More than a decade has passed since my wonderful wedding and I still fight back the urge to invoice the dozen or so no-shows for the significant chunk of change their thoughtlessness cost us (none of them had a good excuse, in case you're wondering whether they got a flat tire or landed a date with Brad Pitt). Save for writing about it in this article, I chose long ago to take the high road on this breach of manners.
Sadly, failure to RSVP is one of the most rampant etiquette issues that brides and other party-planners face today. "I plan events professionally all over the country, and it baffles me the number of people who RSVP that they'll attend, then just flat out not show up," says Jenny Dell, an event planner in the higher education field. She's hardly alone in this sentiment. "It's just a simple courtesy," explains Wendy Kiessel of Acworth, Georgia. "Even if it's just so a birthday-party-mom knows how many pizzas to order!"
Manners expert Maralee McKee insists that guests should RSVP yes or no to a shindig within 24 hours of being invited. If they are unsure whether they can attend, they should still let the host know they got the invitation within 24 hours and mention there might be a date conflict. Guests should definitely not wait until after the RSVP date to reply, potentially causing the hostess to follow up with them. She's got enough on her plate.