Loyal and lovely reader Leah Love wrote me with a request for a Demeter Clarc Manners Moment on RSVP etiquette. Thanks so much for reading and writing to me Leah. I really appreciate your kind words and support. Here is an excerpt of LL’s letter.
I would love to see a post on the importance of RSVPing. I’m trying to affect change and influence behavior with a grassroots RSVP etiquette movement. As a person who throws my fair share of parties, nothing annoys me more than people not RSVPing. It’s so fucking rude, and it serves a real and important purpose: so the host knows how to properly provide food and drinks for her guests. It seems like these days, with the casual nature of connecting caused by technology, that manners have fallen by the wayside.
Well said Mizz Love, well said. Let’s be honest about the politics of the RSVP. It goes without saying that anything involving a written, posted invitation requires a response. Wedding invitations and baby showers, replies are 100% required for events of this nature. Proper etiquette gets murkier the more casual the gathering. This is a shitty thing to admit, but sometimes folks wait to reply hoping a better social opportunity comes along. Only the cruel and honest truth delivered here at DC.As the host, you absolutely must make your expectations clear. If you want an RSVP, you must unequivocally state in the invitation that you expect the courtesy of an RSVP and when you expect it. If it is really important, add a “bitches” to the end. RSVP bitches, or better yet “Don’t make me hunt down your RSVP you rude-ass bitches.” See why I don’t throw many parties?I want to propose a different angle that you may not want to hear Leah, and please know I say this with Love. Consider letting go of the need to know how many people will arrive. Regardless of the number of confirmed RSVPs, guest attendance always fluctuates at the last minute. Hosting a sit down dinner? Fine, be rigid about a response. Casual cocktails? Why not just see who shows up? I seriously doubt you have ever really run out of food or drink. Reflect upon whether this is more about wanting to maintain control or about an irrational anxiety that no one will show up to your party. Not to worry, of course they will come, because you are obviously social lava. A relaxed host is a happy host. Focus on your fun.