Sunday, January 25, 2009

Respondez-S'il Vous Plait!

In my line of work, I must take RSVPs for multiple events a month. Generally they are low key affairs, with usually one grand daddy that causes me to receive unwanted blemishes, terrible stomach aches, or raging migraines. The root of this evil are the non-RSVPers. Not until I entered the professional world did I ever understand how bad of a problem this is. I have decided that not everyone is familiar with Emily Post and her teachings, so I am going to solve some of this issue by at least putting out there for anyone who stumbles upon my blog, so listen up children!

Lesson 1: Receiving the Invitation
Upon receiving said invitation to a wedding, party, business event, or even a child's birthday party, put the flyer/invite/e-vite print out somewhere you will always look. For a man, this might be on the fridge. For a lady, perhaps somewhere in an assumed filing system you already have going. Mentally note the date, and a "most likely to go" or "nope, can't make this one" so that you already have quasi-decision made.

We all claim to be relatively intelligent human beings, some of us more capable than others certainly. However, as far as I know, none of us as hosts have become so omniscient that we can assume/anticipate/expect any guest to just send telepathic messages that we will be there. This is NEVER the case, thus you must NEVER do it. Important information is relying on that simple yes or no of yours. Catering numbers, linen counts, favors, printed materials-the list is endless. This rule also applies to even the best of friends. My BF and I always, always, always let each other know if we are able to make it to a hosted event. And yes, it's true, most likely my reply is a "yes", but she doesn't know if I have a conflict, and she extends the same courtesy to me.

Lesson 3: Note that Date
Generally on an invitation to an event there is a little piece of information that is the creme de la creme to the host: the reservation deadline. This little bugger should be placed on an Outlook Calendar, PDA, crackberry device, or your manually entered date books (hey, some of us are old school) as a DEADLINE. For those with zero event planning background, this is generally a time when the host needs to let the caterer or venue know the counts for many items. At this time, you must let the host know if you intend on coming. Do NOT, I repeat do NOT, think to yourself, "eh I can just show up, they can always squeeze me in." NO! NO! NO! Understand that there have been countless hours planning table arrangements just so, so that the most egotistical of V.I.P.s have the best spot, sponsors have a great view, and associates can be arranged to sit together. Those thoughts must be banished from your mind. As an event planner, it is the stress of all day-of stressers to have to scramble and find a spot for you AND your unannounced guest. If by a stroke of God I can find you somewhere, don't balk about not sitting together. It's unlikely and really is your punishment for not RSVPing. I often joke that I will seat these misfits at an Isolatation Table (thank you, Parent Trap) and make the offenders wear dunce caps as I mock them. I have yet been able to execute this public humiliation, but it's a threat. Don't push me.

Lesson #4: Get it in Girl!
The date has approached and now is the time to do one of life's simple pleasures, RSVP. Kindly drop an email, call, or even send the flyer or invitation back as the event dictates and let the host know your intentions. There is sometimes no greater gift in the business planning world than to have a grasp of who is coming to your event and actually be able to plan accordingly.

By following these rules, you have the power to make an event planner, bride, friend, or coworker very happy. It is so simple, and such simple etiquette, it will make Ms. Post smile and might even land you a better seat in the house.

1 comment:

Twinkle Toes said...

i didn't know you had ablog! so excting...just what i need, another excuse to get online. love this by the way...keep stepping up to that pulpit!