiree is a Director with whom they have served on multiple committees.

          As to the cousin's evites? They were received and opened -- the evite service tracks that. My daughter was just hurt that her own cousins wouldn't have the courtesy to respond. I was more than a little surprised that my sister didn't think not resonding was any big deal and thought that I was a jerk for questioning it. Oh, and we have a very small family -- she's my only sibling and those are my only nieces/nephews. They are probably going through that several years post-college all-about me phase.

          Social graces are indeed a dying phenomenon. I'll go have a glass of whine and watch a re-run of Real HW of New Jersey.

        2. Sorry,
          "so little regard for basic social practice"
          Many don't consider email an acceptable mode of social invitations.....................

          I know that much of the business email I receive is in my spam filter, and I don't have time to sort the thousands of spam rec'd each week. Similarly youe evits and many replies may be lost in cyberspace..................
          Regarding your sister's kids and their nonreplies to your daughter's invitation. You really had no buisiness asking your sister about the actions of her ADULT children. Your sister is not responsible for their actions. She may resent the unintended implication that they were not raised properly, or they would have replied.
          Your daughter is an adult and she should handle this on her own without mommy and auntie getting involved.

          I am 55 years old and greatly resent my mother in law always being the go between for invitation amongst my wife and her sisters. If my sister in law wants us to come for dinner on Sunday, then she should invite us, not have my MIL call and say dinner is 6PM at so and so's house.

          Yopung adults must learn to handle things on their own, and parents to let go. Your daughter should be able to voice her frustration of no replies to you, but she must handle it by herself. You are not the hostess of this party, this is her learning experience.

          2 Replies
            1. I am not a fan of evites, but respond to them as I would an invitation sent via the post (even postal invitations have an average 20% response rate; anyone who has gotten married in the past decade or so has had to deal with follow ups; I don't think it's right, but that is what we've had to deal with).

              As annoying as it is, make room for a small percentage of walk-ins, then enjoy yourselves and do your best to not show surprise when unresponsive guests (plus one) show up.

              1. As jfood has stated many times, hittingthe "send" button on an email does not close the loop. jfood received a phone call from his admnin while traveling telling him he had not responded to a reception to congressman's reception. Oops. Three emails and jfood just forgot.

                Point is pick up the phone and call. this "i sent an email" or "i left a message" is just a lousy excuse. Yes the other side did not respond and no excuse for that but sending a second email after the first went unresponded to is like throwing good money after bad.

                1. I'm embroiled in the middle of an RSVP situation. I received an evite to my work email address for a colleague's bridal shower, organized by her sister who I've never met. Oh, this colleague and I no longer work in the same office, so we never see one another at work. "Gift cards are appreciated." I thought the gift card thing was so rude that I didn't really want to go, but I wanted to check with my colleagues as it would be weird if I was the only non-attendee. Most of my colleagues were feeling the same as me. A couple of days passed, until we were two weeks before the shower, and then I received an email from my colleague herself. It said, "My sister wants me to ask you why you haven't RSVPed yet. I'm sorry, that's her message, not mine. I just really want to see you and I don't care if you bring a gift or not. Please tell my sister whether or not you'll be there." Again, the gift angle. I went home that night and tried to RSVP, but found that I couldn't do it from my personal email address. I didn't want to register my work email address on the invitation website, and I also didn't have the sister's contact info because the invitation had been sent by invites@invitationsite.com. So I had to wait until work the next day and email my colleague to tell her that I'd be going but couldn't register on the website. Seriously? RSVPing turned into this two-hour ordeal. If the sister had just called me and asked if I'd like to come, I would have said yes. Now I'm going, but with a dark cloud hanging over the happy day.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Jetgirly

                    Am I so old fashioned in thinking that requesting gifts (cards or otherwise) or even posting a registry on an invitation is inappropriate? An invitation is for the guest, not what they can bring.

                    Only exceptions: potlucks or raves

                    1. re: Caralien

                      Caralien, you are not alone. I think it is in very poor taste. I know it is customary, but I do not think it is classy to have something inserted into an invite telling people where to buy you stuff.

                      1. re: Caralien

                        The moment someone "requests" specific gifts or money, I am no longer a guest but a resource (exceptions as you note, potlucks and raves). My response is always the same, "Sorry. We're busy."

