Living with Etiquette

I don’t think there’s a person who doesn’t enjoy the soulful upbeat sounds of Aretha Franklin singing her famous song Respect.

Truly this song is one Franklin’s signature marks. In today’s busy society, respect can present itself in many different forms and opportunities. Let’s look at an opportunity where respect can be seen and demonstrated. R.S.V.P. is an abbreviation for the French phrase “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, meaning “Reply please.”

When you respond and accept an invitation, it is your responsibility to show up; it also is an opportunity to show respect. When you fail to show up to a party after accepting an invitation, it can come across as being inconsiderate — not to mention be costly to the person hosting the party.

Unfortunately, when guests don’t bother to R.S.V.P., the burden of following up falls on the host’s shoulders. When guests don’t bother to show up, the host may also have to absorb additional party expenses.

Below are some helpful tips to know how to increase your chances of getting a better response (R-E-S-P-E-C-T) rate for your next party:

• Include a response date on the invitation when you issue an invitation. Example: “Please respond by February 14, 2015.”

• If a guest does not respond by the deadline date on the invitation, it’s best to call or send an email to make sure your guest is not coming.

• Make a courtesy call after the event to follow-up and express your concern if a guest confirms but doesn’t show up. If they have a valid excuse, forgive and forget. If they don’t, you may be better off not inviting them again.

• It’s best not to send an invitation via the Internet unless your event is extremely casual. Just know that a virtual invitation may wind up in your intended guest’s spam mail and never opened by the intended recipient.

Rose Hedgemond is CEO of Avenues of Excellence and an etiquette and social protocol professional. Do you have an etiquette or social protocol question? Email her at info@avenuesofexcellence.com or follow her on Facebook at Rose Hedgemond and Twitter @AOE_IN.