R.S.V.P. – What Does It Mean?
The RSVP on the invitation it means that the Host would like you to tell them whether you are attending the birthday party or not.
Call as soon after you get the invitation as possible and let them know your son or daughter will be at the party. While calling to RSVP the night before the party is bad, no response is worse – so call whether you are going or not.
Hosts need a head count at the very least 2 – 3 days before the party to know how much food to prepare, how many goody bags to buy and how many games, activities to plan.
Use the phone number or email address on the invitation to RSVP. Don’t send the message with your son or daughter to tell the child at school whether they will be at the party or not. Some children forget and others may be intimidated if they wont’ be able to attend and everyone else is talking about going to the party.
It may be a little uncomfortable calling to let a parent you don’t know that your son/daughter won’t be attending the party. But remember, they thought enough of your child to send them an invitation to a party …. Think enough of them to respond.
What Does It Mean For Hosts / Hostesses
RSVP means you’re in limbo waiting the reply of others. It is obvious that the term RSVP has different meanings to different parents. To some it means call if you’re coming, to others call if you’re not coming. And some don’t know what it means so they ignore it and do what they want – either have their child attend or not without letting you know which one until the party starts.
To help encourage a response by guests let them know what YOUR definition of RSVP is. Here are some ideas:
On the invitation where it says – RSVP – write in:
Please let us know if you will attend by ___________. If we don’t hear from you we will assume you are not coming.
(Fill in the blank with a date 3 days before the party). This tells parents if they don’t let you know by that date then you will not be expecting them. It may sound a little harsh, but actually, it lets everyone know what is expected and there is no second-guessing what you want.
Include your phone number and email address so they can contact you two ways. And always write in your name …. no one likes to call and ask for “Timmy’s Mom”.
And the best thing you can do … when you get an invitation always RSVP!
For additional help on filling out an invitation see What to Write on the Birthday Invitation.