                        1. re: Caralien

                          Who asks for gifts for a rave? Who even sends out invitations for a rave? Aren't they supposed to be very hush hush affairs to avoid detection by the mainstream or something? :)

                        2. re: Jetgirly

                          please tell us that somewhere on the invite or the followup was a phone number to call.

                          1. re: jfood

                            Nope! Just driving directions to their house.

                            1. re: Jetgirly


                              Jfood has relatives who "gift fish" by inviting jfood to functions they know he will not attend. Haven't heard from a 2nd cousin in twenty years, do not know which aunt they may be related to, have no idea how many marriages they have gone through and all of a sudden an e-vite or snail-vite arrives announcing a engagement party 2500 miles away.

                              Jfood's gift... "I am sorry we will not be able to attend. Best of luck to you and yours in the future." An investment of a Forever Stamp and back to the gardening.

                              Amazing the high beta between that response and no e-vite to the wedding.

                              1. re: jfood

                                LOL! Gardening is far superior to so many endeavors...

                          2. re: Jetgirly

                            Sounds like your colleague is sort of apologizing for the "gift cards appreciated" request by mentioning that they don't care whether you bring a gift or not. IMHO gifts are gifts not the price of admission, the bride/hostess/etc shouldn't be telling anyone to bring one.

                          3. I just cannot believe the complete disregard some people have regarding a simple RSVP. What gives? We live in an age where some people should have cell phones surgically attached to their heads, and you mean to tell me that those same people can't reply to a simple email or RSVP? Come on. Maybe e-vite senders need to include two hyperlinks in each email: one that spurs a quick response, like whether attending or not, number of guests, etc, and the other link should be straight to paypal. I'm using paypal as an example here because it just seems that people have completely detached themselves from doing the socially responsible thing and REPLYING, so by supplying a link with a paypal address the invitees can sink even further and send you a gift via paypal. Can you feel the love?

                            35 Replies
                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                              Do e-vites have a place for the sender to include a phone number?

                              1. re: jfood

                                e-vites can be as simple as a message sent to many, or directed to a site (ie evite.com) which has further event details, a list of who has/hasn't responded (options yes, no, maybe, plus who/how many others will guests, plus and space to write a note to the host. Links for directions, maps, etc. can be added too.

                                It works if everyone in set group uses it regularly, doesn't otherwise.

                                1. re: Caralien

                                  Thanks C

                                  so it is the invitors option to include a phone number, like a normal response via snail mail.

                                  It seems to easy to invite peripheral people with e-vites than snail. Sometimes technology is not a step forward.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    I always include my email in the general message sent from evite in case folks want to RSVP that way. And Jfood can block invites by guests down to the appropriate number (wedding? one). That said - I also always email people from my personal email address and if they are really close and I really want them there, I call.

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      On the evite thing, I only use it for casual parties/gatherings with my 30-something and younger friends who use email regularly. If I am inviting to people who may see email as something fun to do once in a while and not a primary mode of communication, I go with "snail-vites" (jfood, did you coin a new term?). One exception was my father's recent 60th birthday. Dad is pretty enviro-friendly and REALLY wanted to use evites for the no paper factor. Of course, I honored his request. Now, his friends are in that latter category, so it was quite a bit of work. I ALWAYS include a phone number, and to be honest, probably 5 people or so rsvpd that way. Does anyone know of a way for the host to reply for an invitee? Got a lot of frantic calls from Dad's friends that they saw they were still listed as "no-reply". Also, I had to give Dad a list of his friends to confirm and/or get numbers to call. It would have been MUCH easier to send out paper invitations with phone number and email address for rsvps.

                                      To reply to OP: For work function, just do a walk thru or post a sign in a conspicuous place that all will see. Also, you need flexibility. Some will come w/o rsvps and so "yes"es will not show.
                                      For daughter's party, I'm in agreement with the poster who said that it's her party and she should call her cousin to find out if they're coming.

                                      1. re: amyvc

                                        a few years back we were invited to my step sister's son's wedding. To be honest I wasn't nuts about going and it was planned for August and we didn't know if we would be on vacation. Anyway about 8 weeks before the wedding and we had not yet replied (they sent them out very early) my mum called and said that I was very 'naughty' because we had not replied to the invitation yet. I went ballistic with my mum for getting involved and then called my step sister and went ballistic at her too.
                                        I was not a kid but a grown woman in my 40s. My stepsister should have called me herself. I told her that and that 8 weeks was way too early to know. We didn't end up going as it happens because we did go on vacation.

