Thursday, April 7, 2016

Response and R.S.V.P. Etiquette

A reception or a tea does not require a formal reply. If the invitee cannot go, he may send his card to the hostess. 
Folks — Let the Hostess Know
By Evelyn Prentiss

According to the etiquette book an invitation to a reception or a tea does not require a formal reply. If the invitee cannot go, he may send his card to the hostess. However, folks have recently begun to show a considerable degree of individuality in this matter. 

Hostesses of recent functions of the sort have been surprised at the various types of acknowledgments received, from women who are considered authorities in Sacramento on such subjects.

Some write formal acceptances or regrets Some, who find at the last moment that they are unable to attend the party, telephone this information to the hostess. Others mail their calling cards to indicate that, they will not attend. 

Still others send their cards by messengers at the time of the party or give them to a friend who is going. Sometimes a note is penned on the back of the card, giving the reason for the failure to attend. 

Some simply ignore the invitation entirely, and the hostess has no way of knowing whether it was received or not. Such a divergence of form must indicate a dissatisfaction with the existing rules, and it is interesting to note what a few of Sacramento's most prominent society women think about the matter. 

What They Say...

Mrs. C. E. V. Saunders: In my opinion, it is inexcusable to ignore any sort of invitation. Although it is within the bounds of etiquette to merely send cards to the hostess of a tea at the last minute, if the prospective guest knows ahead of time he cannot attend, it is certainly more thoughtful and courteous to let the hostess know, before she makes her arrangements with the caterer. 

Mrs. Rudolph A. Herold: I think it would he a good idea to have invitations carry the R. S.V.P., as do other types of bids. A few hostesses have recently adopted this plan. However. this precludes the delightful informality of just being able to “drop in,” one of the charming features of such an affair. 

Mrs. Grove L. Johnson: All invitations should he acknowledged as promptly as possible. It is only courteous and gives the hostess ample opportunity to make her preparations. 

Mrs. D. A. Elndley: True manners consist in consideration of others. Anything that will make the path of the hostess more smooth is the courteous and proper thing to do. 

Mrs. J. C. Cany: I think the hostess appreciates knowing ahead of time how many of her prospective guests cannot come. Of course, there are always some who plan to go but are prevented from doing so at the last minute. In that case, the only thing to do is to send cards by messenger. However, if those who are sure they cannot be present write their regrets several days ahead of time, a fair estimate can be made of the number, and this is a great convenience to the caterer. 

Mrs. Charles E. Virdcn: For any formal invitation, a formal response is proper. Custom sanctions the sending of cards at the last minute, but it is a much better plan to inform the hostess ahead of time if one cannot, attend. For those who attend, no other acknowledgment is necessary. 

Mrs. Homer E. McKee: I consider it a great slight to ignore a bid. The hostess has no way of knowing whether it has gone astray or the recipient wishes to snub the sender. The custom of advance acknowledgments is growing, and is a very pleasant, one, I think. —Sacramento Union, 1922

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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