Thanks for Inviting Me but I Can’t Be Bothered to RSVP

Something that gets on my very last nerve is people who can’t be bothered to RSVP for an Evite party or event. I mean really, how much easier can it be with these online invitations? I’ve only ever used so I can only speak about this particular company.

Online invitations are so convenient and easy to use for the host and the recipients.

There are always friends and acquaintances who will RSVP right away or within days of receiving the evite, and others whom you will never, ever hear from.

You took the time to invite them, but they don’t RSVP. Why didn’t they? What do you do when someone doesn’t RSVP?

Not RSVP-ing

Here’s what I’m not sure if the recipients understand: The person who invited you can SEE you opened the online invitation.

The party thrower can see the EXACT DATE AND TIME you first or last opened it. Your potential host will CONTINUE to see updates every other time you open the invitation until you RSVP.

One would think this would be motivation to respond by increasing people’s guilt factor. Yet, so many people do not RSVP. This a real thing. For whatever reason, even though it’s easier than ever to RSVP, many people do not.

And what’s stranger is that many times these potential guests you aren’t hearing from continue to access the invitation.

Sure, maybe they need to check the date or the time the party is. Maybe they need to verify the location and the address again. Or maybe they want to check back to see who else the person invited and who RSVP’d yes and no so far.

For whatever reason, there are some people who keep checking back with invitations but never respond. It’s very odd behavior.

If you aren’t sure if you can attend, just give the courtesy of a Maybe.

when people don't RSVP
You made the list, be sure to RSVP

RSVP meaning

RSVP stands for répondez s’il vous plaît which means Please Respond in French.

When you see RSVP on an invitation, it means the person who invited you (the host) wants to know if you will attend the event. RSVP meaning in text is the same thing.

When you RSVP, it helps the host plan for the event. This will involve making sure there is room and seating for everyone. It will also likely include food and drinks.

If it’s a child’s birthday, they may want to be sure they know to plan for kid’s activities and perhaps party favors.

Is it rude to not RSPV?

Yes, if you don’t RSVP, it’s rude. Unless there are unusual circumstances, it’s rude to not RSVP when someone invites you to something.

It’s not rude to not RSVP if you didn’t receive the invitation. That happens sometimes, so always keep this in mind, especially if you mailed the invites.

Hosts realize things come up. If you forget to RSVP, that is an honest mistake. However, when someone intentionally doesn’t RSVP, it’s extremely rude.

Think about if someone invited 20 people to a dinner party. If only half the people RSVP’d, that’s hard to plan for. Do they plan to make food for 10 people or will more people show up? If they knew some weren’t attending, they could have invited others.

Why people don’t RSVP

There are lots of theories on this. Each party, invitation, date and guest list are unique. So depending on the situation, it’s likely one of these reasons.

They don’t have parties themselves

Chronic no-RSVPers typically don’t have parties themselves. They don’t realize that while not knowing about one or two people is fine, it’s when there are 4 – 5+ you are waiting to hear from, it starts to make a difference.

This is especially true for kids’ parties where you can only invite 10 or 15 kids to a place. Maybe your kid was lucky enough to make the list but if you can’t make it, the host would like to invite others.

Bragging about kids’ parties on Facebook

They want to see who else is going

Your BFF won’t care who else is going to your party but others likely will. With these online invitations, you can usually see the guest list. Many people wait to see who else is going before they RSVP.

This could be because they want to make sure they will have someone to talk to. Alternatively, if you invited someone they don’t like, they may be waiting to see if that person RSVPs they are coming.

Wondering if something better will come up

Sometimes guests are waiting to see if they will be invited to something better. This is especially true of an event for New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, July 4th, last day of school party, and other holiday-type parties.

Sometimes people throw it out there that they might have a party for a certain holiday but then never do. In the meantime, you get an invitation somewhere else. You would rather go to that first event but you haven’t heard anything about it since.

You are hesitant to RSVP. Because you are waiting it out, you procrastinate RSVP-ing, and then never do.

Can’t make up their minds

It’s always great being invited somewhere but when the time comes, we don’t want to go. Has that ever happened to you? We are so overworked and busy, we want to be invited but would much rather sit at home than actually go.

Sometimes people don’t RSVP because they want to consider what else they have going on and how they will feel when the time comes to go to your party. This has less to do with the event itself and more to do with their energy and enthusiasm.

It’s the digital age

Perhaps it’s just a sign of our digital age. While it’s super-easy to reach out to reply, we just never do it. It’s akin to either responding to a text right away or never at all. It would take just 10 seconds but for whatever reason, you saw the invitation and didn’t/couldn’t respond right then so you never do.

Playing mind games

Sometimes there are people with nothing better to do than to play mind games. They may be feeling threatened or competitive with you in some way.