                                        1. re: smartie

                                          the world stops for some weddings. didn;t you know that? :-))

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            yes some are just over organized!

                                          2. re: smartie

                                            What you did is on par with the 20-something set not responding because something better might come up.

                                            To not sound obnoxious (going ballistic at mum and stepsister who had sent invitations well in advance), you should have simply sent regrets. That way, you wouldn't have had to say that you had no interest in going in the first place and could have avoided yelling at your family members. In the event that you didn't get your last minute vacation (ie better thing to do), you would still not be obligated to attend.

                                            It's perfectly normal for someone closer to the guests to follow up, particularly for weddings. My mother followed up with some, my (soon to be) mother in law some, others were my responsibility.

                                            1. re: Caralien

                                              jfood thinks the point was 8 weeks is when they go out, not when the nastygrams start.

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                Traditionally, the invitations are sent at 6 weeks. To go ballistic at someone planning an event is a bit much. If you know you don't want to go, just say you won't go--no reason needed (if pushed, the fault is then on the other person for lacking in manners). A lot of places need at least 2 months booking and headcounts at 6 weeks, so the traditonal 6 weeks has been extended. With more families being spread out, it's more respectful to the guests to have advance notice to purchase tickets, take time off from work, etc.

                                                Proper: I regret that I won't be able to attend and wish you both the best; (if pushed) We've already made plans to be elsewhere at that time and can't cancel

                                                Not: I've thought of taking a vacation at that time which I haven't booked but am still thinking about. Stop telling me I'm naughty. Now I'm going to call my step sister and go ballistic on her too.

                                                There are people in my family I don't care for. If I know I don't want to go, I send regrets. If someone asks why, I tell them I have other plans. Done.

                                                1. re: Caralien

                                                  Yeah, but to call and scold someone 8 weeks in advance is a bit much. I agree that more advance notice is helpful, but that's why a lot of people send out "save the date" cards as early as 6-8 months in advance. It doesn't require any advance commitment on the guests' part, but if they do need longer to plan, the option is available.

                                                  1. re: Caralien

                                                    jfood has never heard of 6 weeks prior for final headcount, that's just downright silly.

                                                    But smartie received a call 8 weeks prior, not fron the invitor, but a surrogate, telling her she was "naughty". One step further down the food chain was the step sister tattling to mommy about how bad step sister was. So three mistakes...step sister tattling to mommy, mommy not telling step sister to call herself, she's an adult, and then mommy calling and intervening.

                                                    If jfood received that call it would have been, "mom, if she is upset, she's a big girl, she can call me. the wedding is two months away. No need for you to get upset and get caught in the middle."

                                                    Call #2 to SS, "I know you are planning a wedding but if you have a question for me, no need to get mom upset. Just give me a call and we can discuss like adults."

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      We don't know to whom the rsvps were being sent. If smartie's mother was in charge of receiving the invitations, she might be the one contacting those who hadn't responded (others have the bridal party, or some wedding planners, who then ask the family members to follow up with non-responsive Aunt Betsy and Uncle Bill).

                                                      I'll agree that 2 months prior to the date is a bit much, unless that happened to be the respond by date specified on the invitation. The situation could have been completely avoided by sending the rsvp back in the first place--16 weeks, 1 year, or however long in advance the invitation arrived.

                                                      Self addressed stamped envelopes with check boxes are not difficult to fill out. As an adult, take responsibility to choose to avoid situations. If you don't want to go, don't go. Let the requestor know and be done with it.

                                                      1. re: Caralien

                                                        Jfood can only smile. It is bad enough that the intended groom has mommy call grand-mommy to call naughty auntie smartie. Jfood can only smack his forehead with the idea that grand-mommy was the recipient of the rsvp's. But in any event those scenarios make jfood's head explode.

                                                        Back to the proper sequence:

                                                        Whenever the date is decided by bride-groom is when they make the informal calls to all close relatives for them to "reserve" the date. Then the proper etiquette is, what 8 weeks prior? then the rsvp date about halfway in between, with the final calls to the "forgetfuls".

