Wednesday, May 5, 2010

etiquette lesson 2. you're invited.

It's always a slight dilemma when planning an event... when should I send out invitations? Well, Emily Post is once again to the rescue. It's nice to have a guide that has already figured out the proper timing for sending out those over-priced, yet gorgeous, pieces of stationary. I will also address the concern and issue of the RSVP, which many people seem to not do and can be a major annoyance to the party planner. Don't assume that the host knows you are coming, or word will get back to him/her. When ever you see RSVP you should think "RSVP ASAP".

Here are the general guidelines for the timing of invites. This isn't set in stone, and I know in Northern Virginia you often have to book a month in advance to get on someone's calendar, so I took that into account.

The EventWhen to Invite (Non-NOVA)
Anniversary party3 to 6 weeks
Bar or Bat Mitzvah1 month
Bon Voyage partyLast minute to 3 weeks
Casual partySame day to 2 weeks
Charity Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Christmas party1 month
Cocktail party1 to 4 weeks
Debutante Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Formal dinner3 to 6 weeks
Graduation party 3 weeks
Housewarming partyA few days to 3 weeks
Informal dinnerA few days to 3 weeks
Lunch or Tea
Thanksgiving dinner
2 weeks to 2 months

The EventWhen to invite (NOVA)
Anniversary party 6 weeks
Bar or Bat Mitzvah1 month
Bon Voyage partyLast minute to 1 month
Casual partySame day to 1 month
Charity Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Christmas party6 weeks
Cocktail party1 month
Debutante Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Formal dinner2 months
Graduation party1 month
Housewarming party1 month
Informal dinner1 month
Lunch or Tea2 weeks to 1 month
Thanksgiving dinner2 weeks to 2 months

In regard to the RSVP Emily Post has some strong words for this. In short you should make it a habit to RSVP ASAP.

"It is inconsiderate, but unfortunately common, for guests to fail to RSVP. Some forget; others procrastinate and then feel guilty, so they delay even longer. To many a host on the non-receiving end of an RSVP, it seems as if an invitee is simply waiting for something “better” to possibly come along. One of the sad parts about the demise of the RSVP is that relationships often suffer due to hosts’ resultant hurt feelings and frustration. It is perfectly polite, however, for hosts to call friends to ask if they plan to attend. Anyone who receives an invitation has an important obligation to reply as soon as possible."

Well I have MUCH to improve on!

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