Etiquette Friday – R.S.V.P. Invitations and Not Turning Up

By Angela Marshall, 26th Oct 2012

It’s Friday and the day I request you join me in my campaign for 2012 to change “Casual Friday” to “Etiquette Friday”, to get people and companies involved. If we consciously make an effort every Friday then hopefully it will become a habit every day. I challenge you to make one small change a week and by the end of the year let’s hope we have a more pleasant and positive society.

Invitations and R.S.V.P

I have received several comments lately about people not responding to invitations or advising they will turn up to an event but then not showing. This is extremely impolite and shows a lack of consideration to the organisers and if there is a speaker at the event it shows a lack of respect.

Now there can be an emergency where you are unable to attend, but an apology should be sent straight away to advise the organiser you will not be able to attend – email, text, telephone or leave a voicemail. If for some reason you do not have their details ensure you at least telephone or send an apology the next day.

Always Reply to an R.S.V.P. Invitation

When you receive an invitation to a business event or a personal function such as a family wedding and the words R.S.V.P are mentioned you should always reply to it to say whether you can attend. If you receive a formal invitation you should respond in the same style, which more often than not is written in third person ( i.e. using surname, pronouns their, they rather than I or we). A hand written invitation will require a hand written response. Often, these days, an invitation can include an email address to respond to, in which case you may like to reply by email.

When the invitation is addressed to you only, it is expected that you are the only one who is invited,  if you are part of a family or an established couple, the invitation will be addressed to everyone by name. When an invitation is addressed to you “and guest,” you may take a guest with you, but advise the invitee of the person’s name and in business it’s a good idea to mention their position.

Whatever style you reply in, formal or informal,  always include full details of where and when the event is taking place and reply to the person who invited you. It is also polite to reply as soon as possible.

With the festive season coming upon us here are some guidelines:

  1. Respond as quickly as possible, – when there is an R.S.V.P. always respond as quickly as possible but certainly by the date requested.
  2. Invitation to a Special event and no mention of R.S.V.P – respond as soon as possible as you have been honoured to be invited.
  3. Don’t be a No -Show – when you accept an invitation then turn up or in an emergency advise them asap.
  4. Change and can Attend – then contact the organiser and see if you can attend. Don’t just turn up.
  5. Paying Events – if you do not attend, at the last minute, and agreed to pay,  you should offer to pay as this may well have been included in their costs, especially if food and beverages were included.

Finally, do remember to send a thank you note.

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Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog. Angela Marshall
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners." Angela Marshall
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