                                                        eight weeks before and grandma has to make a nasty-call is just so silly. Proper etiquette is not to ask for a commitment "16 weeks, 1 year, or however long in advance the invitation arrived." or whatever date Bridezilla et. al. so dictate.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          OMG didn't mean to start a debate here. I don't see why my stepsister had to get my mother involved but my family does that kind of thing. Of course my mother should have just told my stepsister to call me herself and that she was not responsible for her grown children's actions. I think the invite had only been with us a week when I got the call from my mum. It went onto the mantlepiece and I hadn't got around to discussing it yet with my husband because that week for whatever reason it was not a priority.

                                                          I love being far away in the US now, and don't have to deal with family stuff any longer. They know I am not coming to weddings etc because I am 4000 miles away.

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            I'm in full wedding plan mode as my daughter is getting married next spring. Our books <G> state to send Save the Dates 6 months ahead, and invitations 8 weeks out with an RSVP date 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding. It is also suggested someone other than the bride (such as mother of the bride) handle RSVP's and those who do not respond. In our case, we'll have to have a final headcount (and check) to the venue 10 days before the event.

                                              2. re: amyvc

                                                There is a way to mark folks in evite as coming/maybes/not coming as the evite sender... It's in the navigation on the left hand side when you are viewing the host version; I can't tell you the exact terminology for that link because I don't have any outstanding evites at the moment. :)

                                                1. re: emmaroseeats

                                                  It's called the Invitation Options - when you're creating the Evite (in evite.com) when you begin to add Guests to the invite list, there's a "Reply Style" so it can be their simple default (Yes/No/Maybe) or "Las Vegas" (All in/Split/Bust), etc.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Thanks folks. I know about the customizing of the reply style, but wasn't aware that I could reply FOR my invitees. Good to know. I'll check it out! thanks

                                        2. re: Cheese Boy

                                          I just think there are so many opportunities for evites/email invitations to fail that it's not as simple as that. There are people who are glued to their cell phones or Facebook and use those as their sole methods of contact. Here are a few possible situations why a person may not be able to respond immediately-

                                          1. Email program filters evites into spam folder. I don't know about you but I have some accounts that get 100+ spams a day into that folder, so you can bet I am not checking it.

                                          2. Evite goes to an email address a person no longer uses or rarely checks.

                                          3. Evite requires invites to be a member of a social networking or other site to respond, and the person invited is not a member.

                                          4. Person may need to find childcare or make arrangements to get to the party that may not allow a quick response.

                                          5. Especially in a work situation, person gets so many emails each day that non-urgent emails tend to get put on the back burner and forgotten.

                                          1. re: queencru

                                            I had forgotten about the "social networking" aspect. I would rather respond directly to an email than have to sign up to get spammed by the evite site's advertisers.

                                            1. re: queencru

                                              "3. Evite requires invites to be a member of a social networking or other site to respond, and the person invited is not a member."

                                              Is this a new thing? Until recently I've not belonged to any "social networking" sites and have been responding to evites with no problems for years ... maybe I'm special?

                                              1. re: odkaty

                                                I remember a few sites even in the early days of evites that made you register to respond to the invite.

                                                What's even worse is that there are some that will just stalk you if you don't/can't respond. I remember once a friend sent me an invite through Facebook, which I don't have and requires a profile for RSVPs. She already knew I was coming and just wanted me to have the time/address, but for some reason Facebook sent me 4-5 emails asking me why I hadn't responded yet. My friend had absolutely no clue why this was happening. I just wanted the emails to stop.

                                                1. re: queencru

                                                  Evite.com itself doesn't require you sign up for any other "social networking sites". You can respond as you wish without signing up for an Evite account, I believe. (When anyone says "Evite", that's the site I think of.)

                                                  But it sounds like you're talking about other sites that have an Email invitation feature, such as Facebook, et al?

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    I do remember having to sign up for some service, but I haven't been invited to a party through an evite service for at least 3+ years so I couldn't tell you if it was evite or something else. These days the issue is more with Facebook and other sites that have the email invite feature. It's not just the feature itself that's annoying with Facebook, but that it seems to want to spam non-members. I just had that problem this weekend.

                                              2. re: queencru

                                                Agreed with the social networking. I was annoyed to see my name in the list of all invited on an evite and the status of everyone's attendance. It irked me too that I would have to register on the site to respond. The evite also referenced that if anyone was thinking of giving a gift, even though one was not expected, cash towards funding a special wish would be welcome. Tacky on so many levels - I did however have the courtesy to respond personally (not thru evite) with my regrets. It just struck me as one big bulk mailing and self-serving because this method made the organiser's life easier while making it feel impersonal and a big PITA to respond. On the other hand, I have no problem with invitations sent by email, just opposed to evite.

