The music, the food, the decorations—the party host has enough on her mind! She shouldn't have to follow up on guests who haven't responded to their invitations. What should she do if her invitees don't R.S.V.P.? Top experts give their advice!
Ceri Marsh, etiquette columnist: I think you can call. If it's a dinner party, call a few days before to confirm. If it's a cocktail party, we have a "double-it" rule: If 10 people R.S.V.P., count on 20 coming.
Harriette Cole, syndicated advice columnist: I think if it's a large event you have somebody else call…on your behalf. Call if you have a menu that you have to secure; call if you have a venue where you have to know how many people there are going to be. If seating is an issue and you're spending money and you need to know what is that event going to be, be proactive…If it's a small event, the hostess can call, but if it's a big event, you're kind of managing a lot.
E. Jean Carroll, Elle magazine advice columnist: I don't ever expect anybody to R.S.V.P. to anything. People have just stopped doing it…When someone is doing a big thing, throwing a party, they're going through a lot of trouble. Just pick up the phone and say, "I'm dying to get there. I can't wait."
Published on July 14, 2004