They can’t be bothered to acknowledge and thank you for your invitation. For whatever reason, they don’t want to give you the satisfaction of acknowledging your invitation.

This probably isn’t the case usually; it’s more that people get busy and forget. But for some people, this may be true. Be sure to consider the source before making assumptions.

They don’t want to say “no”

Oh, to have the confidence to reply No without giving a reason why. There’s just something difficult about it. Even for the party giver, it’s hard not to wonder why your friend didn’t click Yes.

Perhaps the invited was invited to something else that the invitee wasn’t invited to. Or the invited doesn’t want to explain why they can’t go. Sometimes it’s easier to do nothing. We’ve certainly been in this situation ourselves.

Busy life

Everyone is busy. Yet there are certain times and certain families when they really just are super-busy. Or something is going on health-wise or something bigger than social outings and thinking about your party.

It’s not personal. It’s nothing to get angry about. This post is more about people who don’t have an excuse for not RSVP-ing.

Reasons people don’t RSVP

The next time someone invites you somewhere, RSVP as soon as you can. This will increase the chances they will RSVP to your next event.

Remember, there are lots of reasons people don’t RSVP.

For sure:

  • People are busy
  • They forget to RSVP
  • They can’t make up their minds
  • He or she thinks: One more person showing up or not coming isn’t a big deal

Other times:

  • They want to see who else is going
  • Because of jealousy, competition, playing mind games
  • Feel awkward about RSVP-ing Maybe or No
  • They want to see if something more appealing comes up
RSVP meaning
How many do you plan for when people don’t RSVP?

It’s easy to RSVP

Yes, I’ve had people text, email, or tell me in person that they can or cannot attend, and that’s great. They are letting me know. They RSVP’d.

I don’t need them to go back to the online invitation and say Yes or No that way. I’m referring those other people, the repeat offenders, who can’t seem to take a second to let you know their plans.

Evite has reminders

You can set your evite to remind guests before your party. If you don’t set it, it will default to two days prior.

Hosts love this evite function because it reminds everyone of your party and also subtly reminds those who haven’t RSVP’d yet to do so.

Yet, it’s often the day of the party, and I still haven’t heard from these potential guests.

And thanks to awesome technology, I can see they haven’t forgotten about the party because when I’m logging onto my invitation to see how many people are expected to show, I see that some of these people have checked it again, just minutes earlier.

Yet, they still can’t reach out to say they are or are not able to make it. Why won’t they RSVP? Do not they care it’s rude? Do they just not care?

RSVPing in the past

When I think back to days before evite, punchbowl, smilebox, pingg, greenvelope, and other online invitations, I think of the hassle it was to RSVP.

Even now, while it’s so nice to get a paper invitation, there are lots of points between you receiving the invitation and you RSVPing, if you don’t RSVP right away.

  1. First, you have to find that invitation. You know you put it somewhere, and you are really hoping you didn’t miss the RSVP date and even the actual event itself.
  2. At last, you found it! Now you have to call the person to thank them for the invitation and to gladly accept or regretfully decline.
  3. You have to exchange pleasantries and make small talk.

All of this takes time out of your life.

Think back to the days with rotary phones. Think back to when we only had home phones. Yet, we were able to handle this RSVPing task.

These days, paper invitations are the exception, unless it’s for a more formal event, like a wedding, anniversary, baby shower, or religious ceremony.

We still get them occasionally for kids’ parties. The party host may have mailed them or gave them to the teacher to pass out in class.

RSVPing in the digital age of online invitations

The party host can go to a free online invitation site and quickly and easily create a nice-looking invitation. Sure, this is more for birthday and holiday parties than weddings. So let’s stick with birthday parties, in particular, kids’ birthday parties.

I know moms are exhausted and busier than ever but it’s so much easier to RSVP nowadays.* In most instances, we can email or text our reply if we don’t want to click Yes or No right on evite or however the invitation came through.

My gosh! They have all this time to play around on Facebook, surely they can manage it.

Really, how hard is it to RSVP? You took the time to open the invitation.

If you are someone who has a difficult time following through on tasks or are an out of sight, out of mind, kind of person, then it would make sense for you — right then and there — to click Yes or No or even that realistic Maybe.

We will try to make it. Stan has a soccer tournament, and if they win, we play on. But if they lose, we will be there!”

Maybe you have to check your schedule and aren’t sure if you can get Kimmy to the party, and you don’t want to intrude on the host by asking if they can drive your child home. Let the host know you are a “Maybe.”

If you are the kind of person who throws parties, then you probably know the importance of an RSVP.

Courtesy, manners RSVP meaning

I’m not a big follower of proper etiquette, though who didn’t love the Dear Abby and Ann Landers advice columns?