                                                1. re: tuttebene

                                                  There is a place for the Evite. I used it, kind of as a joke, when organizing our family Thanksgiving dinner. We had various relatives bringing different dishes, and had issued a cousins' appetizer throwdown, so the Evite platform allowed everyone to keep track of who was bringing what, and gave them an opportunity to "trash talk" about their app for the throwdown. It also stirred up excitement for the event.

                                                  Just like any other social tool, you have to know when & where to use it. Also HOW to use it. I think there are options as to whether or not the person who issues the Evite wants to have the guest list appear, and whether they want yes/no responses to appear. The bit about the gift was indeed tacky.

                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                    You make a good point. I can see how for your specific family gathering it made a big difference. For a special function like the one I mentioned, I didn't like being on a list with the majority of people I had never met - even after my phone call, I sent my regrets to my friend's personal email account, I was sent a reminder by evite reminding me that I hadn't RSVP'd. Very annoying.

                                                    1. re: tuttebene

                                                      Those "reminders" are also optional. The originator of the Evite gets to choose whether or not they want to send a reminder, and to whom they want to send it. Sounds like the list of invitees was good in one respect, though -- it allowed you to see that you didn't know many of them! Probably saved you from a lousy time at the event (grin).

                                              3. re: Cheese Boy

                                                <We live in an age where some people should have cell phones surgically attached to their heads, and you mean to tell me that those same people can't reply to a simple email or RSVP?>

                                                These phenomena are not opposed; they work in concert. The cell phone and its electronic brethren enable you to keep your options open. Say you're sitting across a restaurant table from a friend. If you get bored with that friend, you can connect instantly with another friend. Say you're invited to a party. Why commit until you know for a fact that nothing better will come along?

                                                1. re: small h

                                                  please tell us this is sarcastic?

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    Not at all. I'm not advocating the behavior, I'm explaining it, with two very vague hypothetical situations. Maybe my use of the word "you" was confusing. Sometimes I don't feel like writing "one" or "a person."

                                                    1. re: small h

                                                      gotcha. the jfoods have friends who do this and they rarey get invites any longer or they wait til the last minute to invite. not really an acceptable SOP in jfood's opinion.

                                              4. I feel like a part of this issue, the drama for the inviters, is this idea of wanting to be right when it comes to etiquette, rather than a focus on getting what you want (RSVPs). I'm not saying I don't get irritated by the lack of response by some, but I don't take it as a personal affront. I just call you if I really want you there. If it's something like a dinner party and I need a specific head count I usually add 2, that way if a couple extra show up we have enough food, and if we don't, the hubby and I have delicious leftovers for lunch the next day. And if you don't ever RSVP to an event and don't come? I stop inviting you; I don't care how close we are.

                                                1. I really get tired of the e-vites. I have missed parties etc, and have probably appeared rude to the host simply because the email got lost in the shuffle. I am 33 and almost everyone in my generation uses the evites. I am not sure what happened to the days of a good old fashioned (and mailed ) invite. I do always respond either yes or no to an evite when I locate it, but Evite sends out tips and suggestions that will come across your email that look like an invitation, so a few legitimate invites have been overlooked. I guess a follow up phone call is in order if the evite is openened and not responded to.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: ScarlettNola

                                                    I'm 30 and I have to say that having had parties where I've emailed, parties where I've done an evite and parties where I've mailed invitations, mailed invitations are so much more difficult! It took hours and hours of emailing and phone calling to track down everyone's addresses. Then the follow up calls. Some didnt receive the invite, or it was "lost in the mail"- could I resend it? Even better, could I scan and email it? It's too bad, I see all these lovely invite cards in paper stores that I'd love to use, but the hassel ends up making me want to tell everyone not to come as I put on a movie, some pajamas and just binge on all the food I had prepared...

                                                    1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                      "....I have to say that having had parties where I've emailed, parties where I've done an evite and parties where I've mailed invitations, mailed invitations are so much more difficult!".

