I hosted a GNO (Girl's Night Out) this past Saturday. This is only the second time I have done something on this scale (i.e. Evite, e-mail updates, etc.). I decided to do a burlesque class and dinner afterwards in celebration of my birthday, but due to the fact that my birthday falls on a holiday weekend, it was hard to get all the girls to commit. So at first I canceled then reconsidered. After changing the date and the restaurant, we were back in business. I sent the evite via Facebook and e-mail to about 15 friends.
There were 3 individuals who did not RSVP period; they were all co-workers. With the exception of my girl, Ang, I was apprehensive about inviting any co-workers at all because I did not want to feel obligated (which you know I would not have anyway) to invite people I really did not want to hang out with outside of work like that. It was strictly supposed to be a girlfriend's night. The 3 co-workers I speak of, I told them directly, verbally asking if it was something they might be interested in and stressing they keep it on the low. Two gave a solid 'yes', but never inquired further. The 3rd was emphatic that she wanted to do it. In fact, when I told her, she excitedly said, 'this is my verbal RSVP!' So I sent her the evite as well...
That is the last I heard her mention the event. Until yesterday, when she heard me speaking to my other co-worker Ang about the weekend. She had seen the uploaded photos and playfully, yet seriously stated how I was 'bogus' for not reminding her. Which made me, first, proclaim that I would be blogging about the topic. Secondly, I politely chided her about not RSVPing.
I think there is a direct link between society's constant and ever-increasing dependence on time saving technology and the rapidly decrease in overall manners. As a host or party-planner it is so nerve wrecking trying to assume who may or may not show up the day of the event. Many times, depending on what you plan on doing, a deposit is needed. The price may fluctuate depending on the size of your party. In the case of my burlesque class, the price was cheaper as the number of students increased. So teetering between 9-12 people may make a $1-2 difference for everyone. I advised my co-worker that if she had RSVPd, Evite would have sent updated reminders. You cannot ask for a more helpful system. There is even an option to have the event added to your calendar. Plus, if you really were interested, you would have saved the date and made a note to participate. Furthermore, quiet as kept, I want to give people an 'out' if they are truly uninterested. Manners or not, I want the invited to have the ability to bow out gracefully without feeling pressure to attend because I keep asking them. On the flip side, it is just as bad when you RSVP 'yes', but do not show, or do not send an updated 'no', if you cannot attend. I myself was guilty of this one, just a few weeks ago. I had every intention of attending an event, but when the day came, I did not make it. I felt guiltiest for saying I would do something and then later flaking out.
The same people that do not RSVP properly (bringing additional people, or babies even, when the invitation specifically said 1 guest and no children) also do not believe in sending 'Thank You' notes or even picking up the phone to express gratitude. My cousin recently graduated from college and sent the traditional notices, which should just read, 'money please'. My father received one and promptly sent a check. Several weeks later, the check was cashed, but no word of 'thanks' was received. I know it irked him, because he mentioned it on at least 3 separate occasions. He is 'old school', manners mean everything.
What people need to understand is, it can be a lot of work to plan something special, especially for a large group (anything over 4, can be considered large in my book). There is a reason, details are included in the invite. It is to reduce the amount of same day calls and texts asking 'where is the address?', 'what do I wear?', 'what time do we have to be there?'. You hope people are prompt, so that you can all get your money's worth of the venue space rented or reserved. You hope everyone has a great time, including yourself! You want as little stress as possible, because truth be told, you want to do it again. You want everything to be perfect, but at the same time, you would also like to enjoy yourself.
So for goodness sake, RSVP!