Anyone who has planned a large party or reception is aware of how important it is to have a head count. It is particularly vital when arranging a formal, catered sit-down dinner, in which the caterer expects to be paid per head. And yet, I have friends and relatives who have been greatly inconvenienced by guests who did give an RSVP to a formal sit-down dinner and then never showed up. Why is there such a lack of courtesy? Such gestures are not a matter of having grand, formal manners but of showing basic consideration for others.
Here are a few points to remember:
1) When invited to a function always respond in the time frame designated by the RSVP. If a reply is asked for only if one plans to go, that is fine. (It is always courteous and acceptable to thank the hostess anyway, even if one cannot attend.)
2) If you do not know whether or not you can go to the party, it is better to decline. Otherwise, you give the strong impression that you will accept unless you get a *better* invitation somewhere else. Just say "no."
3)When invited to a party at someone's house, do not respond with "I don't know" and then go on to have your own party, on the same day, inviting the same circle of friends. That is the height of rudeness, to say the least.
4) If you have accepted the invitation, assuring the host and hostess of the pleasure of your company, but then at the last minute find that you are unable to be there, then at least call the host/hostess. Give them your most heartfelt apologies. This will give them time to rearrange the table.
5) After having enjoyed an event, be careful not to talk about it around those who were not invited. There may be reasons unknown to yourself why various persons were not invited to a certain function. It must always, however, be taken for granted that everyone has feelings and may be hurt at hearing about the good time at a party from which they were excluded. Share