                                                      Hilarious. What on earth did we all do, generations and generations before us, without the invention of the almight computer?
                                                      A hand written invitation, sent or received, is, yes, one of the most time consuming and tiring endeavors known to mankind.
                                                      I'll take it any day over an email or evite.
                                                      Call me old and boring. I'm proud of my penmanship, my command of proper spelling and grammar and my love of beautiful stationary and fountain pens is certainly not common among the computer crowd. There's no hassle to do doing it my way. The trick is to learn to slow down, 'smell the roses", take a deep breath and relax.

                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                        Before computers, we handwrote everything - or typed them - or had invites printed.

                                                        And yet, because computers have become ubiquitous, the use of them for invitations to casual parties is acceptable in many cases. And there's less hassle, in many cases, doing it "the computer way". Again, depending on the occasion, an Email invite is often much easier.

                                                        As to whether someone chooses not to respond via Email invite or handwritten/snail-mailed invite - that is the crux of these "etiquette threads". It seems people sometimes to respond to either - and yet still show up at the party. The lack of courtesy in *responding* to invites seems to fall across all spectrums.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          I will always handwrite everything.
                                                          There is no question that it is acceptable to to use an email or evite as a way to invite someone to a casual or formal party. I receive them all the time.
                                                          It is also, without question, easier to do it this way.
                                                          Easier and faster seems to be one of the main reasons people make the choice to use these methods.
                                                          It's not my way. I enjoy sitting at my desk, using one of my beautiful fountain pens, and writing the invitation along with addressing the envelope.
                                                          There are certain things in life that I'm unwilling to compromise on.
                                                          I don't care how fast and hassle free things may become. It's actually a reason for me NOT to do it.

                                                  2. Whether by evite or email or mailed invitations, people simply do not respond -- and even if they do, it doesn't mean they show up. We host a huge BBQ every year where we make all the food from pulled pork to desserts for nearly 100 people. It is a ton of work and it makes a huge difference if it's going to be 70 or 95 people not only from the standpoint of the food, but from the standpoint of the tables, chairs and the rest of the rentals that go under the big tent we erect. I am a paper crafter, and I make my own invitations with a funny theme each year. It takes me weeks to make all the invitations, and after sending a "save the date" email 6-8 weeks ahead, I send the invitations about 3-4 weeks before the party. Every year, there are at least 15-20 couples who do not respond. Thank goodness for email since it is easier to email everyone than it is to call. All I want to know is if they are coming; I don't need to know why someone is not. But even so, and I finally got nearly everyong to RSVP, we had nearly 20 no shows. So incredibly rude and annoying. Don't get me wrong -- we really enjoying giving parties like this, but people seem to not understand that they need to RSVP -- and then show up!

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet


                                                      My daughter had her party this weekend. I had forgotten, but the "excuse" was really a follow up to the Philly Triathalon that many of my SIL's fellow nurses participated in. Interestingly, the only person who did not respond one way or the other (either via the invitation from Evite, or in person) was my adult niece, who still lives at home. Her much younger brother (18), responded promptly & came. When he came, he told my daughter : "oh, J told me to tell you that she's going out with her girl friends and won't be coming".

                                                      I'm sorry, I know it was not my place to mention it to my sister, but I was heavily involved in helping my daughter plan the party, my niece still does live at home, and I was just so irked that she couldn't take the time to respond. We've seen 2 patterns with her: (1) she knows she's not going to come, but she doesn't want to tell someone "no", so she just waits until the last minute & comes up with an excuse; or (2) she says "yes", but cancels at the last minute because something more attractive/fun came up. I'm chalking it up to youth and going through a self-absorbed phase. I hope she comes out of it. My daughter, who is 4 years older than my niece, has sworn off trying to invite her to anything, even just hanging out at the pool in this summer, because she's determined that it's just not worth it.

                                                      My general impression is that the concept of an RSVP has become lost for the most part. As many other posters have stated, even a written, snail mail invitation with a request to RSVP gets ignored.

                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                        My former stepdaughter is a lot like your niece and I've stopped inviting her to things because (a) if she shows up it's late (b) she may bring someone who was not invited and (c) if she says yes she will cancel at the last moment. It's just not worth it.

                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                          I don't think this has anything to do with youth either. I know people in their 40s upward who still engage in this sort of behavior. It's a sad situation, but there are a variety of reasons why people do this. I think some people are honestly so insecure that they worry about accepting an invitation to a less "cool" event on the off chance something better comes along that will give them more status. Others just hate the idea that they have to plan anything more than 5 minutes in advance and don't get that other people have lives and need to plan things.