Still, RSVPing seems to be such a basic and easy thing to do, that I really am at a loss as to why I don’t always get a 100% response rate from my online invitations, assuming that person saw and opened it.

(In many instances, I have received a 100% response rate, so I guess I should be grateful.)

Really, it takes less than a minute to say No… we can’t make it… have fun. Isn’t this common courtesy and basic manners?

Can't be bothered to RSVP
Can’t be bothered to RSVP? Why?

What’s great about online invitations

From the host’s standpoint:

  • Easy to use and usually free
  • Unlike with paper invitations, the host will know the recipients received the invitation
  • Simple to track RSVPs

From the guests’ perspective:

  • Easy to view
  • You can see who else is invited and who is coming
    • This is a fantastic feature! You can avoid hurt feelings by not mentioning the invitation to people who weren’t invited.
  • The invitation resides in their email Inbox so it will be easy to find and access
  • Simple to RSVP

Does no RSVP mean not coming?

When someone doesn’t RSVP, as a general rule, it’s safe to assume they aren’t coming. This is true with paper invitations for weddings as well. When people don’t RSVP to a wedding, they aren’t coming.

What do you do when guests don’t RSVP?

It’s difficult for the host to plan when guests don’t RSVP. If there is just one or two people or families not coming, that’s will be easier to manage. However, when more guests don’t RSVP, it becomes difficult to plan.

So what do you do when guests don’t RSVP? If they are good friends or close family members, ask them. You have a relationship with them so it’s acceptable to ask them.

Look through your guest list. You can also ask these close relations if they know about others who didn’t RSVP.

Emailing people who don’t RSVP

Something else to do when people don’t RSVP is to send an email reminder. This is perfectly acceptable. There is a polite and easy way to handle this. If you are using an evite or online invitation, you can send a reminder to RSVP through their site.

If you don’t want to do this, or if you sent invitations out in another way, email them.

Send them a cheery, friendly email making sure they received the invitation. Give them the details of the event and gently remind them to RSVP.

Be sure to blind copy everyone on this reminder email. In this way, you aren’t singling anyone out. No one on the “no RSVP list” will know who is on it which will avoid calling anyone out.

In addition to respecting everyone’s privacy, you can help them save face by sending them a reminder email as a blind copy to even one person.

In this way, they will likely assume others didn’t RSVP yet either. If you send specific emails to each person, it creates the potential back-and-forth exchange that you want to avoid.

Also, when you send it as a blind copy, they will be more likely to RSVP yes or no without it getting personal as to why they can’t attend.

People who don’t RSVP

Unless you didn’t RSVP to something they invited you to, chances are, someone not RSVPing has nothing to do with you.

Can’t be bothered to RSVP

When people purposely don’t RSVP, that’s confusing to the host. Someone has taken the time to invite you to a party. They want you or your family or your child there.

You took the time to open the invitation. Take the extra 10 – 15 seconds to RSVP. The host was generous enough to invite you, be courteous and RSVP, even if you can’t attend.

You don’t have to give a reason why you can’t attend. Simply say, “Thanks for inviting me but I won’t be able to attend.”

Maybe the next time, you may be able to go, and it would be nice to be invited again.

Seriously, is it really that difficult to RSVP? We would love to hear your thoughts about RSVPing. Do you RSVP right away or wait it out? Is there ever a reason you purposefully don’t respond? 

*Please know, of course there are situations — everyone has them — and we just plain forget or run out of time. I’m not talking about the exceptions here.

2 thoughts on “Thanks for Inviting Me but I Can’t Be Bothered to RSVP”

  1. “Here’s what I’m not sure if the recipients understand: The person who invited you can SEE you opened the online invitation.

    The party thrower can see the EXACT DATE AND TIME you first or last opened it. Your potential host will CONTINUE to see updates every other time you open the invitation until you RSVP.”

    Here’s what I’m not sure you understand. The above is intrusive; an invasion of privacy. I don’t want you knowing when I read my email, or even whether or not even I’ve read my email.

    No, you don’t get some sort of entitlement just because you sent me an invitation. Would you like it if I sent you a package and included a hidden transmission device in it? With continued updates?!?

  2. Sure, that makes sense what you are saying. When someone uses evite or other free invitation sites, that’s what happens. The user gets the privilege of intruding on your privacy… for free. For the guest, that isn’t their choice. They haven’t been given that choice. We agree with you.
    We are referring to the guests who open these online invitations and don’t respond. This isn’t necessarily about entitlement, it’s about courtesy. If they don’t want to RSVP through the invitation service, they can do some another way.
    If they chose to not open the invitation at all, then they made a choice to ignore it and have nothing to do with it. Fine, that’s their choice. However, when they not only saw it but opened it, they are opting in and should RSVP in some way.
    We appreciate you adding to this discussion– thank you!

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