Breaking the RSVP: Tell the hostess?

by EPI Staff on July 27, 2011

Q: I RSVP’d yes to a party, but the night of the soiree something came up at the last minute. I didn’t call the hostess because I didn’t want to interrupt her preparations. Right or Wrong move?

A: Wrong. Let your hostess know you won’t be there with a quick phone call–not a text or an e-mail. This is an interruption she’ll prefer to wondering where you are and possibly having an extra place setting at the table. Worth noting: A legit reason to cancel is illness or a work emergency, not that you’d rather spend the evening with takeout and Mad Men

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth July 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I disagree with this advice just a tiny bit. If the party were relatively intimate, or a dinner party, the phone call would absolutely be the thing to do. However, if it were a huge house party with dozens of guests and the absence of one person would not affect the food or drink in the least, a text is perfectly appropriate. I have been the host of such a party scrambling around at the last minute to get things ready, and the last thing I would have wanted was three phone calls (and having to reassure people that we really wished they could be there, but understood that they couldn’t) when three texts could have done perfectly and, in an hour, the house will be filled and I won’t remember or care who wasn’t there.

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Julie August 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

On the other hand, I’ve set up a get-together for six or seven people, and all but one of them assumed that they wouldn’t be missed. One person called to cancel at the last minute with (what I considered) a good reason. The others just didn’t show up. It was really disappointing.

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