                                                    2. It is just plain rude, ignorant and bad manners not to RSVP. It is a basic common social courtesy. Big Exec. or not, they should know better. Goes back to upbringing (or no upbringing)

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: CocoDan

                                                        As someone that once controlled several executives' calendars and scheduled everything (personal and professional) for them, there is no reason for other admins to do similar. As an EA, you will have access to his or her calendar (and, during start-of-the-day reviews of said calendar, will rank events by priority or adjust availability accordingly) and can thus respond immediately. Not responding to someone's RSVP is so lacking in grace and class that it borderings on professional incompetence. I have little patience for those twits that "cop an attitude" because they didn't do their job.

                                                        As far as your daughter's party; have _her_ (and the roomy) call every last one non-respondent. That worked the charm for my wedding and I've only had a two doltish cousins "forget" to respond in the last 18 years.

                                                        1. re: The Ranger

                                                          See the update, above. My daughter's party turned out wonderfully. Actually, I was quite proud of both her and her husband. It was their 1st mega party in their house: they worked liked dogs spiffing the place up and getting everything ready, called on parental resources to help them prepare a very fine spread, and were the consummate hosts. The 60+ who attended raved about the party and the food. Except, of course, for the unresponsive niece. Her loss.

                                                          The retirement party mentioned in the OP is this afternoon after work. Although the invitation requested an RSVP by last Wednesday, I am still getting a few responses today. No responses from most of the execs. It will be interesting to see who, among the non-responders, shows up. I really didn't mean for it to sound as though I had a huge stick up my butt about it -- I was just floored at the overall lack of courtesy. I hadn't realized that the "social graces" were so far along the road to extinction.

                                                          1. re: PattiCakes

                                                            It's alright to have "a huge stick up [an orifice] about it" because it's so incomprehensible as to _why_ a majority of those executives' admins didn't respond.

                                                            Me, my daughters and I will continue charging up the valley until my point is made or we fall trying. ;)

                                                            Re: daughter's party: I'm glad the megaparty turned out well. That's a silver lining to all this. (And, not that you're this petty, it's a good way to ping the niece every time there's another family gathering <VEG> -- not that I've _ever_ done that. <ahem>) ;)

                                                            1. re: The Ranger

                                                              Why? My guess is that it's because this is an after-work function. I don't think it's nearly as common as it used to be for executive assistants to be aware of what is going on in their boss's personal lives, or that they have any control over it whatsoever.

                                                              1. re: queencru

                                                                It does look to be an after-work function, but it relates to a long-time employee of that firm. It's not a "personal life" function - it's a work function. The EAs would most definitely know about a retirement party for someone high up in the organization who was retiring.

                                                                1. re: queencru

                                                                  My company is a little different. Most of the execs have EA's, or "Admins", as they are called, but the Admins really don't handle emails. The execs handle their own emails -- it's just a company culture thing. We are not a very "layered" company, and don't tend to function with a lot of the beaurocracy I've seen in some other companies.

                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                    Patti - IIRC, these invites were sent via EMail, not via a calendar system within EMail (like Outlook's calendar)? I was always the recipient of calendar requests to my bosses and I controlled their calendar scheduling that way (mostly because if exactly what you're having to deal with - they were completely inept in the use of scheduling meetings! LOL)

                                                                    But if it was just an EMail, that wouldn't work.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Ah, the old Outlook (GroupWise) calendar..... That requires higher lever technical skills. no wonder!

                                                                  2. re: queencru

                                                                    That's a huge portion of the difference between an admin and an executive admin; you are are in charge of his or her calendar, regardless of the time you sign out. That's, as the saying goes, why you are paid the big bucks and given greater opportunities.

                                                                    The EAs I know would be intrigued that the industry has removed this expectation from their current job requirement, too. =8^)

                                                          2. Believe it or not lots of people, regardless of where they work and what position they hold, do not check their emails everyday and not everyone has Facebook or any other social networking system in their lives.
                                                            I agree not RSVPing is rude and unacceptable but buying stamps, making out invitations and sending off correspondence is still in use.
                                                            Regarding your second situation...sounds like you're very involved in what appears to be your daughter's problem with RSVP's.
                                                            Her problem. Not your problem. You asked, I responded.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                              Read all of my posts. It was only the problem with my niece. Yeah, I agree that's it's really between my daughter & her cousin, but I couldn't believe that my sister raised such a rude child (just kidding!!!!!). My kids, however, are perfect in every way.

