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A Modern Tale: How to Deal with People No Longer Giving RSVPs to Birthday Invitations


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I've been reading a few threads from 2008 on how people don't RSVP to birthday invitations anymore, and can totally relate to the frustrations expressed there. I'll give a nod to the correspondents who justified not giving RSVPs on the grounds that they "just got busy". (Imagine that! Some parents actually get busy on occasion!)

 

We had a huge problem with this a couple of years ago; I'll not soon forget the conversation I had with a father who thought that RSVP meant that I was supposed to respond to his wife's response to my RSVP request. (Don't bother re-reading that, as I am just as confused as you are ...)

 

Things are getting better now. The kids are starting to understand that some of their best friends have extremely disorganized and unreliable parents, and, through constant reminders, they recognize that no-shows even among those who do RSVP are a fact of life.

 

It's important to put your phone number and e-mail address on the invitations, because e-mail is part of some people's routines and gives some the option of not having to speak to you as they explain their kids can't come. (A couple of families, I have grown to suspect, either dislike us or are hostile to birthday parties).

 

Some have suggested that if no RSVPs are coming in, they just call everyone who has been invited. I'm not sure this works for a lot of people, because many don't readily give out their phone numbers. And even when we did call, we'd typically get a voice mail message, and the message we left remained ignored.

 

We've settled on bowling this year (they're five days apart, so we usually double up on the parties), not because the kids are particularly attracted to it, but because the fee isn't based on how many actually show up. Even if, in the unlikely event, nobody came, there would at least be something to do to soften the crushing blow of the no-shows.

 

In preparation for the party, we mentioned all this to the bowling alley staff member, a middle-aged mom, with the scars to show for it, and she replied, "Oh, nobody RSVPs anymore. You know what I do? I write on the invitation, 'Please inform me of nut allergies and dietary restrictions.' You'll get calls."

 

The gal was right.

 

For the first time in years, everyone called.

 

Daughter: 10; Singapore Primary Mathematics 4A; Story of the World Level 3; Writing Strands 3; Spelling Workout Level E; Science experiment books recommended in WTM; WWE3

 

Son: 7: First Language Lessons Level 2; Singapore Primary Mathematics 2A; general handwriting practice and reading practice; SOTW 1; WWE 1; Science experiment books recommended in WTM

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In preparation for the party, we mentioned all this to the bowling alley staff member, a middle-aged mom, with the scars to show for it, and she replied, "Oh, nobody RSVPs anymore. You know what I do? I write on the invitation, 'Please inform me of nut allergies and dietary restrictions.' You'll get calls."

 

The gal was right.

 

For the first time in years, everyone called.

 

Daughter: 10; Singapore Primary Mathematics 4A; Story of the World Level 3; Writing Strands 3; Spelling Workout Level E; Science experiment books recommended in WTM; WWE3

 

Son: 7: First Language Lessons Level 2; Singapore Primary Mathematics 2A; general handwriting practice and reading practice; SOTW 1; WWE 1; Science experiment books recommended in WTM

 

:lol:

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Yep, our family has decided birthday parties are not worth it. We take the same money we would spend on a party and go have fun as a family. Bowling, movies, dinner, whatever.

 

If the people being invited don't think it is worth it to RSVP, why should we think it is worth it to spend the $$$ on them.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
(A couple of families, I have grown to suspect, either dislike us or are hostile to birthday parties).

 

:lol: I have declined invitations for both reasons, but I do always call. :D

 

We've settled on bowling this year (they're five days apart, so we usually double up on the parties), not because the kids are particularly attracted to it, but because the fee isn't based on how many actually show up. Even if, in the unlikely event, nobody came, there would at least be something to do to soften the crushing blow of the no-shows.

 

It is so sad for the kids. It is a terrible situation because some people who RSVP that they're coming don't show up and you never know if the ones who didn't RSVP at all are going to show.

 

I truly think a huge part of the problem is the excess related to birthday parties these days (as in every kid seeming to have a party every year and every party being just too much party for the age). Like Daisy, we have family parties, sometimes inviting good friends (you know, the kind who are on speed dial and you can just say, "Oh, we're doing dc's party on such and such a date" and you know they're coming because of course they will.) I'm a weirdo, I guess. The idea of celebrating birthdays with acquaintances doesn't thrill me.

 

In preparation for the party, we mentioned all this to the bowling alley staff member, a middle-aged mom, with the scars to show for it, and she replied, "Oh, nobody RSVPs anymore. You know what I do? I write on the invitation, 'Please inform me of nut allergies and dietary restrictions.' You'll get calls."

 

The gal was right.

 

For the first time in years, everyone called.

 

:lol:

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In preparation for the party, we mentioned all this to the bowling alley staff member, a middle-aged mom, with the scars to show for it, and she replied, "Oh, nobody RSVPs anymore. You know what I do? I write on the invitation, 'Please inform me of nut allergies and dietary restrictions.' You'll get calls."

 

The gal was right.

 

For the first time in years, everyone called.

 

 

That's brilliant! Glad you got everyone to respond - hope your kids have a great party! :)

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In preparation for the party, we mentioned all this to the bowling alley staff member, a middle-aged mom, with the scars to show for it, and she replied, "Oh, nobody RSVPs anymore. You know what I do? I write on the invitation, 'Please inform me of nut allergies and dietary restrictions.' You'll get calls."

 

The gal was right.

 

For the first time in years, everyone called.

 

 

That's hilarious. I have to say I'm someone who tends to RSVP kind of last minute. Not night-before-the-party last minute, but maybe a couple days before the party. I did have one mom call me a few days before a party and ask if my daughter was planning to attend and I was grateful to get her call.

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That's incredible!:lol: Guess people FIND time to call when they need to.

 

We are past the age of the bigger parties, but if I were to organize another one, I would make it a "celebrity style" party. I would send out invitations to a party at a secret location on a certain date, and anyone who called to say they could come would receive the rest of the info. ;) Anyone else would not be able to just show up unannounced. Pitiful, but I think I would do it because the failure to RSVP is a huge pet peeve of mine.

 

Hope it's a great party for your peanuts!

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We are past the age of the bigger parties, but if I were to organize another one, I would make it a "celebrity style" party. I would send out invitations to a party at a secret location on a certain date, and anyone who called to say they could come would receive the rest of the info. ;) Anyone else would not be able to just show up unannounced. Pitiful, but I think I would do it because the failure to RSVP is a huge pet peeve of mine.

 

 

 

:lol: I like that idea! I may have to use it next birthday......

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Actually the party that got the most responses was our mystery party. We sent the invitation in code - with a code breaker. None of the parents could figure it out so they all called me. I just told them to hand it to their kids. The kids figured it out in seconds:D Then since they had called once and knew that I knew that they had the invitation (did you follow that?) they felt obligated to RSVP. That and all the kids really, really wanted to come.;)

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We ran into this with dd's recent party. We attend a large church and dh and I both work in the pre-school area. Dd's friends are no longer the kids of our friends and I didn't have numbers for several of them. My dd's don't yet talk on the phone and THEY didn't have numbers, but those are still their friends.

 

We had it at an indoor play place so parents didn't have to feel funny leaving their kids, they were welcome to stay. But that meant that I paid per kid, and I ended up needing to contact them because I had 10 kids unaccounted for. Several of those were relatives. So can't just mark them off for next time. :)

 

 

ETA: I think about the only ones to RSVP, did so to ask if they could bring siblings. :)

Edited by snickelfritz
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