Q: We are approaching the deadline for our R.S.V.P. date, and some have not responded. As I am the mother of the bride, the R.S.V.P. replies come to my home. May I call the people who have not yet responded?
A: Pick up your phone pronto! It is perfectly O.K. to call and ask (politely, of course) each tardy guest for a reply: “We hope you have received the invitation to Sharon and Josh’s wedding on the 24th and that you can join us.” If you get the answering machine, add a time by which you’d like to hear back. As annoying — and rude — as it is when a guest fails to reply to an invitation that requests a yes or no, resist the temptation to chew out the invitee. At this point, what would you gain? Plus, there is the possibility (it does happen) that the invitation failed to reach the intended recipient. Failure to R.S.V.P. is epidemic. R.S.V.P., the abbreviation of the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” means “please respond.” These days, it’s hard to plead ignorance of the abbreviation when the answer is just a Google search away. It’s also hard to imagine the excuse, especially when it’s a simple matter of checking a box on a reply card, clicking on an e-mail address or making a phone call. Too busy? Waiting for something better to come along? Note to invitees: Save your host the hassle of having to ask you twice. Just do it.
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