                                                            2. Not to make light of RSVP woes, but just an example of how things are done here in Kenya, especially for an Indian wedding.
                                                              Nobody RSVP's....ever.
                                                              About a month prior to the wedding written invitations in large, ornate and engraved cards are sent out, either hand delivered or by snail mail. Each invitation holds a series of inserts detailing which functions the family is invited to, all invitations read Mr and Mrs and family or the persons name.
                                                              Generally there will be 3-4 different functions, each fully catered, 2 possibly with an open bar, with the main wedding meal catering to anything from 500-2000 people. Gatecrashers are welcome depending on their relation with the groom, bride and families, and there is an understanding that several families will not come to the event.

                                                              Left over food is packaged up and given to the homeless at a sit down meal (though there is still plenty of wastage).
                                                              A recent example (note I was not formally invited, however I am very good friends with the brother of the groom and as I was in town, I was invited to everything verbally):
                                                              Wednesday (last week) - mehndi party - arabic theme with shisha's, henna painting for bride and friends, wine and beer and lebanese catering (houmos, tabbouleh, falafel etc) - 250 people
                                                              Thursday - community dinner - full vegetarian - western India menu - 2 curries, daal, rice, puri's etc - 1000 people
                                                              Friday - wedding and post wedding dinner - full vegeterian - North Indian menu - 850 people - give or take
                                                              Saturday - reception - open bar - Indian chaat menu with pani puri, dahi puri, biryani, paneer chapati etc - 200 people

                                                              Catering is done at a per head count, however generally groceries etc are bought by the family and they'll have a chef who runs a massive outdoor kitchen.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: waytob

                                                                OMG! That DOES put things in perspective.

                                                                1. re: waytob

                                                                  Holy crow! How can you provide for such things? Who pays for it all?

                                                                  1. re: waytob

                                                                    Kenyans are great marathon runners. I think I'd have to run a marathon or two also to burn off all those calories. Is this wedding tradition unique to Indians living in Kenya, or do the native Kenyans also share in this tradition? Either way, it's certainly memorable.

                                                                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                      Native kenyan's depending on financial situation also have a feast...wedding guests again don't RSVP, and show up in bus loads (literally, buses are hired for the event)
                                                                      A whole mbuzi (goat) is roasted and there's always plenty of sides (chicken, rice, poatatoes, githeri, irio, salads etc). The event however is limited to 2 days of celebrations as opposed to a week

                                                                      This Indian tradition is not unique to Kenya btw....in Enland its pretty similar, though a tad toned down, simply coz communities are smaller. In India, wedding celebrations go on for weeks...3 years ag I attended a wedding there, every night the bottle of Jameson in the room was replaced, even if we had just had a tot or two, the food every day was stupefying even by Indian standards.

                                                                      Wedding functions are split between bride and groom, so reception is paid by the groom, wedding dinner by bride etc....and though expensive, its nothing like Western prices...average cost for the above in totality would be 20,000 USD (including open bar etc) simply coz everything is bought in bulk and even alcohol is at knock down prices.

                                                                      Attending another wedding (and i really try to avoid them like the plague) in a couple of weeks, will try to upload photo's of the same...again i'm not formally invited (no engraved invitation) however i'm new in town, and over here you're welcome anywhere

                                                                      1. re: waytob

                                                                        And remember gifts are given in the form of cash or gold (gold is the indian brides insurance)...alot of crappy gidts are given but in general, the bride and groom are given gifts that will see them into the future and provide a foundation.

                                                                        Just another interesting point...one of the traditions here, is when the brides brother and friends go to the groms house to 'collect' him they are fed handfuls of sugar and sweetmeats in order to ensure the bride will be sweetly disposed to him. Pretty amusing to watch as mothers and aunts take fustfuls of sugar and jaggery and try to get thef amily members to swallow as much as possible

                                                                        1. re: waytob

                                                                          Fascinating info waytob. Those photos will be a real treat for us if and when you get around to uploading them.

                                                                      2. re: waytob

                                                                        Incredible. I've read your extended thread, and can't wait to see the photos, and do my best to imagine the smells and tastes of everything!