You walk to your mailbox, open up the little door, and bring the stack of envelopes back into your home. You sort through some bills and some junk mail and then, at the bottom of the stack of papers, you find an invitation! You’ve been invited to a baby shower, wedding, or holiday party! Yay! At the bottom of the invite, you see a note: RSVP before this date. Great, you think. You have a few weeks to send your confirmation or regrets, right?[related]
Wrong. You actually need to send back that RSVP ASAP.
According to “manners mentor” Maralee McKee, you should really RSVP to any social engagement within one day. That’s right. You should mark yes or no on Facebook, phone your friend, or have your return card back in the mailbox within just 24 hours.
And though the timeline may seem short, we agree with McKee.
First of all, most RSVPs are sent out within a month of the event. You likely already know whether or not you’ll be free on the date of the party you’re invited to. So why procrastinate?
Secondly, much of party planning comes down to the numbers, from table settings to catering menus to the number of chairs. To be the best-ever guest, you’ll want to give a prompt response to allow your host and their vendors as much time as possible to make arrangements. Not only is RSVPing early the considerate thing to do for your host, but it will also take the task off your own to-do list. The longer you wait to send something in the mail, the more likely you are to forget.
So RSVPing within 24 hours is a win-win situation. You clear one item from your to-do list, and your host will know their numbers sooner, allowing them to plan their party with a more relaxed attitude.
If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll be able to attend the event (due to work schedule or needing to a babysitter, for instance), then the proper thing to do is to let the host know that you have received the invitation and that you can’t confirm your availability just yet but will do so as soon as you can.